Kelsie Kimberlin Releases Her New Music Video “We Are The Promise” To Focus On The Growing Authoritarian Threat

07.01.2024 - Kelsie Blog

Today, popular American-Ukrainian singer Kelsie Kimberlin released her epic song and video “We Are The Promise” about ordinary citizens opposing authoritarianism. The idea for the video began in 2017 when she finished a demo version of the song and sent it to the great Ukrainian composer and film director Sergiy Krutsenko in Kyiv. He immediately realized the power and significance of the song and wanted to give it a cinematic touch, so he wrote an orchestral score that the Kyiv Radio Symphony Orchestra performed. He then invited Kelsie to Ukraine to shoot the video as a full-length film at a former Soviet prison, centuries-old castle, and other iconic places.

The shoot, which lasted several weeks, was grueling, exhilarating, and historic in the sense that it provided a glimpse into past horrors of autocrats while warning of similar future horrors. The plot of the video is about a dystopian society where music is banned and musicians are executed for violating the “law of silence.” Kelsie plays the role of the musical protagonist who stands up to a dictator while his propaganda-zombified army constantly tries to stop her, but she always escapes at the last second.

The story is not only a metaphor for the actions of authoritarian regimes around the world, but also, in a sense, shines a light on dark events occurring in Russia, Afghanistan, Iran, and other dictatorial regimes. For example, after the complete invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Russia banned not only protests, but also any anti-war or anti-Kremlin manifestations in art, songs, and public and personal statements. Thousands of ordinary citizens have been arrested and imprisoned for violating these decrees. Russia not only targeted its artists but just recently issued criminal charges against one of the most popular singers in Ukraine, Jamala, because she used her music to sing about regaining freedom for her native Crimea. Anyone who manages to speak freely, against a sea of Russian fascist propaganda, is living in a metaphorical straitjacket. In the video, several scenes show Kelsie in a straitjacket as she is spun around and upside down while the dictator dances around in celebration.

This video is about people with a moral conscience who oppose autocrats who want to silence them no matter in what country. Ukrainian citizens made a moral choice to break free from the stranglehold of a dictator which resulted in a failed attempt by the dictator to destroy their entire country. Kelsie’s video is meant to inspire everyone across the globe who is similarly held down to rise up and fulfill their divine promise. While the lyrics of the song are meant as a war cry for Ukraine, and the chorus as a power anthem for the entire country, any color revolution, whether in Russia, Belarus, Iran, or elsewhere can sing to the heavens, “We are the Promise, We are the Glory, We are the Story.”

Initially, Kelsie created the video not just for the song, but as a pilot episode for a cable series. Unfortunately, COVID hit in 2020 before it could be finished, then the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine war began on February 24, 2022, and then her friend and mentor Sergiy Krutsenko suddenly died a year ago on January 6, 2023, while he was editing a video at his workplace. Therefore, his team in Ukraine finished the video and he is now looking down, happy with the final result. Kelsie’s team is now actively looking for a cable company that will fulfill Sergiy’s dream of creating a powerful series in which famous musicians will play episodic roles with Kelsie in the fight against fascism.

Kelsie has released the song and video for the anniversary of Sergiy’s death and she has dedicated the video to him and all people who are fighting for the victory of freedom and democracy, especially in Ukraine. Kelsie is also dedicating this to the famous Ukrainian actor, Oleksandr Zhukovin, who stars as the dictator in the video. Although he plays the bad guy, today he is serving in the Ukrainian Armed Forces fighting on the front lines in one of the most dangerous regions of Ukraine.

“We live in treacherous times with the rise of right-wing populism and the normalization of authoritarianism,” says Kelsie. “It is therefore very important that people around the world are aware of the threats to freedom and democracy from dictators who care only about power and control. All freedom-loving people must take individual and collective responsibility and oppose fascism in any form. My song and video are intended to inspire everyone to stand up for their rights in the face of these threats.”

“We Are The Promise” was released on all music platforms on January 8, 2024.

The Kelsie Kimberlin Foundation, www.KelsieKimberlinFoundation.org, is collecting donations to rebuild Ukraine, provide medical care and rehabilitation to war victims, and gain further support for Ukraine, including musicians such as Jamala who are targeted for using their music for the greater good. #JamalasVoiceOfFreedom.

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