Mick Jagger has teamed up with Eurythmics founder Dave Stewart, soul singer Joss Stone, Academy Award winning composer and global superstar A.R.Rahman and reggae star Damian “Jr Gong” Marley to form a cooperative project called SuperHeavy.
This diverse and eclectic line up who share eleven Grammy Awards between them, have been recording together in various studios around the world, with the majority of the tracks on the project laid down over three weeks in Los Angeles earlier this year. Their self titled debut album will be unveiled in September and tracks include the first single 'Miracle Worker', plus ‘One Day One Night’, ‘Energy’, ‘Unbelievable,’ ‘SuperHeavy,’ I Can’t Take It No More,’ ‘You’re Never Gonna Change' and 'I Don’t Mind.'
It’s little wonder that Stewart refers to SuperHeavy as, "A mad alchemist type experiment". Fusing the talents of one of the greatest front-men of all time, a two time Academy award winning Indian composer, a soul vocal prodigy, a three time Grammy winning reggae star, and one of the most sought after producers in the world, you would expect the explosive results to defy categorisation.
SuperHeavy came together after Jagger and Stewart considered what a band comprising of musicians from different genres would sound like. Jagger explains, “Dave really wanted to make a record with a different group of musicians, in other words, with different backgrounds of music. Instead of everyone being a rock musician, or basically a blues musician, or some other genre, he wanted to get as many genres together that would fit. I said it sounds like a good idea, I never thought it would actually happen.”
Yet soon enough Jagger found himself back in the studio with Stewart and Joss Stone, having previously worked together on the 2004 Alfie movie soundtrack. Stewart says Stone was, “an obvious choice for us. She’s such an incredible singer and spirit.” Stewart and Jagger’s dream team took further shape when they were inspired to bring Damian “Jr Gong” Marley into the mix, says Stewart, “We’d always wanted a Jamaican musician because Mick and I are crazy about Jamaica and Jamaican music.” Stewart has worked with legend Jimmy Cliff while Mick has duetted with Peter Tosh from the Wailers on the Tempatations tune “Don’t Look Back” in 1978.
“We were listening to loads of stuff and suddenly a light bulb went off and we thought about Damian “Jr Gong” Marley.” Jagger had long been a fan of Marley’s, fresh from another cross-genre collaboration with American rapper Nas, citing his strength as a lyricist and toaster along with his penchant for experimentation and collaborative spirit. Marley brought on board his rhythm section, bassist and composer Shiah Coore and drummer Courtney Diedrick, while Stewart introduced the band to his long-term collaborator Ann Marie Calhoun, a rock violinist who had previously worked with the Foo Fighters.
Recording in LA meant the band’s path crossed with legendary Indian composer A.R. Rahman, in the City of Angels fresh from his Slumdog Millionaire Oscar glory. Jagger explains, “We didn’t know what kind of music we’d make, we didn’t know if it would be any good, but we hoped we’d have fun.” They were thrilled to have Rahman on board, Stewart says, “He brings so much musical knowledge, amazing musicianship, melody and singing power from a different culture.”