Kailash Kher grew up listening to ‘Nirgun sangeet’ the music inspired by the Classic Devotional Poetry of the ascetics like Kabir, Mira, Ramdas from his father who engaged in deep meaningful conversations, which he could not understand as a naive…all he felt was like a fragrance but did not know where it came from…

Kher Talks about his musical and lyrical journey, how he carved out his own way to reach up  the success ladder in tinsel town and the way ahead towards giving back to the society with his initiatives ‘Nayii Udaan’ and ‘KKALA’, in an exclusive conversation with loudest.in.

Yesterday’s naive became today’s genius, as KAILASA today has become a statement in itself having millions of followers,as a whole generation of youngsters follow his unique style, the heart touching lyrics and the Sufiana Andaaz.

Still a bubbly, chirpy  and a naive at heart, the self taught Maestro takes us through his childhood memories, “My father along with his group of intellectual friends, who although belonged to different walks of life from one being a soldier, while others being village farmers by profession, were all in fact ascetic followers.They sang devotional music and did in-depth discussions on the classical literature of the Sufi’s and saints often amongst themselves. I would listen to them and in spite of being a very sharp observer, was unable to comprehend the meanings of what they spoke about at that young age. Since there lies a philosophical crux in every poetry of these saints, It was like I could feel the fragrance but did not know where is it coming from…Eventually, I molded naturally developing an interest in Sufi and Classical Music.”

Elaborating on the evolution of Nirgun Music he grew up listening to and his Sufi Influences, Kher said, “‘Nirgun’ is made up of two words ‘Nir’ and ‘Gun’ means ‘without virtues like material or physical form’ in the Devanagri Script of the Hindi language, which is a synonym to the Persian word ‘Sufi’ which came to India  in the Mughal era. A ‘Sufi’ is the dervish who lives away from the materialist world, wears the woolen clothes ‘ Suf’, and follows ideologies of the Islamic mysticism called ‘Sufism’ and so the poetry they do is Sufi poetry.I do sing mostly all the Indian sufi saints like Meera, Kabir, Baba Gorakhnath, Amir Khusro, Gurunanak Dev, Baba Farid, Baba Bulleh Shah and was deeply influenced by their poetry, and I also started writing lyrics and composing instinctively, from an early age.”

“I was attracted to this kind of poetry, which was very philosophical in nature, difficult to understand then, but yet was very attractive.I remember this poetry which describes the childhood of Meera,who was all adorned with Jewels surrounded by her maiden frieñds in her childhood.

 ‘Panch baras ki meera ladli ho…

 Sakhiyon main khelan jayeri, sun rana bai…

 Khelat meera to paya kangana hoji’…”

Citing an example from two lines from Kabir, Kher adds, “While in the following lines Kabir talks about controlling one’s heart and mind which is like a flowing river, so one must control them to not fall into greed and just fall in love… and in this journey should not return without love to paradise…

Nadi kinare dhanush dhara tha, dhansa main baandh nahi tha

Ji mati maro, moh mat lana, bina prem mat jaiyoji…”

Talking about initial challenges in Life Kher says, “I was born in Meerut, but lived with my family in Delhi. I always feel music is still not given much importance in the society as compared to science subjects in the Indian families, and so happened with me as my parents did not encourage me to take up music as a profession. Being rebellious in nature decided to leave my house, and started living separately. Eventually, I went on to search for a guru, but neither could afford the fee nor proved to be a futile student to anyone since I was going through a rough patch in my life, Thus, I’m a self-taught learner, ” Apaye Guru Appaye Chela”

Inspiration in Music, “There was a time I heard Pt. Kumar Gandharva day and night, and almost lived him , as I feel he was a saintly musician and rather music in himself, who sang from his soul and reached the heart, never sang from mind as he was not commercial at all, as many artists.”

Talking about his initial years in Mumbai, “When I came to Mumbai in 2001, I  worked silently and kept searching like-minded musicians who could create music on my lyrics and ideas, so it took two to three years. While people started liking my voice and so jingles started happening and came a time when I sang 60 jingles in 2 months and worked day and night.”

