A Chinese installation artist and political dissident has collaborated with rock musician Zuoxiao Zuzhou on an album full of heavy metal and punk influences.
Ai Weiwei sings on his debut record which he also wrote the lyrics for. He said of its content: 'Some are like heavy metal, some are more punkish, and some are more pop.'
Weiwei explained that he developed an interest in music during his 81-day government detention in 2011, telling the Guardian: 'To tell you the truth, I never listened to music. Then, during my detention, the guards were so bored they kept saying to me, Can you sing a song? I felt so sad I couldnt sing any except the revolutionary ones we had to learn when we were growing up It would have made the time seem much shorter.'
He added: 'After I came out, I realised I had never really listened to music or sung, so I decided to make an album. I know so many artists and musicians and they were really supportive.'
The 55-year-old said the disc was being mixed, but he had no idea how to distribute it and would have to ask friend and supporter, Sir Elton, for advice.
The pop veteran dedicated a concert in Beijing to Ai last year, prompting authorities to harden their line on performances by foreign artists.
Ai said that Elton has been an inspiration.
"I was impressed by his very warm heart and passion and the expression of the music, so that gave me a clear push for making my own album. I will send it to him and ask his opinion. I haven't asked him for advice I will surprise him."
And he already has plans for a follow-up.
''Its more like love songs,' he remarked. 'It will be softer than the first. Theres no heavy metal on that one.''