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Moment of Pride and Celebration: Singer Kailash Kher to be named for the Padma Shri

A patriot at heart, Kailash Kher feels artists must project India in the right way

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Kailash Kher, Wikimedia
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New Delhi, Jan 25, 2017: Singer Kailash Kher, who shot to fame with the 2003 hit number “Allah ke bande”, was thrilled to be named for the Padma Shri — India’s fourth highest civilian award — on Wednesday. He says it’s a moment of pride and celebration.

He has received the recognition for his contribution to music in the country.

“By the grace of God, I got this honour. It’s a moment for pride and celebration. It’s because of a lot of prayers and hard work along with blessing from my parents and gurus, and love from fans,” Kailash told IANS.

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How does he plan to celebrate?

“I am really caught up with work. Let me figure it out. I am just coming to my sense. I was in the studio recording a jingle for a digital campaign when I was informed about this honour,” he said.

The singer, who hails from Meerut, gave up education decades ago to pursue his dream to be a singer. Known for adding a sufi touch to songs, Kailash has even crooned tracks like “Teri deewani”, “Ya rabba” and “Yun hi chala chal”.

Kailash is also a producer. He had worked on a mythological TV series “Baba Kedarnath”, backed by the Uttarakhand government.

A patriot at heart, he feels artistes must project India in the right way.

In an interview with IANS, he had said: “There are filmmakers like Shyam Benegal who continue to explore the real Indian art. Even Ashutosh Gowariker makes films about India like ‘Swades’ or ‘Lagaan’. They are some of the filmmakers who present India in a good light; otherwise people tend to make money by showing poverty of India and helplessness of India mostly in the name of creativity.

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“This gives the impression that India is a poor country. Irrespective of the strength of the script, I will never show India like that. I will show that India can save the world, which is infected by depression and loneliness.”

Earlier this year, he launched and mentored two indie bands SurFira and Indie Routes.

“Since I’ve reached that level where I can do something for others too, I thought of promoting new talent? something that hasn’t been done in the past by other musicians,” he said. (IANS)

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Grammy Nominee Raja Kumari Talks About Bollywood Music

Grammy-nominated Indian-American songwriter Raja Kumari, also a rapper, desires her music -- that she uses as a bridge between the East and West

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Raja Kumari is a very famous songwriter who writes for American singers. IANS

Grammy-nominated Indian-American songwriter Raja Kumari, also a rapper, desires her music — that she uses as a bridge between the East and West — to reach far and wide. And so, she wants to get involved in Bollywood as it has a “great impact” on the world.

The California-based artiste with roots in Andhra Pradesh has been performing in India, appearing on reality shows and also teaming up with Indian talent for songs.

American music scene is different from India’s. VOA

What else is she planning to explore in India?

“I want to use my time in India wisely and explore the opportunities and try something new. I want to do more stuff in Hindi films. It (Bollywood) has such a great impact on the entire world. The idea that something I write can reach so many more people, that’s exciting for me as a musician,” Kumari told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

The music scene in India is “completely different” from that in the US.

“In India everything is Bollywood music. It is the most popular genre. The genre that we are making (in the US) is a new thing here… the independent music

Also Read: Music lessons boost children’s memory and grades

“In America, there isn’t much opportunity for Indian singers in mainstream music. It is something that we are trying to change,” said the artiste, who was a celebrity guest in Amazon Prime Video’s Unscripted Original, “The Remix” where she collaborated with contestants Yash and Kryll to recreate Bollywood number “Ankhiyon se goli marein”.

The “City slums” hitmaker also got to fulfil her dream of visiting Himachal Pradesh, popular for its scenic beauty.

“For the show ‘Lockdown’, (singer-composer) Kailash Kher and I had to remix two songs in our style and shoot the music video. It was completely crazy. I was lucky to have a partner like Kailashji. He made it really easy for me and enjoyable. We shot in Himachal Pradesh. That was a dream of mine to go and spend time there. It was amazing,” said Kumari.

“Lockdown”, a ZEE5 project, is a series where each episode brings together a celebrated Bollywood singer with a YouTube singing sensation. Locked in one location for a day, these musicians collaborate to recreate two songs.

Kailash Kher is one of India’s most famous singers.

The musical reality show will also feature artistes like Raftaar, Shekhar Ravjiani, Gippy Grewal, Shirley Setia, Darshan Rawal, Arjun Kanungo and Jonita Gandhi.

So is this a competition show?

“We are not competing. We are just participating in the opportunity. These are collaborations that normally wouldn’t happen. Every episode is a challenge,” she said.

“The show has been shot all over India rather than just in a Mumbai studio. It’s a cool way to show the beauty of our country,” she added.

Without sharing much about the two songs that she worked on, the fan of Indian classical and fusion music said: “I sang in Sanskrit. It was my first time ever. That was a big challenge for me. So, it was awesome.”

She had previously collaborated with notable artistes like Gwen Stefani, Iggy Azalea and Fifth Harmony.

Is she writing for more American or global singers?

“I am working on my own album. I will be releasing it this summer. I have a lot of songs which I have been doing mostly for my album,” said Kumari.

But she doesn’t want to give up songwriting.

“As a songwriter, it is amazing to be able to put other people’s emotions (into a song) and to help them. But as a performer, rapper and singer, there is nothing like being on the stage and connecting with people and getting a chance to share music with the world. I couldn’t let one go for the other,” she said. IANS