U2 teams with AR Rahman for ‘Ahimsa’

New track is released ahead of band’s first-ever India performance

To mark U2’s first ever visit to India, Island/Interscope Records has announced the release of a new track titled “Ahimsa” from U2 and legendary Indian composer, singer-songwriter, music producer, musician, multi-instrumentalist and philanthropist A.R. Rahman. The track is available to stream on all digital platforms.

“Ahimsa” – the Sanskrit word for non-violence – celebrates the spiritual diversity of India and connects the ethos of U2 with the mastery of A.R. Rahman. The collaboration comes less than one month ahead of U2’s first ever show in India with the arrival of The Joshua Tree Tour in Mumbai on December 15th.

“Ahimsa requires courage and strength,” Rahman shares. “A quality that is impervious to weapons or power. It’s a mission which is most needed to heal the modern world and it is incredible timing to collaborate with U2, with their amazing legacy, to revive this movement.”

“It has been an absolute joy to work with A.R. on this track,” states U2 guitarist The Edge. “A superstar and a talent both towering and generous, we are especially excited to visit his homeland in just a few weeks. India has been on our bucket list for a very long time, the principles of ahimsa or non-violence have served as an important pillar of what our band stands for since we first came together to play music. We can’t wait to experience the culture of India first hand, a place that brings together the modern and the ancient all at once.”

“The fight against injustice has always been so important to us,” shares U2 frontman Bono. “We were somewhat shaped and formed by Martin Luther King who was a student of Mahatma Gandhi. Martin Luther King said ‘The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends towards justice….’. I don’t believe that any more… It doesn’t bend towards justice, it has to be bent towards justice. We have to be actively involved in our democracy to preserve it and show people how we feel and what we care about… We come as students to the source of inspiration… That is ahimsa… non-violence… India gave this to us… the greatest gift to the world… It is more powerful than nuclear energy, the armies, the navies, the British Empire. It is power itself. And it’s never been more important.”

2019 will also see the release of four highlights from U2’s extensive catalogue of songs, remixed by local Indian artists, coming soon on all streaming platforms.

The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 is a celebration of the original album and tour of the same name undertaken by U2 in 1987 reflecting the group’s fascination for the American landscape, its people, literature and myths. Dutch photographer and film-maker, and long term collaborator, Anton Corbijn, whose iconic photography accompanied the original recording has again visited Death Valley and Zabriskie Point – and other locations – to produce a new series of haunting and evocative films which feature in brilliant 8k resolution on a 200 x 45 ft cinematic screen behind the group in live performance.

The Joshua Tree Tour 2019 features the complete Joshua Tree album played in sequence, as well as a selection of highlights from U2’s extensive catalogue of songs. The 2019 tour will also see select songs and striking visuals from U2’s recent indoor arena tours – iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE (2015) and eXPERIENCE +iNNOCENCE (2018) – go outdoors and direct to fans in New Zealand, Australia and Asia for the first time via the largest LED screen ever used in a touring show. The Joshua Tree Tour 2019 will bring U2 to Singapore, Seoul, Manila and Mumbai – for the first time ever – with what promises to be very special concerts from “the biggest band in the world” (The Guardian).

By the time it reaches Mumbai on December 15th, The Joshua Tree Tour will have played to almost three million fans in just 66 shows across Europe, North & South America, Mexico, New Zealand and Asia.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.