- A video of a Ukrainian musician turned soldier and South African David Scott has over 8.2 million views on YouTube and Facebook.
- The first payment of royalties earned on the video, and paid downloads, of over R160,000 was paid to Ukraine's government this week.
- The song is a remix of a folk song used in a previous war. It is aimed at uplifting and comforting Ukraine during the war.
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A folk song sung during Ukraine's fight for independence in 1918 has been remixed by South African YouTuber David Scott, also known as The Kiffness. "All royalties of this remix will go to humanitarian aid towards Ukraine's armed forces," read the credits in Scott's video.
On 8 March, the YouTuber deposited the first payment of R169,245.00 to the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine. To date Scott says they have managed to raise R215,000 just from YouTube, Facebook, with its biggest contributor being track purchases on Bandcamp.
"The nice thing about Bandcamp is that people can pay whatever amount they want for the track, and it's been amazing to see some people paying over $100 for the track," he said.
The video brought in over $7,000 (a little over R100,000) in royalties from Facebook, Bandcamp, and YouTube on its first day after release.
"Every time you see an advert on a Facebook or YouTube video, 50% of the money that the advertiser paid for that ad is given to the creator," said the musician, who dubbed himself as "Kyviness" in his video.
YouTube and Facebook, he adds, will pay creators between R10,000 and R30,000 per million views. On streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music you are looking at approximately R30,000 for a million streams.
The video shows Scott and Andriy Khlyvnyuk, the frontman for Ukrainian band Boombox (who left his music tour of the US to defend his country) singing 'Oy u luzi chervona kalyna'.
The collaboration came about because of The Kiffness' global fan base, says Scott; since the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine he has received a number of video suggestions from Ukrainian fans.
"The video with Andriy stood out to me, and so we reached out to his management, and they kindly allowed me to remix the video. We all agreed that we would send all the money to Ukrainian Aid," said the YouTuber.
On YouTube the video has 1.5 million views and on Facebook over 6.7 million. Besides Bandcamp, the track can be downloaded on Amazon, iTunes, and Spotify. Sales reports from these streaming platforms were not yet available this week.
It took Scott two sleepless nights to compile the remix. He had already decided to post a different video on 4 March, but uploaded this remix instead.
"It was important [to do the remix], because I feel for the people of Ukraine, and I felt that the song could not only help financially, but also in raising their spirits," he said.
This video does not mark the first video The Kiffness has made for Ukraine. Just last week the musician posted a remix with a quote from G.K Chesterton with the hashtag #PrayForUkraine.