Brad Paisley Releases New Song “Same Here” Featuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Brad Paisley Volodymyr Zelenskyy country music Ukraine
Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

Been quite awhile since we’ve gotten new music from Brad Paisley.

The early-2000s superstar hasn’t released a full-length album since Love and War in 2017, and hasn’t even really had a hit single since “Today” back in 2016.

Brad had some amazing songs back in the day: He was one of the biggest names in country music (and one of my favorites) back in the late ’90s all the way through 2011 or so.

Of course Brad has always been known for his humorous songs, with hits like “I’m Going to Miss Her (The Fishing Song)” and “Alcohol” propelling his early career.

But somewhere along the way Brad started leaning more and more into these corny, novelty songs and lost his stranglehold on the country charts – and sort of became irrelevant, other than his yearly appearances on the awards shows and at Nashville’s yearly Fourth of July or New Years concerts.

(And of course who can forget “Accidental Racist,” his spectacular attempt to address racism in a duet with LL Cool J that turned out to be accidentally racist itself and seemed to kick off his descent?)

Well earlier this week Brad announced he has a new record deal with Universal Music Group Nashville imprint EMI Records Nashville. It’s a move that reunites Brad with UMG Nashville CEO Mike Dungan and President Cindy Mabe, who both worked with Brad during his early success at Arista Records.

So naturally, that led to the thought: Could Brad shake the cheesy perception that he’s built over the last decade or so and recapture some of that magic that he had back in the earlier days of his career with songs like “Mud on the Tires,” “Letter to Me,” “She’s Everything” and one of my personal favorites, “We Danced?”

Well, we may have our answer from Brad’s first single which features…Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

So much for not going the cheesy route, I guess…

According to Brad, the new single, “Same Here,” is about recognizing the similarities in values between people of different cultures all across the world:

“There’s just no differences. You can put us in different places with different flags and different languages, but we have so many similarities.”

Released on the one year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and co-written by Brad along with Lee Thomas Miller and Taylor Goldsmith, the song doesn’t specifically mention the war in Ukraine but features a conversation between the West Virginia native and the Ukrainian president, recorded during a video call, talking about Ukrainians’ desire for freedom:

“We speak different languages in our life, yes, but I think we appreciate the same things: Children, freedom, our flag, our soldiers, our people, the biggest treasure we have, and friends. And we’re proud of our army who defends our freedom and will defend our lives.”

Along with the song, Brad is also a celebrity ambassador for Ukraine’s United24 fundraising campaign, and all of the royalties from the song will be donated to help build housing for Ukrainians who have been displaced by the ongoing war with Russia.

“‘Same Here’ with President Zelenskyy is one of the pieces of this album that represents so much a part of my journey from West Virginia to now. One of the prevailing themes on this album is freedom.

That’s something I truly believe in, and think is our most precious gift as Americans. The song is grounded in observing life in the United States, then to people from other countries who speak different languages and to one across the ocean that’s at war. We start to realize how similar we all are.

That’s one of the things the President says in the song, ‘There is no distance between our two countries in such values.’ They are longing for what we as Americans have already. It’s heartbreaking watching this struggle in modern time for freedom and democracy and the ability to just simply be who they want to be in peace.

And this song is something that I hope resonates not only with my fans and people in America, but people anywhere that feel a similar desire to be free and safe and happy. Because I really do believe that as human beings when you take away the banners that determine what country we all live in, we all want the same things.”

Honestly, from pretty much anybody else in country music, a song like this would feel like pandering and just trying to get some quick hits. But from a guy like Brad, this is kinda just par for the course lately.

And let’s be honest: It’s sure to get more attention than pretty much anything he’s released in the last few years… but that’s kind of the point of virtue signaling, right? To get attention.

I’m sure he’ll get to perform it at the White House on the 4th of July this year, maybe even the Oscars next month…

It seems like Brad’s going to keep trying to making statements with his music rather than going back to the kind of songs that had him at the top of the charts when he was at the peak of his career.

From “Mud On The Tires” to a Ukrainian war propaganda song? Oh, how the mighty have fallen…

I’ll give him some credit though, at least this one’s a hell of a lot better than “Accidental Racist.”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock