John Ondrasik Records Music Video Supporting Ukraine

John Ondrasik performs as Five For Fighting, and his outspoken conservatism is well-known here at RedState. Recently, he recorded an amazing music video.

There have been many videos that featured planes and/or apocalyptic images. However, in this, the imagery was real, as Ondrasik played “Can One Man Save the World,” his tribute to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, along with the Ukrainian Orchestra in front of the damaged hulk of the Mryia, the world’s largest cargo plane which was targeted by Russian forces in the early stages of the Russia-Ukrainian war. Between gigs I had the opportunity to speak with Ondrasik about the video as well as his observations in Ukraine.

Where, when, and how did you get the idea for the orchestrated version?

After initially releasing “Can One Man Save the World?” in the early days of the war, I was orchestrating string parts for an upcoming string quartet tour. It was a dream of mine to sing the song in Poland with an orchestra, to honor their bravery in taking on 4,000,000 refugees. The idea was suggested to me by one of my Save Our Allies Partners. Save Our Allies, a non-profit organisation, was started by Chad Robichaux an American soldier who had served in Afghanistan for eight tours. He asked his translator for advice after the Taliban took over the country. It has helped to rescue approximately 12,000 Afghanis and now is active in the relief effort for Ukraine. She called me back a few days later and said, “How would you like to play the song with a Ukrainian orchestra in Ukraine?” I was stunned. Did an orchestra even exist? After a series of minor miracles, a few weeks later I found myself in Kyiv preparing to film the song with the orchestra in front of the Mryia, the symbol of Ukrainian independence, that Putin cynically destroyed at the war’s outset.

Are you worried about traveling to Kyiv for the video shoot?

You are welcome. After a lengthy conversation with my spouse and children, I was able to release them. My Save Our Allies team, led by Nick Palmisciano with Hollywood Heard and five other incredible operators of cameras must also be acknowledged.

Is the piano or vocal track the same as in the original?

It was impossible to make a new recording because we only had 6 hours together and I was already flying in Krakow after my last tour.

Have you had the opportunity to meet any members of an orchestra? Did you have the opportunity to meet any orchestra members?

Yes. I did speak to them through a translator. It was not for a music video but to highlight the strength and resilience of the Ukrainian people and to plead for support for Ukraine during this conflict. Although almost none spoke English, I felt that we shared a musical brotherhood and sisterhood. It was a lot of hugs and handshakes. Elana, Elana’s translator, was emotional since her brother was at war for 11 days and had not been in touch. Nearly every person I encountered in Ukraine shared a similar story. It was heartbreaking.

There’s increasing antagonism in some sections of conservatism (*coughmattwalshcough*) about supporting Ukraine. What did your view change after you traveled there?

Yes, we must be vigilant in ensuring that American funds go to the correct places. On the train from Washington, I was with several American congressmen, such as Dan Crenshaw and Brian Fitzpatrick, who focused their attention on this issue. My partners, Save Our Allies also is a great example of logistical expertise in getting humanitarian aid “the last mile.” For those who believe we should not engage in Ukraine I would ask them the following. It is possible that Putin will take over Ukraine. How many times has appeasement failed? I don’t want to see our American soldiers dying in a much larger conflict. I believe it is in American’s national interest to stop Putin’s ambition now. Furthermore, gifting Ukraine and Putin to Putin would accelerate the Taiwan domino.

The continuation of the previous. Based on firsthand experiences, what advice would you give to those opposed to assisting Ukraine?

I believe I fully understand your concerns. There is corruption in all conflicts of this nature, and we need to do all we can to not waste the taxpayer’s money. However, I believe that allowing Putin’s atrocities to go on would lead to more escalations which could result in a loss of freedom and liberty for generations. For my conservative friends I’d ask them, what would Reagan do?

Are there any people you have met that asked you to perform your hit songs for them?

(laughs) No, but I pray that I can return to Kyiv and play “Can One Man Save the World” again with the incredible Ukrainian Orchestra when they win this war. Thanks to everyone who shared this video and the song. All profits go to Save Our Allies, who lead humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan and Ukraine. It’s Time to Make History Now

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