Rapper Oxxxymiron’s recent Russians Against War (RAW) charity show raised more than £50,000.
The concert, which took place at London’s O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Thursday (March 24) of last week, was a “reminder of the power of music”, according to Mike Malek, the Russian rapper’s agent.
Funds raised were donated to efforts supporting Ukrainian refugees impacted by Russia’s February 24 invasion of their country. The show followed the news that Oxxxymiron had cancelled six sold-out shows in Moscow in protest of the war.
“I know that most people in Russia are against this war, and I am confident that the more people would talk about their real attitude to it, the faster we can stop this horror,” he said in a statement to The New York Times.
Oxxxymiron, who is also known as Miron Fyodorov, continued: “I cannot entertain you when Russian missiles are falling on Ukraine—when residents of Kyiv are forced to hide in basements and in the metro, while people are dying.”
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Organisers live-streamed the concert, which happened to be the rapper’s first London show in six years, via Twitch, YouTube and Instagram.
“Nights like last Thursday are an incredible reminder of the strength of music and how it brings people together for the greater good,” James Ponnusamy, the show’s promoter, told MusicWeek.
Ponnusamy added: “Thank you to ticket holders and the Livestream audience who helped raise awareness and show their generosity and support. All donations received will help those in Ukraine impacted by the War.”
Malak also said it was vital to both him and promoters “to put this show on and unify people against war and allow an incredible artist to use his platform. It is times like these that remind me why I and many of us got into music and the power it holds.”
He added: “To see so many people of different ages and backgrounds come together and raise an incredible amount of money for an important cause makes it all worth it. Combining the live experience with livestreaming meant we could not only raise money but also awareness that this is a war nobody wants to see nor supports.”
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Fyodorov also held a live-streamed charity event in Istanbul on March 15. At one point, during the event he paused the performance to make a plea to those Russian people who are in favour of the action being taken by President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine.
“It seems to me – rather, I’m sure – that the people who are for this war are in fact against this war,” Oxxxymiron began. “They just believe that this is really a special operation to bomb military facilities. In fact, this special peacekeeping operation does not exist. It is a war.”
He continued: “Unfortunately, this illusion is one that our parents believe in. It it very important to talk to them because they’re probably not bloodthirsty people but they watch too much television.”
Oxxxymiron went on to say that he “really wants to appeal to those who don’t agree with me”, adding: “I want to ask you to consider the possibility of alternative viewpoints in your brain.
The likes of Arcade Fire, Patti Smith and Franz Ferdinand have performed at Ukraine fundraiser shows recently. Elsewhere, The Cure launched a new charity band t-shirt as Massive Attack confirmed plans to sell off special artwork to raise funds.
You can donate here to the Red Cross to help those impacted by the conflict, or via a number of other ways through Choose Love.