A month before Russia invaded Ukraine, producer 8Kays performed at the Kharkiv Philharmonic, in Kharkiv, Ukraine. While the regal space is typically reserved for symphonic performances, on that day — Jan. 24, 2022 — the elegant hall was filled with the Ukrainian artist’s booming progressive house.
No one involved in the production could have predicted how different circumstances would be in Kharkiv and the country at large exactly a month later. Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, and by May, Russian forces were gathered around Kharkiv, the country’s second largest city, located 19 miles south of the Russian border.
Now, the set filmed that day is being used to raise money for the war effort, with 8Kays and the event’s organizers, TIME:CODE, releasing the performance to raise awareness of Stellar Ukraine, a nonprofit raising money for supplies including body armor, drones, medicine and food. On its website, Stellar Ukraine says it’s delivered humanitarian aid to 40,000 people daily during the war. Information about how to donate is available here.
Born Iryna Shvydka, 8Kays hails from the Ukrainian capitol Kyiv, and has released music on labels including Anjunabeats and Booka Shade’s Blaufiield Music and Renaissance Records. She’s also performed at global festivals and events including Tomorrowland, Untold and Burning Man.
Based in Serbia, TIME:CODE has produced electronic vents and unique locations around the country including various towers, palaces and monuments. “It’s been a while since we shared new videos and experiences with all of you,” the TIME:CODE team says in a statement about the 8Kays set. “We wanted to share this video regardless of the current state of the world to remind everyone that art is the universal language that bridges all empty spaces and brings people together … We are honored to bring this small piece of the beautiful Kharkiv onto our platform in order to resurrect art, humanity, and history.”
Watch 8Kays performance below: