December 6th, 2019, Mumbai // Four popular Indian artists — Lost Stories, OX7GEN, Karsh Kale and Amaal Mallik — are honouring one of the greatest bands in the world today with a unique spin on their favourite U2 tracks. In their own signature styles, the artists bring a modern dance floor vibe and Indian touch to U2 classics: ‘Love Is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way,’ ‘You’re The Best Thing About Me,’ ‘Pride,’ and ‘Beautiful Day.’ The reprises and remixes follow last month’s release of ‘Ahimsa’ — a new track from U2 and legendary composer A.R. Rahman — and are part of a continued initiative from JioSaavn to celebrate the band’s first show in India. U2’s “The Joshua Tree Tour” will wrap up in Mumbai on December 15th.
‘Beautiful Day’ Amaal Mallik Hindi Reprise
Finally, Amaal Mallik, one of India’s most famed composers and film directors, has created the first-ever Hindi version of U2’s smash hit ‘Beautiful Day.’
Mallik says: “U2, happens to be one of the world’s most celebrated bands of all time, and they have influenced my own music and playlists growing up. In fact, when I was in college, I won a singing competition with a U2 song. When I was presented with the opportunity to reimagine ‘Beautiful Day’, I knew I would need to go above and beyond. Having them listen to my music or even be aware of it, still sounds like a teenager’s pipe dream! A collaboration with someone as legendary and celebrated as U2 is a humbling experience for me, and I only take this as an opportunity to learn & strive harder at what I do. This one is personal and very special to me. I hope that translates to the listeners of my version of ‘Beautiful Day.’’
‘Love Is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way’ Lost Stories Remix
Hailing from Mumbai, Rishab Joshi and Prayag Mehta of Lost Stories are India’s biggest exports to Electronic Dance Music. The electronic dance duo chose ‘Love Is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way’ to receive their feel-good big room EDM treatment.
Lost Stories says: “We grew up listening to U2 as has our entire generation. To have been presented with this opportunity by JioSaavn to officially remix any U2 track is a feat like no other and a dream come true. To recreate a song that is already so beautifully composed, and has the markings of all things iconic, is an uphill task. But we stuck by our signature Lost Stories style and lent the track an Indian sound that complimented the exemplary U2 sound. One could say that this remix is a trademark style of Lost Stories, and we are thankful to JioSaavn for trusting us with this project.”
‘You’re The Best Thing About Me’ OX7GEN Remix
Also from Bombay is drummer Aditya Ashok who, as OX7GEN, translates his passion for the beat into the electronic genre of drum & bass. His treatment of the upbeat 2017 U2 single, ‘You’re The Best Thing About Me,’ is impossible not to dance to.
OX7GEN says: “U2’s music has had a massive influence on me during my formative years as a musician and picking up the drums. Being able to listen to and work with Bono, The Edge, Adam & Larry’s individual vocal & instrument layers was a surreal experience. ‘You’re The Best Thing About Me’ had some great sections to work with, so I tried to retain the original energy of the track, but still steer it in a direction that’s closer to the OX7GEN sound. Massive shout out to JioSaavn and all the people behind it for trusting me with this. It’s been nothing short of a dream come true for the 14-year-old me who used to stay up all night rinsing U2’s discography!”
‘Pride’ Karsh Kale 100 Voices Mix
One of the world’s brightest music stars and a true pioneer of progressive world music and electronic fusion, Karsh Kale chose to recreate U2 classic, ‘Pride.’ Kale’s version weaves U2’s famous vocals against the backdrop of his signature genre-bending mix of electronica, Indian classical, and jazz. In a nod to the band’s connection with ‘ahimsa,’ Sanskrit for nonviolence, Kale sampled female vocals in the third verse, changing the lyrics from “Early morning, April four” to “Early morning, 30 Jan“, the date Mahatma Gandhi died.
Kale says: “I remember the first time I saw the world premiere of the video for ‘Pride’ in 1984 on MTV. I was instantly taken by the spirit of the song and that spirit has stayed with me to this day. It was an honour to get a chance to reinterpret this revolutionary song for one of the greatest bands in the world.”
All four of the reimagined U2 songs were developed by JioSaavn’s A&R team, with a continued focus to pioneer cultural collaborations, and as a leader in elevating emerging artists to the global playing field.
Hiba Irshad, Director of A&R at JioSaavn says: “Given that U2 has chosen Mumbai as their final stop of The Joshua Tree World Tour, we wanted to pay homage to such a legendary, universally loved band by integrating India’s most celebrated talent into some of U2’s best songs. We specifically chose Lost Stories, Karsh Kale, OX7GEN and Amaal Mallik, because they have all, in some way, redefined South Asian music across genres. We entrusted them to reimagine these iconic songs in their own unique ways. These records are beautiful and will bring U2 to an even larger audience in India and globally.”