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Kailash Kher: Singing is only for rich people

Last updated on: March 16, 2012 12:11 IST

Kailash Kher: Singing is only for rich people

Patcy N in Mumbai

Kailash Kher's fourth album Rangeele was released earlier this year. The album -- which was well-received -- has 11 songs, all of them about different aspects of love. 

Explaining the inspiration behind the album, the singer-composer says, "Love can bring out a godly person in you or a devil in you." 

Kailash tells Patcy N that his songs come from the heart and, how after a long struggle, there's no looking back for him now.

Tell us about your new album Rangeele.
All the three albums by my band Kailasa (Kailasa, Jhoomo Re and Chaandan Mein) were popular, so now I am competing with myself to do better. As a result, my responsibilities have increased. Everyday, we face live audiences everywhere in the world.
The members of my band, Naresh and Paresh, and I have decided that we will use our hearts, instead of our brains, to compose our music. The same goes for the lyrics. 

Kailasa is more popular among the youth; our fan base comes from the youth. Our songs are not just entertainment; there are little messages too, but they are not preachy.
How do you compose the lyrics?
First comes the tune, then come the lyrics. Usually, it is a thought that changes into a lyric, so thoughts and lyrics complement each other.
I never use difficult words in my songs. I use common words or words that are only used in particular areas and are common to only that local area. Like, in one song, I have used the words sat ya asat hai main kya jaanu (How do I know what is truth and what's a lie). I could have used sat ya jhoot hai main kya jaanu (How do I know what is truth and what's a lie), but I feel that would not carry the same weight.

Image: The secret behind Kailash Kher's amazing songs
Video: Afsar Dayatar


'Sometimes music can inspire lyrics'

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Do the three of you create tunes together?
No, the basic tune is always composed by me, but when Naresh and Paresh design sound, they sometimes incorporate some new tunes. In fact, in the second song of Rangeele, Tu Kya Jaane, Naresh added a tune, then accordingly I added a few lines, but this time I found a different thought to the new tune so I added flashback to the song. 

When you fight with your beloved, and once the fight is over, you start missing your beloved. You go back into your memories. So I added that to my song. 

This was a new experiment for us. Generally, this is not the method, but the creative world is different, you can get motivated by anything.

Image: Kailash Kher on his music
Video: Afsar Dayatar

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'I have celebrated frustration in my songs'

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Which song is closest to your heart?
There are many favourite songs -- it depends what mood you are in at the time. I have sung so many songs... I have created at least 60 to 70 songs, including their tunes and lyrics, myself. For me, making music is like living; I don't think of it as commercial.
Our music grows on you very slowly. Once it starts growing on you, you will start looking for meanings in the song and you will start feeling the song. I have celebrated frustration in my songs too, like waiting can be frustrating...

Image: Kailash Kher on his favourite song
Video: Afsar Dayatar

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'If I want to see the change, let me be the change'

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You supported Anna Hazare and wrote a song for his movement.
I am patriotic, and I am proud being an Indian. If someone is giving his whole life for the country for a good purpose, then that person should be appreciated and his revolution should be supported.
I am an artiste, I create songs, so I decided to make a song for him. The song is not preachy, it is not a call to do something dreadful. It is an 'awakening' song. I feel if I want to see the change, let me be the change.

Image: Kailash Kher on supporting Anna Hazare
Video: Afsar Dayatar

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'I have sung in 18 regional languages'

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You have started singing in regional languages now. How do you emote if you don't know the language?
I have sung in 18 regional languages, most in Kannada, Tulu, Telugu and Tamil. I have sung in Malayalam, Oriya, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Nepali and Bhojpuri. There is one language in Chhattisgarh and I have sung in that language too. I am learning Marathi.
I ask the meaning of the song, plus I have graduated in English, Hindi and Sanskrit so my pronunciation is good. I listen to the song sharply. I am observant so even that helps.

Image: Kailash Kher on emoting in different languages
Video: Afsar Dayatar

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'I came to Mumbai and struggled'

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Life has been a big struggle for you, but you made it big.
I came to Mumbai after a huge loss. I left home to pursue singing and realised that singing is only for rich people. I started doing odd jobs. When I went home, I was like a visitor. I always thought I will go back one day with pride when I have achieved something.
I started an export company at the age of 24, exporting handicraft material. I did really well in the business for three years. Then one day I got a huge export order, which got destroyed during delivery. Now, I had a loan of Rs 20 lakh to pay off. 

I started hiding from people. I went to the Himalayas and stayed with the sadhus. As I am a pundit, I thought I will become an educated pundit. But nothing worked for me.
I came to Mumbai and struggled, stayed on platforms... Then I met two friends Naresh and Paresh, and we started working on an album in 2001. But none of us had money, so the album was not taking off.
I got the chance to sing a jingle. I didn't know this was also a source of income. I sang 20 jingles and made lots of money and that's when I got a chance to sing my first film song, Allah Ke Bandey in Waisa Bhi Hota Hai, Part II. 

And look at my good luck -- I got to show my face too in my very first song!
In 2006, we released our first album -- the one we had started work on in 2001. I was called Kailasa. The very first song that we recorded, Teri Deewani, was a super-hit. From that moment, there was no looking back.

Image: Kailash Kher sings Allah Ke Bandey and Teri Deewani
Video: Afsar Dayatar

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