Julian Assange: From free speech guru to rapper
The WikiLeaks founder joins the ranks of the unlikely recording stars
Sunday 16 June 2013
First Julian Assange got together with the Ecuadorean diplomatic corps to avoid the long arm of the Swedish law. Now, having got the taste for going Latin, he's embarking on a venture with a Puerto Rican alternative hip-hop band. It's called Calle 13, and Mr Assange, who made his name in another branch of the download business, will help write a track for the band's next album.
Three days ago, reportedly, the WikiLeaks founder was visited by one of the band's members, one Rene Perez Joglar (alias "Residente") for an ideas session which was broadcast over Twitter. A further bout of versifying will follow, with possible input from the public. Residente, something of an activist himself, has said he and Mr Assange will be "offering a first verse as a guide to build on, with public response".
This Wednesday, Mr Assange will pass the first anniversary of being holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in an effort to avoid extradition to Sweden where he is under investigation for alleged sex offences. He believes the claims are a ruse so he can eventually be sent to the US for trial over the leaking of formerly secret US cables. The authorities deny this.
Mr Assange will not be the first person to branch unexpectedly into the music business. Detention has also served as suitable inspiration for the Chinese contemporary artist, Ai Weiwei. He has announced the release of his new heavy metal song "Dumbass" from his forthcoming album Divine Comedy, which apparently helped him come to terms with his 81-day sentence.
It's all part of a worrying trend of people who shouldn't be making music doing exactly that – as in the case of the socialite Nicky Haslam, whose Midnight Matinée album might charitably be considered a good accompaniment to an envelope-opening party, and that of the American film director David Lynch who next month, perhaps seeing more of a future in the blues than Blue Velvet, releases a second CD, entitled The Big Dream.
We all know about the travesties inflicted on our ears by Naomi Campbell and Paris Hilton, who at least had the showbiz savvy for promotional duties.
So what will the heavily trailed interest in music announced by models Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne sound like? If they ever invent a chart for the most ill-advised adventures in front of a mic, there will be considerable jostling for the top spot.
- 4 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
- 5 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Who should I vote for in the general election? Take The Independent's interactive quiz to find out which party is the right choice for you
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
US gameshow gives woman in wheelchair incredibly awkward prize
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...