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On the Right Track | Hero by Frank Ocean, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Diplo

Kartik posted on 17th July

By Kartik Mahajan

Akshay Johar has been out and about on the Delhi music scene for a while now. If going out and catching gigs in the city is your thing, there is no doubt that you have seen him live in at least one of his avatars, or with one of the bands he plays for. Based out of both Delhi and Dubai, he produces electronic music as Mojojojo {you remember the track we featured in this section by Mojojojo a few months ago?} and plays the bass with bands like Gravy Train, Barefaced Liar and Prateek Kuhad. A Nokia ambassador, he loves beer, is a moustache enthusiast, and has been making music for about a decade. Akshay Johar’s telling us about this very very cool track that caught my attention a few weeks ago.

“Usually, when I think of super collaborations in this day and age, I think of the impunity enjoyed by big record label gimmicks to drive sales. A poorly constructed, shell of a creative product, laid against a ridiculously cheesy music video with either a Pitbull and/or a Shakira ad-libbing to an over produced track about partying in some form or the other.

When I came across this track, I approached it with the same lazy cynicism that I had learned and cultivated over the years. It had the same credentials; two artists from the legendary punk band, ‘The Clash’, a breakaway R&B genius, and an omni-directional electronic music producer, all coming together for a cross-generational, trans-generic track for the commercial giant, Converse. I hesitantly hit play and to my surprise, it was nothing like anything I expected.

The soulful track features lead vocals from Frank Ocean, slinky, garage-rock guitar riffs by the Clash, and delectable electronic embellishments by Diplo.

‘Hero’ starts off with a minimal and evasive intro, with Ocean singing some very personal lyrics about the causes of his distress, over a string section and a hip-hop groove, before The Clash starts dishing out the distortion into the chorus. Here’s where Diplo’s production prowess really shines, as he’s added a cherubic children’s choir to uplift the song exponentially and create this genre-melting, stellar piece of art!”

Write in and tell us what you think about the track. In my opinion, it is a perfect tune for a rainy afternoon, when you had to cancel lunch plans and were forced to make coffee and a sandwich, and then proceed to stare out the window and romance the rain…

Find Akshay on Facebook here. Listen to his work on Soundcloud here.