Ukrainian artist Nastia gave a candid keynote interview at this year's International Music Summit in Ibiza about Russia's war on Ukraine.
Speaking with Billboard's Katie Bain, Nastia shared how the war is directly affecting her and her family. "The first days of the invasion I had to pack up and leave in order to keep working and feed my daughter," she said. "The rest of my family remained in Ukraine."
Currently on tour, Nastia has pledged to donate 50% of her fees to various charities in Ukraine, though she's been faced with criticism for continuing to perform during the war. “I think the problem is that people think that DJing is about having fun and partying and not seen as a real profession," she said. "I'm a serious artist doing my job professionally."
Nastia, who's also making a documentary about the war, urged other Ukrainian artists to continue to work if possible. "If you're a Ukrainian DJ the best thing you can do is to keep going, pay taxes in Ukraine and support the economy, spread the message."
She's been making use of her large platform on Instagram by posting frequently about the war in Ukraine since Russia invaded the country on 24th February. "I've tried to turn my social media feed into a news channel for what's happening in Ukraine. I'm not afraid of losing followers. I don't care. I'm doing it because this is reality, this is my life."
Nastia also hasn't held back what she thinks prominent Russian artists should be doing with their own platforms. "It would be great if more Russian artists would clarify their position on what is happening. This isn't about bringing politics into music. It's not about politics: it's about humanity," she said. "Silence is a tolerance to the war. This is the worst thing that you can do."
Nastia was based in Kyiv until the start of the war. She's since settled in Amsterdam for a year, although she doesn't feel as relieved as she hoped. "I thought I would be happy to finally have a 'new home' and stop wandering from place to place," she wrote on Instagram. "But to my own surprise, only pain and overwhelming sadness responded inside me, because my home is in Ukraine and it cannot be replaced." Ahead of IMS Ibiza, she posted that she's "dreaming to move back to quiet, peaceful Kyiv."
Photo credit: David Holderbach