• Monday, March 04, 2024

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Anuradha Juju on creating UN COP28 concert theme

The Indian-American singer says music has always been a powerful tool for social change.

Anuradha Juju

By: Mohnish Singh

Indian-American singer Anuradha Juju Palakurthi says music has always been a powerful tool for social change and with “Chal Phir Sajaayein”, the theme song for the upcoming UN COP 28 concert in Dubai, she is trying to draw the world’s attention towards the issue of climate change.

The musical event, named Resonance, will take place on December 6 in Dubai Opera, during the United Nations COP28 Climate Summit, scheduled to be held in UAE from November 30 – to December 12. It is hosted by the San Francisco-based non-profit BayEcotarium jointly with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

“While music is my profession, I’m in the privileged position of not having to rely on it for my livelihood. This freedom allows me to engage in what I love most without expecting financial returns.

“I consider myself doubly fortunate because my passion for music has historically been a powerful catalyst for social change. Music has a unique ability to move humanity, and I am grateful that I can imbue my passion with purpose, using it to address social issues,” Juju Palakurthi told PTI.

George Jacob, president and CEO of Bay Ecotarium, approached her company, Juju Productions, to craft the theme song for the UN COP 28 concert in Dubai. The track is penned by Neelesh Misra and composed by Ricky Kej. It was recorded with the 101-piece Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Abbey Road Studios, London.

Considering his long-standing work with the UN, Kej was an obvious choice as the composer, said the musician.

Palakurthi Juju said she wanted Misra to pen the song as the lyrics had to convey the “gravitas, immediacy and directness” while being “deeply rooted in the ancient Indian tradition of caring for nature.” “I collaborated with the brilliant Neelesh Misra to give form to my ideas. He is probably the finest modern-day Indian writer today. I am thrilled to share that Neelesh included a Sanskrit shloka from the Yajurveda in the song. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra recorded it at Abbey Road Studios in London, adding the international flair that was needed,” she added.

The climate concert will see live performances by multiple Grammy-winning artists, including founder and drummer of The Police band, Stewart Copeland, who will be performing multi-platinum hits in orchestral renditions (Police Deranged) with Dubai-based Firdaus all-female Orchestra.

The time for activism has passed and now the only action is important, is the message Palakurthi Juju said she would like to convey through the musical evening.

“I want people to feel hopeful that we can unite in times of crisis. Hundreds of millions of people, less fortunate than us, will be significantly affected by inaction. I hope the world’s leaders attending the concert take concrete action to ‘Restore Resonance’ (the song’s English title) to Earth,” she said.

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