Dhani Harrison

Dhani Harrison

Harrison performing in Seattle, Washington on 9 November 2010
Background information
Birth name Dhani Harrison
Also known as Ayrton Wilbury
Born (1978-08-01) 1 August 1978
Windsor, Berkshire, England
Genres Alternative rock
Occupation(s) Musician, singer-songwriter, author
Instruments Guitar, vocals, bass, piano, synthesizer, drums, mandolin, ukulele, sitar
Years active 2001–present
Labels Dark Horse/EMI/HOT Records
Associated acts George Harrison
Traveling Wilburys
Fistful of Mercy

Dhani Harrison [d̪ʱ əni] (born 1 August 1978) is a British multi-instrumentalist musician and singer-songwriter who is the only child of George Harrison and Olivia Harrison. Harrison debuted as a professional musician assisting in recording his father's final album, Brainwashed, and completing it with the assistance of Jeff Lynne after his father's death in November 2001.[1] Harrison formed his own band, thenewno2, in 2006.

Harrison is named after the 6th and 7th notes of the Indian music scale, dha and ni. Dhani is also a raga in north Indian classical music. His first name is usually pronounced in English as "Danny."

Early life

Harrison grew up with his parents in Henley-on-Thames, in Friar Park, the estate on which his father had lived since 1970. His mother, Olivia Harrison, is Mexican. One of Harrison's earliest memories, from the age of six, is receiving a drumming lesson from his father's friend and bandmate, "Uncle" Ringo Starr. He recalled that before the lesson, he had been an avid drummer. However, when Starr began to play, the loud noise frightened him so much that he ran out of the room screaming and never used his drum kit again.[2]

Harrison attended Badgemore Primary school in Henley-on-Thames, then Dolphin School near Twyford, a Montessori method school. He later attended Shiplake College, also near Henley, where he showed a keen interest in rowing.

Harrison is an alumnus of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, United States, where he studied visual arts, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree. After graduating in 2001, Harrison pursued a career as an aerodynamicist before deciding to follow in his father's footsteps as a professional musician.[3]

Musical career

After his father's death in 2001, Harrison, in collaboration with Jeff Lynne, completed his father's final album, Brainwashed, which was released in 2002.[4] Harrison participated in the Concert for George on the first anniversary of his father's death. The concert was organized by Eric Clapton and featured some of his father's friends and collaborators, including former Beatles bandmates Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr as well as Clapton, Billy Preston, Ravi Shankar, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Jim Keltner, and Joe Brown. Harrison played backup acoustic guitar for most of the concert. Before the finale, McCartney relayed to the audience, "Olivia said that with Dhani up on stage, it looks like George stayed young and we all got old", referencing the physical similarities between father and son.[5]

In 2004 Harrison appeared onstage with Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne, Prince and others for a performance of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" during his father's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In March 2006, Harrison made a guest appearance on Liam Lynch's Podcast Video Variety Show, Lynchland.[6] They performed a duet that will appear on a Lynch album. He collaborated with Jakob Dylan on the John Lennon song "Gimme Some Truth" for the Lennon tribute album Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur, which was released on 12 June 2007.[7] Dhani is credited on two unreleased Traveling Wilburys tracks under the pseudonym Ayrton Wilbury, a tribute to Ayrton Senna.[8]

In April 2006, it was announced that Harrison's band, thenewno2, had begun recording. The band released a music video, "Choose What You're Watching", on its website. thenewno2 features Harrison on lead guitar, synthesiser and vocals and Oli Hecks on drums and synths. He also contributed to the 2007 EP by Heather Porcaro and the Heartstring Symphony, Rooney's 2007 CD Calling the World. He was involved in a re-working of the Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" entitled "The Heart Gently Weeps", which was the first single on the Wu-Tang Clan's album, 8 Diagrams, released in December 2007.

Thenewno2's debut album, You Are Here, was released online on 11 August 2008 and in stores on 31 March 2009.[9] The song "Yomp" was featured as a downloadable song for the Rock Band series, and "Crazy Tuesday" was featured as one of the 20 free songs that were downloadable with the purchase of Rock Band 2.

On 14 April 2009, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce posthumously awarded George Harrison a star on the Walk of Fame. After Olivia Harrison gave a short speech about her late husband, Dhani Harrison uttered the "Hare Krishna" mantra.[10]

In August 2010, Dhani Harrison, Ben Harper and Joseph Arthur joined together to form Fistful of Mercy.[11]

In 2014 Harrison participated in The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles.

