'I live life like a river'

Interview

'I live life like a river'


Kailash Kher is synonymous to Sufi Music. How did you get introduced to Sufi music and culture?

I attribute that to my upbringing, and listening to spiritual music in my formative years. Not devotional, but folk form of spiritual music. From then on, I have developed a taste for spiritual poetry and philosophy.

Any particular saint who has influenced you?

Pure love. That’s the essence of the fundamental messages of all the saints. Love from the soul to the Almighty. Be it Santh Kabir or Baba Bulla Shah, Baba Guru Nanak or Baba Farid or Rumi.

From a solo artist to the band ‘Kailasa’. How did this happen?

‘Allah ke Bande’ became a big hit. I started getting a lot of offers for concerts after that. It was then that the idea of my own band blossomed. For that would permit me to pursue with my kind of music, on my own terms. Otherwise, it is the regular Bollywood kind — sequences with lots of dance and fancy clothes. I thank the Almighty that with my band I can keep evolving, bring in novelty and give a unique identity to my music.  

Any memorable experiences while performing at concerts?

We recently performed at the Hollywood Ball in LA. Firstly, it is a very prestigious venue. Further, I feel so honoured to perform where the greats like The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Coldplay and such have performed.

You have moved on from Indian music to world music. With the release of your album of world music, you are now an international artist. How has the experience been?

It is indeed a great experience. In India, people know me and are aware of my musical journey. They believe in my projects. But internationally, I am singing for people who do not know me. When they buy tickets to my concerts, those are the real examinations for an artist. In a language they do not know, can my music weave that magic? Can it bring about that enigma? So, these are great moments when such people come and say that your music is healing, and that it is divine.  

You are currently working on a Bengali album. Tell me more about it. This is a very exciting project for me. Here, I have composed the tunes and sung to the poetry of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam.  

In the long and often difficult road that you have travelled through, what have been the high points?

I live life like a river, flowing naturally. Accepting everything along the way. I take sukh and dukh, high points and the low ones, in the same stride. There have been many such crests and troughs in my life. Getting excited or depressed is a state of mind. I am usually calm and relaxed through both the situations.  

What are the musical projects you are working on right now?

Currently, I’m part of the MTV show, Rock On. I’m also working on composing music for films. With my partners Naresh and Paresh, I have just completed a film project called Allah Ke Bande. Since I have too many commitments due to concerts till January 2010, the other projects will start only after that.

Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?

I do not live in dreams. I live in the moment, now. As for the future, I see myself healthy and wealthy. That’s about it.

Name three musicians who have influenced you.

Pt Kumar Gandharv, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and A R Rahman.

And three people you have been inspired by?

Mahaprabhu Sri Chaitanya, Santh Kabir and my father.

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