“We are stronger together in diversity”: music composer Ricky Kej
Ricky Kej, internationally renowned music composer best known for his Grammy Award-winning musical performances, is back with a new album, which is an ode to the land. He recently joined NewsX for an exclusive conversation as part of the NewsX India A-List series. In the exclusive interview, he told us about his new album named Divine Tides, the idea behind it, his collaborations, the theme of his song and much more.
Speaking about his lockdown schedule, he said, âYes, I spent most of my lockdown in the studio recording new music because in 2019 I did over seventy shows in 13 countries. So, it was huge for me to sit in one place for almost 16 months, but I used that time very productively, doing a few gigs online and recording this new album.
When asked for his comments on working with Stewart Copeland, Ricky said, âStewart has been one of my idols. Everyone knows him as the drummer and founder of ‘The Police’, he has sold 75 million copies worldwide, won 5 Grammys but very few people know he actually composed music for Oscar winning Hollywood movies like ‘Wall Street’ which is one of my all time favorite movies. In addition, he writes for orchestras, being a drummer, writing for orchestras and quite incredible operas. In 2016 I had a brief collaboration with him where I collaborated with him on a song but we didn’t have a chance to interact a lot, I just sent him the music, he recorded on it and he sent it back to me. During the lockdown while I was creating his particular album, I had to find the courage to ask him to collaborate on the whole album and I sent him the music, he loved it and then he decided to ‘move forward and collaborate. So, it wasn’t difficult to collaborate or to be on two different continents because I do that a lot but, in this case, it’s a little more difficult because it has time zones, so I have had to completely change my sleep schedules just to sync with it to interact more.
Asked about the meaning and idea behind ‘Divine Tides’ as well as his experience, he said: âYou might know that the only type of music I do right now is about the environment and sustainability and it is an extension of that. This album is essentially a tribute to the magnificence of the natural world, to the current situation, to the resilience of the human species and to show how strong we are together in diversity. This is the basic theme of this album. He added: “The album comes out on the 21stst July. The full album release window would come out on the 7the July. We are therefore very excited about this release. We have 8 clips, shot all over the world.
Speaking of the challenges he faced along the way, he shared, âI started this album as a follow-up to my Grammy-winning album in 2015, which is ‘Winds of Samsara’. . I have been collecting a lot of thoughts and ideas for 5-6 years, but never recorded them due to the intense schedules of travel, tours and concerts. The pandemic itself was a chance to sit down and focus on this album, working with Stewart Copeland for 7-8 months to record it and finalize it with the clips. Adding more on the way to launch, he announced, âWe’re not going to have a physical launch to keep things safe, but virtual launch is as powerful as it has the advantage that the world is your home ground. game and you can bring in lots of people. However, the disadvantage is not being able to speak face to face.
In closing, Ricky shared his future plans and said, âThere will definitely be another collaboration because we got to know each other so well and developed a great relationship with a younger brother. When I listen to this album I’m so in love just because my idol is on it and Stewart Copland is one of the greatest drummers. However for this album it presented him with a new opportunity as it is Indian fusion music and he loves to play with these percussion instruments. So I’m going to spend all my time for a few months promoting this album because we’ve worked so hard on it and it deserves to be heard as much as possible.
âThe album cover showcases human nature and we are one species. It shows a gender neutral face formed by parts of various animal species. Devine has a very broad meaning, but the tides are about the cyclical nature of humans and the only constant on our planet is changed, âhe added.