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Music helped me through tough times: Brett Lee

When Brett Lee isn’t in India playing cricket, he’s here’s for some reason or the other. He’s on billboards, on television, you name it. He now wants to empower underprivileged kids in India through melody, is gearing up to release an album next year with his band...

entertainment Updated: Sep 14, 2011 15:32 IST
Nikhil Hemrajani

When Brett Lee isn’t in India playing cricket, he’s here’s for some reason or the other. He’s on billboards, on television, you name it. Last year, Lee and his band White Shoe Theory performed at a gig in Andheri. And a couple of weeks ago, he was at Dharavi empowering street children through music. We attempt to find out what makes the ace bowler’s mind tick.

You seem to be very popular in India, be it for commercials and acting to gigs…
I have been to India over 50 times in the last 18 years of my career and I share a special bond with the country. I just love the place, its people, culture and colour. I love coming back here, and now, even more so for my foundation, Mewsic, and my commitment towards the VH1’s Spread the Music campaign.

Brett LeeWhat prompted you to start the Mewsic foundation and its consequent initiative?

I am passionate about music and I love kids. With a young son of my own, I see firsthand the powerful way that music enhances life. I started my foundation to support underprivileged kids in India, who do not have the opportunity to play, experience or learn music. Through music, we will help them overcome life’s challenges and reach their full potential. The campaign also urges the rest of India to get involved and spread the music by donating money, time, or old musical instruments.

How do you manage to jumble cricket and music simultaneously?
I love cricket, but music is my passion. Like any other pastime or hobby, music helps me unwind after a day’s work and brings another dimension to my life beyond cricket. People know me as a cricketer, but there is so much more to Brett Lee. Music has helped me through some tough times and I hope that through my foundation and the campaign, we are able to heal, educate and empower children.

What’s it like playing in a band (Six And Out) comprising only of other sportsmen?
We rarely get together, mostly only for charity events, as the boys are now busy with family and work, and I’m away much of the year playing cricket. However, I always take my guitar on tour and I love nothing better than chilling out with a few of the boys, strumming a few songs and having a good sing along. It’s a great way to cool down and takes away any thoughts of the day’s play.

Any plans to release a new album?
At the launch of Spread the Music, I got together with a 100 kids who came to one of our music centres in Dharavi to write and record a song. With the help of MusoMagic from Australia, we wrote the lyrics and melody, choreographed and recorded the song all in one day. We have an ongoing partnership with MusoMagic, which specialises in holding empowering song writing workshops with groups of disadvantaged kids. One day, we do hope to launch an album featuring all the songs we have written with kids across India.

Q. Lastly, what happened to your other band, White Shoe Theory?
A. White Shoe Theory is very much a part of my music life and we are currently writing an album and hope to release it in 2012. It’s been a busy cricket year so we haven’t had a chance to tour again in India, but we hope to do so in 2012, along with the release of the album.