On the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Brad Paisley has shared a new song, “Same Here,” which features a conversation between the country star and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The song isn’t explicitly about Ukraine or the ongoing war, but rather finds Paisley meditating on the similarities that link people around the world, despite ostensible cultural differences. Zelensky pops up in the final minute of the song, saying, “We speak different languages in our life, but I think we appreciate the same things — children, freedom, our flag, our soldiers, our people… There is no distance between our two countries in such values.”
In an interview with The Associated Press about the song, Paisley said, “There’s just no differences. You can put us in different places with different flags and different languages, but we have so many similarities.”
Paisley also noted Zelensky’s history as an actor and comedian, and said the president offered a few suggestions for the song. “I think he understands that art is how you reach the most people, especially in the heart,” Paisley said. “He can give as many speeches as he can give, but it’s a lot easier to hear something with a melody maybe.”
Paisley wrote “Same Here” with songwriter Lee Thomas Miller and Dawes frontman Taylor Goldsmith. The country star will donate his portion of the royalties from the song to United24, a crowdfunding effort that will help build housing for displaced Ukrainians whose homes have been destroyed.
“Same Here” is also the first song from Paisley’s next album, Son of the Mountains, which will be his first under a new agreement with Universal Music Group Nashville. “We do deal with stuff going on in the world,” Paisley said. “How do you sing about things that are truly big — a big deal right now — that also don’t feel like maybe they’re the type of thing that you would be singing about typically? And yeah, on this album I have kind of really dug deep and tried to say something.”