Revered Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei is hoping to make a dent on the world's album charts by recording a heavy metal project.

The controversial political dissident was inspired to put his thoughts and feelings to music during his government detention in 2011.

The sculptor tells British newspaper the Guardian, "During my detention, the guards were so bored they kept saying to me, 'Can you sing a song?' 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."

Ai Weiwei hopes to follow his debut with an album of love songs, and he hopes supporter Sir Elton John will help him with the recording process. Elton dedicated his Beijing show in November (12) to the artist.