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Taras Topolia insists his performance with Bono was “powerful” and “symbolic” for the people of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian musician-turned-soldier joined the U2 frontman and the band’s lead guitarist The Edge as they performed a 40-minute gig – which included classic hits such as ‘With or Without You’ – at Khreshchatyk metro station, which has been converted into a bomb shelter in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Antytila singer Taras – who joined Bono for a cover version of Ben E King’s ‘Stand By Me’ – has praised his idol for the show of solidarity and for spreading a political and cultural message to the world.
Taras, 34, exclusively told BANG Showbiz: “Bono has laid on a political and cultural message. It was a powerful single of support.
“When Bono plays it means for all the world that Ukraine is on the right side of the war and that light is here and brightness and shine is here.
“It is very symbolic as it means that UK people and Irish people know that we will get this victory and win. It’s historical and powerful.”
Taras – who became a soldier after Russia’s President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of the neighbouring country on February 24 – was in disbelief when Bono, 62, called to invite him to the concert after the Irish band were personally asked by President Volodymyr Zelensky to visit the war torn capital amid Russia’s invasion.
Taras added: “When Bono called to me it was absolutely unexpected.
“Ed Sheeran gave him my telephone number and Bono called me and said, ‘Hello I’m going to Kyiv to play music to support Ukraine by music of U2 and I want you to take part in this concert.’ Of course I said yes.
“It was a unique experience and was a big responsibility to sing with bono and say some words.
“It was absolutely incredible.”
This month, Ed Sheeran collaborated with Antytila on a remixed version of ‘2step’ to raise money for charity.
The 31-year-old pop megastar joined forces with the band-turned-soldiers after they reached out to ask to collaborate with the Grammy winner on social media.
The remix of the track from Ed’s fifth studio album, ‘=’, comes with a visualiser featuring Antytila, who also directed and produced it.
Over the next 12 months, worldwide record royalties from YouTube streams of the official visualiser, and Warner Music’s proceeds from such streams, will be donated to the non-profit, Music Saves UA, the fundraising project created to provide immediate humanitarian help to Ukrainians caught up in the conflict.
After exchanging messages on social media, it was decided that Antytila would add their own poignant verse, a message of hope, in Ukrainian.