'Winds of Samsara' by Bengaluru-based composer Ricky Kej wins Grammy

'Winds of Samsara' by Bengaluru-based composer Ricky Kej wins Grammy

The album "Winds of Samsara" produced by, Bengaluru-based musician Ricky Kej won the Best New Age Album trophy at the 57th Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on Sunday, in Los Angeles.

Ricky Kej shares the award with Wouter Kellerman, a well-known flautist from Africa. Another Bengaluru-based leading musician Prakash Sontakke has co-composed the album.

This is significant because it is the first time ever an Indian composer had bagged a Grammy in the new age album category.


While accepting the award Ricky Kej thanked The Recording Academy and United States for the prestigious recognition.

"It's only in America an Indian and South African can receive the biggest music award," he said. He also said he hope he has made Prime Modi Narendra Modi proud.

The collaboration of Indian and African musicians in "Winds of Samsara" has a fusion track on Mahatma Gandhi.

The website of the album describes the project as a "truly global effort", which draws inspiration from two cultures. The music of the album blends in the creative influences of the cultures to generate a sound of calmness and positivity.

The music videos for Mahatma and Longing songs in the album were written and directed by filmmaker Sairam Sagiraju, who is also from Bengaluru.  

Other albums nominated in the category were "Bhakti" by Paul Avgerinos, "Ritual" by Peter Kater and R. Carlos Nakai, "Symphony Live In Istanbul" by Kitaro and "In Love And Longing" by Silvia Nakkach and David Darling.

The North-California born musician, Ricky Kej, moved to Bengaluru when he was eight. He finished his schooling from Bishop Cotton Boys' School and Dentistry from the Oxford Dental College. However, he chose to follow his heart and make a career in the field of music.

Another Indian artist to make it big at the awards this year was Neela Vaswani. She won the trophy in the Best Children's Album category for "I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education And Changed The World (Malala Yousafzai)". Vaswani narrated the audio version of the book.

However, sitarist and daughter of late sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, Anoushka, who was nominated for her album "Traces of You" in the Best World Music Album category lost out to Angelique Kidjo's album "Eve".

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