31 May, 2016 - NME.com
Robert De Niro has teamed up with folktronica artist Woodkid and composer Nils Frahm to make his debut album.
‘Ellis’ is a concept album with an accompanying short film about Ellis Island, the former immigration centre in New York which was the first place immigrants to the USA encountered when journeying to North America.
The film and album tell the story of an immigrant, played by De Niro, arriving in the US in the first half of the 20th century.
The second side of the mini-album features De Niro’s narration over Woodkid and Frahm’s strings and harmonium in what is described as “an encomium for those who shaped America”.
Proceeds from ‘Ellis’, which is released on July 8, go to refugee charity Sea Watch. It’s previewed on July 2 with a screening at London’s Barbican as part of Nils Frahm’s Weekender at the venue.
Ellis is directed by JR, the Banksy-style French street artist whose identity remains unknown. Arcade Fire previewed a new song when Win Butler and Regine Chassagne played at the opening of JR’s new exhibition at Paris’ Louvre gallery last week (May 25).
The album is released on Erased Tapes, the label of A Winged Victory For The Sullen, Olafur Arnalds and Peter Broderick.
In February, De Niro made his debut as a musical director with the adaptation in New Jersey of his 1993 film ‘A Bronx Tale’.