‘We should never for­get our roots’

Kailash Kher talks about his band Kailasa, ‘dif­fer­ent’ lyrics that he writes for his songs and Sufi mu­sic

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - Live - - My City - Nikita Deb nikita.deb@htlive.com

H e made us all croon to songs such as ‘Teri dee­wani’ and ‘Saiyaan’ when he re­leased his al­bums Kailasa and Jhoomo Re. That was 10 years back, even to­day Kailash Kher’s ide­ol­ogy of mu­sic hasn’t changed. The singer be­lieves lyrics play an im­por­tant role in mak­ing a good song, and says that Kailasa brought about a wave of change for in­de­pen­dent mu­sic in In­dia.

How has the jour­ney been since ‘Al­lah ke bande’ (Waisa Bhi Hota Hai Part II; 2003)?

It was my first pop­u­lar song in a film. Two years af­ter that our band Kailasa fi­nally took off. We were work­ing on our al­bum since 2002, but it was just not work­ing out. But sud­denly mirac­u­lous things hap­pened with the al­bum just af­ter ‘Al­lah ke bande’ was re­leased. In 2006, we re­leased our first al­bum, also ti­tled Kailasa, which had the song ‘Teri dee­wani’ among other and was re­ceived well. A year later, we re­leased our sec­ond al­bum. We were un­der ex­treme pres­sure dur­ing the re­lease of that al­bum, be­cause the first one had be­come such a hit. I couldn’t un­der­stand all of this, I didn’t know what came next, and I didn’t un­der­stand the pres­sure. I feel that we brought in a sense of new­ness and in­no­va­tion in the in­de­pen­dent mu­sic scene. I’ve al­ways be­lieved that the rea­son be­hind this was that I was never trained pro­fes­sion­ally in mu­sic. I never lis­tened to Bol­ly­wood mu­sic, nei­ther did I lis­ten to ghaz­als or qawwalis. I used to only lis­ten to clas­si­cal and folk mu­sic. I be­lieve in com­ing up with fresh words that haven’t been overused, and I think of words from di­alects not lan­guages. I write my lyrics in di­alects, and a lot of peo­ple from ur­ban ar­eas don’t un­der­stand that. The kind of mu­sic I be­lieve in is ei­ther cat­e­gorised as clas­si­cal or de­vo­tional, but I tried to make them con­tem­po­rary I think that led to a dif­fer­ent path for in­de­pen­dent mu­sic.

How do you write your lyrics and where are they in­spired from?

When I was four or five, my fa­ther and his friends would get to­gether and sing in their free time. They used to sing mys­ti­cal po­et­ries, and I was the only child who used to sit with them and try to un­der­stand the lyrics and po­ems. Th­ese lyrics weren’t straight­for­ward and would be wo­ven into puzzles, so I would try to de­ci­pher them. And when they used to ex­plain the lyrics to me, I would lis­ten very care­fully and the mean­ings used to be very philo­soph­i­cal. I thought there was some form of magic in th­ese lyrics, and that’s what I tried to in­cor­po­rate in my songs. I got very at­tracted to mys­ti­cism, and sub­se­quently to mu­sic. I have al­ways re­spected the lyrics of a song since then. I re­alised our words carry a lot of power.

Were you al­ways eter­mined to make a place r your­self in Bol­ly­wood?

ever. I had never hought of it. I just came ere to record my bum. Be­cause we sed to write, make usic, and sing, we ame here and we were eter­mined to do ome­thing dif­fer­ent. We had to come here ecause most usi­cians were based ut of Mum­bai. When came here, peo­ple ould be taken aback hen they saw me, ecause I was very ffer­ent, used to ear dif­fer­ent othes, and used to speak dif­fer­ently. But ev­ery­one would look at me and take no­tice.

Did you ever feel that while your Bol­ly­wood ca­reer was tak­ing off, some­where your band Kailasa got ne­glected?

Kailasa and Bol­ly­wood al­ways went hand-in-hand. I tasted suc­cess in both ar­eas equally. In fact, films were a co­in­ci­dence for me. Af­ter ‘Al­lah ke bande’, peo­ple started to take no­tice and of­fers started pour­ing in.

What do you think of Sufi mu­sic in to­day’s day and age?

Th­ese days Sufi has be­come a trend, and when some­thing be­comes a trend, peo­ple start fol­low­ing it even with­out au­then­tic­ity a lot of times. But I be­lieve in com­ing up with fresh words that haven’t been overused, and I think of words from di­alects not lan­guages. KAILASH KHER, SINGER spirituality in a song is ap­par­ent, even though the song may have only a lit­tle bit of it. You don’t need to broad­cast that fac­tor. The vibe of that song will tell you that this song has some­thing in it that touches the soul. You will get goose­bumps af­ter lis­ten­ing to ac­tual Sufi songs. Plus, good po­etry has a lot of im­pact on lis­ten­ers.

How do you choose your songs?

I never say no to a song, but there is a way to ex­press your dis­plea­sure over a song if you don’t want to sing it. When­ever I don’t like a song or I don’t think the lyrics are good or it’s the same kind of song that I have sung a 100 times, in­stead of say­ing no to those songs, I sug­gest some im­prove­ments and try to make the song a lit­tle dif­fer­ent. So in­stead of singing ‘maula’, ‘ali’ a thou­sand times, maybe I’ll ask them to re­place that word with ‘daata’ there to change the colour of the song. n

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.