In 2009, British musician Dave Stewart joined hands with The Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, singer-actor Joss Stone, Bob Marley’s son Damian and AR Rahman to form the supergroup, SuperHeavy. Two years on, the end result of this celebrated collaboration is their eponymous album, which hits store shelves today. That Rahman has played a key role in the band was evident in the fact that their second single was a Sanskrit song, titled, Satyameva Jayate…
And now, Stewart throws more light on Rahman’s influence on the group, saying, “We all know some Hindi phrases, now because of Rahman. He and I were actually supposed to work on a movie called Paani, directed by Shekhar Kapoor, and that was when I first met him. The idea came about eight years ago, and the film is still in pre-production. So if any other opportunity to sing in a Bollywood movie comes my way, I’ll definitely give it a thought,” reveals Dave.
The band’s debut album also features a song, Superheavy… which has an Indian feel and rhythm to it. “SuperHeavy takes a whole turn and starts going into orchestration that’s almost Indian. It’s unbelievable how Damian got a good rhythm to the song. Mick sings Shakespearian lyrics in the chorus. I brought in reggae and core changes in the chorus, and it goes right down to a kind of Indian poetry.”
Adds Stewart, “In the song, I have played the acoustic guitar and Rahman has added this heavy duty drum beat. It’s turned out to be a strange amalgamation of sounds, like a rock track with Jamaican-Indian beats underneath."
The album also features a bonus track titled, Mahiya which is an affectionate Hindi term. “Mahiya… was Rahman’s idea, and Joss has come up with brilliant complex harmonies in the song,” he says. “In the album, we have taken an element of what each member was doing, played with it and re-modelled it. The best part is we formed a band despite the difficulties of arranging meetings. At one time, I remember tricking everybody to get onto a boat.”