A new track by Will.I.Am had its “universal premiere” at 9pm BST yesterday (29 August) when it was broadcast from Mars, making it the first song to debut on another planet – listen to it above.
Titled ‘Reach For The Stars’, the track has a 40-piece orchestra, a childrens’ choir and questionable lyrics, including: “Why do they say the sky is the limit when I’ve seen the footprints on the moon?” it says. ‘’I know that Mars might be far, but baby it ain’t really that far.”
”I wanted to show human collaboration and have an orchestra there and something that would be timeless, and translated in different cultures, not have like a hip hop beat or a dance beat,” said Will.I.Am, following the song’s premiere at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “A lot of times … people in my field aren’t supposed to try to execute something classical, or orchestral, so I wanted to break that stigma.”
‘Reach For The Stars’ was broadcast from NASA’s Curiosity rover, which landed successfully on Mars earlier this month. Curiosity does not have any means of transmitting sound, however, meaning the song was not heard aloud on Mars (presuming no passing Martians happened to own a radio).
The project is a collaboration between the space organisation and the singer’s i.am.angel foundation, which aims to provide learning resources for young children in need. The former Black Eyed Peas man yesterday Tweeted pictures of himself with NASA astronauts and issued a shout out to Neil Armstrong, who died on 25 August. Will.I.Am wrote: “He was the first and original moonwalker…he reached for the stars…”
Meanwhile, the people of Twitter were worried that NASA’s actions were tantamount to an intergalactic declaration of war. “It’s like we’re ASKING for intelligent life to vaporize us,” wrote one user Hisham Wyne. “Luckily, the Rover has yet to uncover any trace of life on Mars. Parodist Katie Weasel said: “Listening to a Will.I.Am song on Mars must be like being at a Matt Cardle concert… no people there and very little atmosphere.”
It could have all been very different. In 1999, Blur composed a nine-note song to be broadcast from British probe Beagle 2 on landing on Mars in 2003. Sadly, the mission failed. NASA beamed ‘Across the Universe’ by The Beatles into space on February 4, 2008.
Will.I.Am recently announced he is to return to the spinning judging chair on the second series of BBC’s The Voice. He’s also recording his debut solo album with guests including Justin Bieber and Britney Spears.