In conversation with Imogen Heap
Meet the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, Twitter-star and recent collaborator on acclaimed musical television series The Dewarists.
Minds Without Fear has been doing really well in India. How do you prepare for a project like The Dewarists, where everything is open-ended? How did the collaboration with Vishal Dadlani come about, considering the music he puts out is so different from your own?
I met Vishal in Singapore and instantly liked him. That is Number One for me with any collaboration. I wanted to come to India to write some music, but didn't want to go with the usual suspects like A R Rahman, who is massively famous all over the world. I like the idea that, each time I do a collaboration, it's a real random card. If I were to work with people who were similar, it wouldn't push me creatively.
We had just four days to write and record this song, and I was nervous. What I think we ended up with is a total mesh of our work that shows give and take. He came with the idea of a poem by Tagore. It worked very well because, on my flight over, I was watching something about the 'arrow of time': the phenomenon of how entropy increases as time continues and things fall apart, disassemble and become smaller parts. I loved that and it connected with his idea wonderfully. There was no argument, it just felt right.
What are you currently listening to?
I don't listen to music, strangely. I never listen to my own music unless I'm mixing it. When I have time I like listening to what's around me. When someone's around the house, I tend to put on an album called Solo Piano by this guy called Gonzales. If I'm DJing, I like things like Dizzy Rascal, John Hopkins (one of my favourite artists) and people who exist in many worlds like Ryuichi Sakamoto, who can exist in classical contemporary as well as J-pop. I have a lot of friends who make music and I've met them along the way and listen to their work because it reminds me of friendship and touring.