- 28 Feb 22
Ukraine's Ministry of Digital Transformation and online music outlet Slukh are also supporting the appeal to Apple Music and Spotify.
Renowned world-music quartet DakhaBrakha are among the Ukrainian musicians who are calling on music streaming services to alter what's been described as their "no politics in music" stance – and allow artists to change the cover art on their albums and singles to messages protesting against the "propaganda of the aggressor state" of Russia.
The appeal has also been supported by the Ministry of Digital Transformation in Ukraine, and the online music outlet Slukh.
DakhaBrakha, who hail from Kyiv, have a wide international fanbase, having played on both KEXP and NPR's Tiny Desk Concert series – with the performance videos clocking up millions of views. They've also garnered millions of streams on Spotify.
In a statement shared on their Instagram account today, the quartet appealed to "the leaders of Apple Music and Spotify" in both English and Ukrainian.
"On February 24, the Russian Federation attacked Ukraine," they wrote. "Civilians are suffering, civils' homes, hospitals and orphanages are being destroyed. The Russian people do not have access to truthful information. The propaganda of the aggressor state turned out to be so strong that ordinary people in Russia still do not believe or refuse to believe what is happening.
"We, Ukrainian artists, want to change the covers of our albums and tracks to convey this information to our listeners from Russia and around the world," they continued. "But this is not possible now, because streaming platforms hold a 'no politics in music' position... Music can no longer be out of politics.
"The world in which music is out of politics is over," they concluded. "Please allow us to tell the truth and stop the bloodshed. We want everyone who cares to spread our message."
Slukh have also shared screenshots of a letter sent to Apple CEO Tim Cook, signed by Slukh's editor-in-chief Maksym Serdiuk, as well as DakhaBrakha, and fellow musicians Max Barskih and Ivan Dorn, among others.
"We want to convey to all listeners from Russian information about what is really happening," the letter reads. "The only way to stop the bloodshed is to help the people of Russia hear the truth. Only the Russian people and their solidarity can influence the end of the war.
"In order to show the truth about the situation in Ukraine, we ask for permission to put this picture (or similar ones) instead of album covers of Ukrainian musicians and artists."
The letter also asks Cook to "block Apple Music accounts of Russian artists who support the war and Putin's aggressive actions..."
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