Dhani Harrison (born 1 August 1978) is an English musician and the son of Olivia Trinidad Arias and George Harrison of The Beatles. Harrison debuted as a professional musician when completing his father's final album Brainwashed after George Harrison's death in November 2001. Harrison formed his own band, thenewno2, in 2006.
Harrison's first name is pronounced similarly to the name Danny but with an aspirated 'd.' He is named after two notes of the Indian music scale, 'dha' and 'ni.' Harrison's name traditionally is pronounced, "Dhaa-Knee."
Harrison's mother is Olivia Trinidad Arias. He grew up with his parents in Henley-on-Thames, in Friar Park, the estate on which George Harrison had lived since 1970.
One of Harrison's earliest memories, from the age of six, is receiving a drumming lesson from his father's friend and band mate, "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 terribly that he ran out of the room screaming and never used his drum kit again.
Like his father, Dhani Harrison showed a keen interest in Formula One auto racing. He accompanied George to Grand Prix races around the world.
Harrison attended Badgemore Primary school in Henley-on-Thames, then Dolphin School near Twyford, a Montessori school. He later attended Shiplake College, also near Henley, where he showed a keen interest in rowing. Harrison is an alumnus of Brown University, where he studied physics and industrial design.
After graduating from university, Harrison pursued a career as an aerodynamicist. However, this career turned out not to suit him as well as he had hoped, and he is following in his father's footsteps as a professional musician.
After George Harrison's death on 29 November 2001, Dhani Harrison, in collaboration with Jeff Lynne, completed George's final album, Brainwashed, which was released in 2002. He participated in the Concert for George on the first anniversary of George's death. The concert was organized by Eric Clapton and featured some of George's friends and collaborators, including Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Ravi Shankar, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Ringo Starr, Jim Keltner, Joe Brown (singer) and Paul McCartney. Dhani 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."
In March 2006, Harrison made a guest appearance on Liam Lynch's Podcast Video Variety Show, Lynchland. 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. Dhani is credited on two unreleased Traveling Wilburys tracks under the pseudonym Ayrton Wilbury, a tribute to Ayrton Senna.
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, synthesizer and vocals and Oli Hecks on drums and synths. He also contributed to the 2007 EP by Heather Porcaro & 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. 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.
It was announced in 2009 that Harrison was collaborating 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. Dhani Harrison was instrumental to 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."
To promote the game's release, he appeared on the 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 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."