The creative duo of two-time Grammy-winning album Divine Tides—Stewart Copeland and Grammy-winning Indian musician/composer Ricky Kej—announce their latest world music collaboration, Police Beyond Borders. Furthering their mission to feature leading talent from around the world, the album, recorded in Bangalore, is a reinterpretation of the seminal 80s band’s classic songs with diverse interpretations and artist representation from South Africa, India, Japan, China, Canada, the U.K., and more.
Copeland and Kej have enlisted top international artists, including South Africa’s Grammy-winning Soweto Gospel Choir; China’s “Father Of Rock” Cui Jian; U.S.-based Berklee Indian Ensemble; Japanese Grammy-winner for Best Global Music Album, Masa Takumi; South Africa’s acclaimed Mzansi Youth Choir; leading Indian composer/singer Shankar Mahadevan; renowned British classical trumpeter Alison Balsom; multi-award winning Canadian flutist Ron Korb; legendary Bollywood composers and brother duo Salim-Sulaiman, hammered dulcimer virtuoso Max ZT; and multi-instrumentalist Serj Tankian of metal band System of a Down.
Of the recording Stewart Copeland said, “It was Ricky Kej who suggested that we make a global album out of the Police derangements. It was a lightbulb moment. Of course! The Police was always a global band; we toured all over it and Sting wrote songs about the bigger picture of humanity.
The idea of hearing the songs in exotic languages was immediately inspiring and Ricky set about finding the magnificent talents on this record. As with all of the musicians and singers on this record, we exhorted them to step beyond, to take the songs into new places. They sure did do that!
The Police’ music essentially derives from Black culture, and it was particularly spine-tingling to hear that culture arriving back in Africa. Every Breath You Take in Zulu! All the flavors of the different languages lit up these tunes that are so familiar. I hope that familiarity will give a comfortable vantage point for anyone to experience music styles that might otherwise sound alien.
Music evolved in Homo sapiens as a bonding social skill. My humble hope is that this record can contribute to that human bonding on this shrinking planet.”
“It was a huge honor to collaborate with my musical idol Stewart Copeland yet again. After having won 2 Grammy awards with Stewart, Police Beyond Borders is now the biggest, most epic album I have ever been a part of. It is a truly global album featuring musicians, voices and languages from across the world. These are songs that I have grown up listening to, songs that have shaped my music career.. so during the making of this album I paid a lot of respect to its legacy. I am certain our listeners will enjoy these legendary songs in a way they would have never imagined, and realize that music is the most universal language,” said Ricky Kej.
POLICE BEYOND BORDERS TRACKLIST
- King of Pain (feat. Berklee Indian Ensemble)
- Roxanne (feat. Mzansi Youth Choir)
- Message in a Bottle (feat. Salim-Sulaiman, Masa Takumi)
- Tea in the Sahara (Cui Jian)
- Don’t Stand So Close To Me (Soweto Gospel Choir, Ron Korb)
- Every Little Thing She Does is Magic (feat. Berklee Indian Ensemble)
- Can’t Stand Losing You (Mzansi Youth Choir, Max ZT)
- Murder By Numbers (Alison Balsom, Shankar Mahadevan, Max ZT)
- Demolition Man (featuring Serj Tankian)
- Every Breath You Take (Soweto Gospel Choir)
The recently released Police Deranged for Orchestra (Shelter/BMG) is Copeland’s exploration of the Police’s popular tracks through a new orchestral lens and was inspired by his forays into expansive musical forms and instrumentation. It features performances by locally-based symphony orchestras with a core, six-member band/vocal ensemble. Copeland has now toured with sold-out dates across the U.S. and Europe, and will continue with additional U.S. dates this fall. See updated information at www.stewartcopeland.net/716/events-and-tours
Stewart Copeland has spent more than three decades at the forefront of contemporary music, as a rock star and acclaimed film composer, and across the worlds of opera, ballet, chamber, and world music. Recruiting Sting and Andy Summers in 1977, Copeland is renowned as the founder of The Police, a band that became a defining force in rock music from the 80s to the present day. His career includes the sale of more than 60 million records worldwide and numerous awards, including seven Grammy awards—most recently a 2023 Grammy for Best Immersive Audio Album and a 2022 Best New Age award for Divine Tides, a collaboration with Indian musician Ricky Kej.
He has composed dozens of film and tv scores, including Francis Coppola’s Rumblefish, Oliver Stone’s Wall St. and Talk Radio, Simpatico, The Pallbearer, Boys, Earth Girls are Easy, Silent Fall, Highlander II—The Quickening, The Equalizer, Dead Like Me, and Boys and Girls, among many others. In 2007 Copeland was honored as the Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts in Paris and will be on the Jury at the Cannes International Series Festival, Canneseries, in France this April 2023.
Copeland’s operatic works include two based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe—The Cask of Amontillado and The Tell-Tale Heart; The Invention of Morel, a surreal 2017 chamber opera which premiered at Chicago Opera Theatre; Electric Saint, a 2021 Weimar DNT premiere; Satan’s Fall—an oratorio based on Milton’s Paradise Lost, which was performed across the U.S. in 2021 with UK and European performances still to come; and The Witches Seed, his new collaboration with creative partner and Pretenders lead singer/songwriter Chrissie Hynde.
STEWART COPELAND ON TOUR: POLICE DERANGED FOR ORCHESTRA
September 30: Omaha, Nebraska, US – Holland Center
October 5: Denver, Colorado, US – Boettcher Concert Hall
October 8: Detroit, Michigan, US – Orchestra Hall
October 19: Carmel, Indiana, US – The Palladium – Center for the Performing Arts
October 21: Erie, Pennsylvania, US – Warner Theatre
October 22: Erie, Pennsylvania, US – Warner Theatre
This year also brings the October release of Stewart Copeland’s Police Diaries, published by Rocket 88 Books and available in three editions. The book is based on and includes Copeland’s personal pocket diary entries from 1976-79. With scans of original pages and Copeland’s new background commentary, its pages are illustrated with classic and previously unseen photos from the early “starving years” of a band poised for global success. More information on Stewart Copeland’s Police Diaries can be found here, and read more here in the meantime at Rolling Stone. “It’s full of my original diary pages, hand-made poster designs, ragged accounts, callow observations and other scribblings of a proto-rock star, illuminated by hitherto unseen vintage photos from the deepest vaults,” Copeland told SPIN earlier this year. “It’s a big, noisy book about one heckuva ride.”
Concurrent with his early work with The Police, Copeland developed a solo recording alter-ego, Klark Kent, releasing singles and a self-titled 1980 album on which he played all the instruments, – even vocals. The cult album was re-released on April 14th (Record Store Day) on BMG. Klark Kent was credited with inspiring Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters) among many others.
ABOUT STEWART COPELAND