Talking about the creative process behind writing his own lyrics and composing songs Kher said, “Composing is very instinctive for me.While composing a song, first comes a thought and then comes a stream or a tune simultaneously at the back of my mind, which I believe is God sent. For example for the song ‘Hatheli pe rakh laya jaan’ this phrase first popped in my mind and then I thought of adding ‘aeri gora’ to it which is like a salutation to the Goddess ‘Parvati’…So then I added another line… ‘Tere bin main, main tere bin, jaise deh bin jaan’ thus completed the couplet, so that’s how it became a strong composition base and eventually the entire song was created, which became a ‘Sufi Mystical’ song and was released in pieces, as I kept another half with me.”

Kher shared another interesting Trivia about the making of the song ‘Teri Deewani’, “It was my first concert ‘ Sarhadon Ki Jugalbandi’ in Pragati Maidan Delhi in 2006, after my song ‘Allah Ke Bande’, became a hit, although we had the same musicians, we had not announced the band ‘Kailasa’ at that time. The show had a very strong line-up of artists like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Safkat Amaanat Ali Khan duo from Pakistan and from India were the band Indian Ocean and a beginner Kailash Kher. So, while I was performing after doing two popular songs, I took a risk to sing an extempore composition which was coming in my mind then, here are the initial words of the composition, which I changed later…

“Preet ki lat mohe aisi lagi, hogayi main deewani…

Bali bali Jaun apne piya ko, jo main jaun wari wari….

Ari ae ri sakhi main kaase kahoon, mora jijara uthe urari….

Prem piyala bhar bhar piloon,hari main dil hari…

To my surprise, the audience started applauding the couplets… and then I added the next set of extempore line and added syllables like ‘Hohoji… Haan Haanji’ since I felt short of words, which are taken as a well-thought expression till date, although it was a free-flowing thought!

Tere naam se jilun,tere naam se marjaun…

Teri jaan ke sadke main kuch aisa kar jaun…

Tune kya kar dala, margayi main, mitgayi main…

Hoho ji… haan haanji…hogayi main…

Teri deewani…

Talking about influencing the style of composing lyrics Kher adds, “The song ‘Teri Deewani’ was included in the album in 2006, which became a great hit. The song showed a new way to the lyricist’s to use this kind of syllables, and eventually many songs started appearing with such experimentations, using earthly lyrics as compared to more glorified and glossy ones.”

Kher showed optimism about Indian Classical Music in the current scenario, “I think music is a process of self- purification, and as people grow in age and experience, they get attracted towards more peaceful and calmer music. So, those youngsters of today, who are listening to Hip Hop, Rap and other fast and noisy music, will eventually calm down and would get back to Indian classical music and our roots as they age. I feel Indian Classical music can never vanish, although it may have less in numbers, but will always have dedicated listeners and practitioners too.”

With his institution KKALA how he plans to impart training to youngsters, Kailash said, “KKALA will help the youngsters first to create a strong foundation enriched with basics of Indian classical music. Also, we aim to teach today’s generation about the ‘Tameez’ i.e Etiquettes of Presentation and  ‘Adayagi’ and ‘Talafuz’ i.e Diction and Pronunciation of Urdu and Hindi languages, which will also help them to write lyrics and compose their own songs, which children are not really exposed to. Today’s generation lacks this kind of grooming, which counts to a very important part of musical learning. The idea is to create a sense of good listening, writing and performing, as they all are important.”

Under his initiative ‘Nayii Udaan’ Kher has launched and groomed talents to form the bands like SreeKant’s SurFira, Sparsh and AR Divine. Talking about his initiative ‘Nayii Udaan’, “I feel that there are many aspiring singers who want to sing the Kailasa style, and they try to follow me and idolize me. Nayii Udaan is my humble attempt to search new talents and nurture them to reach their true potential in Music. We are even planning to garner children who cannot afford to come and stay in Mumbai, will be providing them training and will support their lodging & boarding expenses, provided we really find deserving talent and a musical soul seeking for true music. Those students who are interested can reach out to us through our website which has been recently launched.”

 

Write A Comment