With the announcement of Eric Clapton's studio album I Still Do on 18 February 2016, it was reported by the press that George Harrison might posthumously appear on the album, since "Angelo Mysterioso", Harrison's former pseudonym was credited with the album.[12] When Clapton confirmed Harrison would not be part of the album, the press speculated Dhani Harrison might appear playing and singing on the album. However, this was not confirmed.[13]

Film composing

In between working on albums, Harrison along with Paul Hicks (musician) began their film composing partnership scoring the 2013 film Beautiful Creatures.[14] In 2014 they scored the film Learning to Drive.[15] as well as the TV series The Divide.[16] They are currently scoring the WGN TV series Outsiders (TV series).[17]

Personal life

Harrison married long-time girlfriend Solveig 'Sola' Karadottir in June 2012. Sola's father is Kári Stefánsson, co-founder of deCODE Genetics.[18]

Video games

Harrison collaborated in the development of The Beatles: Rock Band, a music video game released on 9 September 2009 on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii gaming platforms. He was instrumental in the creation of the game and urged McCartney and Starr to participate. When asked about the game production Dhani stated, "I took the project to Apple and sort of convinced everybody to have a presentation. My job description is... being enthusiastic. We've been working on it for the past two years. This is the first one that is going to be totally, historically accurate. It's been a real headache, but it's been the most enjoyable work I've done in my life."[19]

To promote the game's release, he appeared on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien on 8 September 2009 and at the end of the show they played "Birthday" with Dhani on drums, Conan O'Brien on bass, and Aaron Bleyaert and Mark Pender on guitar.

Harrison told the Chicago Tribune in an interview that he is "working on Rock Band 3 and making the controllers more real so people can actually learn how to play music while playing the game".[20]


  1. Hodgkinson, Will (8 May 2003). "A Family Affair". Culture/Music news section. The Guardian. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  2. Ringo Starr/Dhani Harrison (18 November 2003). Concert for George (DVD). Los Angeles, California, USA: Rhino Records.
  3. Cable, Simon (15 June 2011). "Here comes the son: Dhani Harrison is dead-ringer for his father at Beatles show". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  4. New George Harrison Tracks Previewed Online
  5. Simon Briggs (2 December 2002). "Celebrating the quiet Beatle". Telegraph.
  6. Lynchland Episode 03
  7. Amnesty International USA Artists Unite in Donating Tracks to Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur, to be Released by Warner Bros. Records June 12 Retrieved on 2009-03-07.
  8. Rowan, Terry (23 March 2015). Penny Laine's Anthology. lulu.com. p. 121. ISBN 1105582302. Retrieved 8 December 2015. Dhani is also credited on two unreleased Travelling Wilburys tracks under the pseudonym 'Ayrton Wilbury', a tribute to Ayrton Senna.
  9. Gary Graff (13 March 2009). "Beatle progeny Dhani Harrison a reluctant musician". Reuters.
  10. Solvej, Schou. "Beatle George Harrison gets Hollywood star – The Daily Breeze". Associated Press. Retrieved 2009-04-18.
  11. Sellers, Ben (25 August 2010). "Meet Fistful of Mercy". fredricksburg.com. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
  12. Bonner, Michael (19 February 2016). "George Harrison to appear on Eric Clapton's new album – Uncut". Uncut Magazine. Time, Inc. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  13. Marinucci, Steve (20 February 2016). "Update: Eric Clapton posts that George Harrison does not appear on his new album". Examiner Entertainment. AXS Network.
  14. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/dhani-harrison-scoring-beautiful-creatures-421934
  15. http://filmmusicreporter.com/2014/07/24/learning-to-drive-to-feature-music-by-dhani-harrison-paul-hicks/
  16. http://www.mikeragogna.com/dhani-harrison-others-score-divide/
  17. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4816626/fullcredits?ref_=tt_cl_sm#cast /
  18. "Dhani Harrison to Wed Iceland deCODE Chief's Daughter". icelandreview.com. 2 January 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  19. Gary Graff (11 March 2009). "Dhani Harrison Talks New Band, Beatles Video Game". Billboard.
  20. Greg Kot (6 November 2009). "The ever-changing Thenewno2". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 6 November 2009.

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