Musician Ricky Kej talks about his upcoming album, ‘Divine Tides,’ in collaboration with Stewart Copeland
The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have seen people tapping into their latent talent; Ricky Kej used the time to set his creative ideas to music.
“When the pandemic kicked in, I got a break from a very intense touring schedule and was able to give shape to my ideas,” says Ricky, adding, “I sat in my home studio and started recording, honing my songs. I sent them to Stewart Copeland and he loved them.”
He admits that though his initial idea was to request Copeland’s collaboration on a couple of songs, it eventually extended to the whole album. “It felt far more complete to have him doing a proper collaboration of the whole album instead just handling a part of it.”
Rising to fame in the 1980s as the drummer for the rock band, The Police, Copeland is also a musician and composer whose repertoire includes music for operas, videogames, film soundtracks, ballets and more. Ricky first worked with Copeland in 2016, on a song for his album, Shanti Samsara.
Talking about their recent collaboration, Ricky says, “Stewart brought a lot to the table; for me it was a masterclass of sorts, a huge learning experience. Even though the compositions were initiated by me, he would make these really tiny suggestions that would make a huge difference to the music. His ideas of melody are unbelievably amazing — he took the compositions to a whole new level.”
Divine Tides includes nine songs and eight music videos featuring the diverse natural beauty found around the world. Though the complete album will be launched on all audio streaming platforms on July 21, 2021, each music video will see a staggered release starting from July 7 till September 28.
The album, which took about seven months to complete, features some of the most exquisite places on the planet.
‘Himalaya’ the first video from the album, released on July 7, was conceptualised by Ricky a while back. “In July 2019, I had the opportunity to perform in Leh-Ladakh for our armed forces on the occasion of Kargil Divas. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life — performing at an elevation of 12,000 feet for 10,000 of our soldiers, with mountains all around us!”
Ricky says many of the videos were built around footage shot by acquaintances from around the world. While ‘Art of Devotion’ featuring artisans from Swamimalai in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, who practise the 2000-year old technique of casting statues of deities from bronze, was shot by StudioA in Chennai, Spanish filmmaker Andrei Zaitcev and partner Vera Kuznetsova’s video about mankind’s relationship with Nature is seen in ‘Our Home.’