Ricky Kej, internationally-recognised music composer, best known for his Grammy award winning music performances, is back with a new album, which is an ode to earth. He recently joined NewsX for an exclusive conversation as part of NewsX India A-List series. In the exclusive interview, he spoke to us about his new album named divine tides, idea behind it, his collaborations, theme of his song and much more.
Talking about his lockdown schedule, he said, “Yes, I have spent most of my lockdown in the studio recording new music because in 2019, I did over seventy concerts in 13 countries. So, it’s been a huge for me to actually sit down in the same place for almost 16 months, but I have used that time very productively, doing a couple of online concerts and recording this new album.”
When asked for his comments on his collaboration with Stewart Copeland, Ricky shared, “Stewart has been an idol of mine. Everybody knows him as being the drummer and the band founder of the band ‘The Police’, he sold 75 million copies all over the world, won 5 Grammys but very few people know that he has actually composed music for Oscar winning Hollywood movies like ‘Wall Street’ which is one of my all-time favourite movies. Also, he writes for orchestras, being a drummer, writing for orchestras and operas that are pretty amazing. In 2016 I had a brief collaboration with him where I collaborated with him on one song but we did not get to interact much, I just sent him the music, he recorded on it and he sent it back to me. During the lockdown while I was creating him particular album, I musted up the courage to actually ask him collaborate on the whole album and I sent him the music, he loved it and then he decided to go ahead and collaborate. So, it wasn’t difficult collaborating or being on two different continents because I have been doing that a lot but, in this case, it is a little more difficult because he of time zones, so I had to change my sleep timings completely just to sync with him to interact more.”
When asked about the significance and idea behind ‘Divine Tides’ along with his experience, he expressed, “You may know the only kind of music I make right now is about the environment and sustainability and this is an extension of that. This album is basically a tribute to magnificence of the natural world, the current situation, to resilience of the human species and to show how strong we are together in diversity. This is the basic underline theme of this album.” He added, “Album is releasing on 21st of July. The window into the releasing of whole album would be released on 7th of July. So, we are really excited about this release. We have 8 music videos, shot all around the world.”
Speaking about the challenges he faced along the way, he shared, “I started this album as a follow-up to my Grammy winning album in 2015, i.e., ‘Winds of Samsara’. I have been for 5-6 years collecting a lot of thoughts and ideas but never recorded them because of intense travelling and touring schedules and concerts. Pandemic itself was an opportunity to sit down and concentrate on this album, work with Stewart Copeland for 7-8 months to record and finalise it with the music videos.” Adding more on the way of launch he announced “We are not going to have a physical launch to keep things safe but virtual launch is as powerful as it has advantage that world is your playground and you can get many people to come. However, disadvantage is not able to talk face to face.”
On a concluding note, Ricky shared his future plans and said, “There will definitely be another collaboration because we’ve gotten to know each other so well and developed a beautiful younger brother relationship. When I listen to this album, I’m just so in love with it simply because my idol is on it and Stewart Copland is one of the greatest drummers. However for this album, it presented a new opportunity for him because it’s Indian fusion music and he loves playing around with these percussion instruments. So, I am going to spend all my time for couple of moths only promoting this album as we have worked so hard on this and it deserves to be heard as much as possible.”
“The album cover showcases the human nature and we are just one species. It shows a face which is gender neutral formed by parts of various animal species. Devine has got a very wide meaning but tides is about the cyclical nature of humans and about the only constant of our planet is changed,” he further added.