Late INXS Singer Michael Hutchence's Unreleased Song 'Friction' Featured in New Dance Remix: Exclusive Premiere
Michael Hutchence has been gone for nearly 18 years now, but he's not forgotten. Astrella, daughter of Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Donovan, is doing her part to keep the late INXS frontman's legacy alive.
As part of her ongoing Musical T's fashion line, Astrella designed a new Hutchence shirt, which will be out Sept. 1: In fact, fans are voting on them via a new PledgeMusic pre-order campaign. The lure is "Friction," a song Hutchence and producer Danny Saber were working on for a solo album at the time of the Australian singer's Nov. 27, 1997 suicide in Sydney, Australia. The previously unreleased track is being offered to those buying the shirt in advance along with two remixes, one by 3 Jays' Jeff Patterson and another by EMF DJ Milfredo Seven, which Billboard is premiering exclusively below.
"I've always been a big fan of Michael Hutchence," Astrella tells Billboard, "and I've known Danny (Saber) for a long time. (Hutchence's) tragedy was so crazy and so sad. He was such a sweet guy. So I wanted to honor his legacy and his history and all he accomplished and revive that piece of him." Saber brought "Friction" to Astrella's attention, telling her the Michael Hutchence Trust was "looking to do something a bit unique, a bit different, and we just happened to be doing something a little unique and a little different with (Musical T's). It seemed like it made sense. I think Michael would like the organic and eco approach we take, certainly."
Milfredo was clear that Hutchence's essence had to come through in the song. "I wanted his passion to stand out in the mix, too, which is not always easy in a club track. Michael was a cool guy with a huge, influential persona and undoubtedly had a massive influence on a lot of people`s lives. I wanted it to be contemporary, too, as he was such an innovator, not imitator back in the day," says Milfredo. "I asked myself over and over again, 'Vocal loud enough? Is it gonna stand out in a club? How will it sound on radio?,' then just thought, 'Fuck it. Does it sound great or not?' This tune had to represent him as a person."
Astrella will officially launch the Hutchence T-shirt and "Friction" at a release party on Aug. 19 in Las Vegas; the event will include a fashion show, art exhibit and all-star concert for which Saber will serve as musical director and is currently assembling an all-star band. (Pre-orders and voting for the T-shirt are available here.)
Astrella has also signed a new deal for Musical T's in Bloomingdale's, which will carry shirts featuring Queen, The Who and Elton John starting in August. Astrella is working on some other Musical T lines for future production, including a southern California theme (Sublime, the Vandals), jazz icons and even a line inspired by the "27 club," including Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse and others.