Earthy thoughts

Songs from every stream Ricky Kej works with artistes of different kind  

Grammy award winner Ricky Kej believes in ‘Being the change you want to see in this world’. The line continues to inspire his musical compositions, as he creates music with a message. Honoured with UNCCD Land Ambassador, UNESCO MGIEP Global Ambassador for Kindness, UNICEF Celebrity Supporter, Earth Day Network Ambassador, Ricky Kej is indeed an unusual musician. He uses powerful visual imagery and lyrics to drive home his point.

This is however not the case in his recent release ‘Dekha Hain’ sung by Hariharan, with powerful lyrics by Avinash Chebbi. The music is off-beat, haunting with dark undertones that suitably convey Ricky’s concern about misuse of earth’s resources. The song opens with images of beautiful nature; then come disturbing images of industrial excesses, plastic waste, stacks of frozen meats followed by images of pleading animals. The lyrics ask: “Hai kya sahi aur kya galat”. The refrain is upbeat: “Hain kahin aisa ek jahaan, ae hawa mujhe le chal wahan”. Musician Hariharan in a social media post acknowledges it as “a very meaningful new track.” The chorus, however, is confusing, since it is in an African dialect. In Ricky’s words, ‘Dekha Hain’ is a song that shows our relationship with nature. We need to protect and conserve nature for our own survival. The individual choices we make within our own lives will have a long-lasting effect on us, and the future of our species. We cannot wait for governments, politicians and organisations to make a difference. We must, as a society, believe that we can change the world if we just bring about small incremental changes within our own lives.”

Songs from every stream Ricky Kej works with artistes of different kind

Songs from every stream Ricky Kej works with artistes of different kind  

Ricky’s second release this week, ‘The Sun Rises In Your Eyes’, has a completely different feel to it — sung by Grammy award-winner, the NY-based Lonny Park, and Washington-based hip hop rapper Konshens (born Gabriel Spence) with inputs by Bangalore-based percussionist Arun Kumar. With the recitation of percussion ‘bols’ (konnakol) running through the entire track, Ricky explains “the song is so unlike me, but I had so much fun creating it. Konshens filmed his parts at the Capitol Hill, the morning after the siege, after Joe Biden was confirmed as the 46th President of the USA. Lonnie filmed his parts in the snow of upstate New York, Arun Kumar filmed his parts in the semi-urban streets of Bangalore.”

Such different collaborations have always been Ricky’s niche. He says: “I prefer dealing with different musicians as I not only get a great performance, but also get his/her life experiences, training and creativity. I give total freedom to the musicians, as I don’t want to be limited by my imagination and creativity. Different collaborations prove to me how music unites.”

The Delhi-based author writes on Hindustani music and musicians.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2021 5:36:06 PM |

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