Composer-singer Aadesh Srivastava on his collaborations with Akon and Wyclef Jean for a new music album
In 2006, when the versatile music-composer Aadesh Shrivastava was performing in Los Angeles with Haitian rapper Wyclef Jean, he had a chance meeting with singer Akon. That brief interaction was enough to set the ball rolling for a mutual bond over music, that has developed over time. “Since then we have been looking for chances to collaborate in a song,” recalls Shrivastava, who has finally recorded a four-and-a half minute track with the Senegalese R and B star titled, Let’s come together as one for the world.
The soulful track is part of Shrivastava’s 10-track album, Sound of Peace (Universal Music), out early next year. Comprising a fusion of western beats that lend it a soulful and melodious touch, the track has lyrics in English and Hindi. “After several unsuccessful attempts at looking for the right opportunity to record with Akon, it was the Mumbai attacks in 2008 that galvanised our efforts. That event encouraged us to collaborate for an album that reflected our solidarity against global violence and rally the citizens to pray for peace,” explains Shrivastava, who recorded the track with Akon last year. The lyrics, Be together, Be One, why destroy such a beautiful world, Humanity come together, also have a liberal sprinkling of the recent Hindi catch phrase ‘jaago re’, urging people to wake up from inaction and join hands for peace. Shrivastava’s elder son Avitesh has also rapped with Akon on the track. “We needed a younger feel to the track. So Avitesh’s lines are about the youth’s outlook towards violence,” he adds.
The video for the track was shot during Akon’s recent visit to India, a few weeks ago, at Filmistan studios in Mumbai. The other artists on the fusion album include Wyclef Jean, Indian classical-musician Rashid Khan, French-Canadian singer Pamela from Akon’s Hitlab (a collective that promotes young talent) and a lesser-known Marathi artiste.
Shrivastava, who has in the past performed with Jean on several occasions, has sung a four-minute up-tempo duet, Let’s Hope for Sunshine, with the artiste. Incidentally, the Indian singer-composer has also recorded an Indo-Western classical track with the London Philharmonic Orchestra earlier this year, at the famous Abbey Road studios in London (where The Beatles recorded). With the album in its final leg, the producers are planning three remixes for Let’s come together.