Check Out U2’s New Song, ‘Ahimsa’
U2 will give their first-ever performance in India next month. In commemoration of the event, they've teamed up with composer A.R. Rahman for a one-off song called "Ahimsa." Stream it below.
The title is taken from the Sanskrit word for non-violence, according to a news release, and Bono says it's an extension of the band's philosophy.
"We were somewhat shaped and formed by Martin Luther King who was a student of Mahatma Gandhi," Bono notes. "Martin Luther King said, 'The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends towards justice.' I don't believe that anymore. … 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.”
Rahman added that "ahimsa requires courage and strength, 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.”
The composer has become celebrated in world music circles for his updating of traditional Indian music with modern instruments and arrangements. Rahman composed the music to 2009's Slumdog Millionaire, which won him Academy Awards for best original score and best original song ("Jai Ho"). U2 guitarist the Edge called working with Rahman "an absolute joy," saying he is "a superstar and a talent both towering and generous. We are especially excited to visit his homeland in just a few weeks."
The Edge added: "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.”