Two days after I spoke to him, I sat by the lake in Pushkar where a bunch of young boys were strumming his song Saiyyan. Kailash Kher, with his music, can make magic happen. First, it was Teri Deewani and Allah Ke Bande followed by Arziyaan and others, and now, he's out with Ishq Anokha, the fifth album in the Kailasa series. As the name suggests, it’s about a strange love, or rather the strangeness in the many manifestations of love that, despite a zillion WhatsApp emoticons and an overexpressive generation, is almost impossible to articulate. As Barthes would say, ‘to write love is to confront the muck of language’.
‘I was born in Meerut and grew up in East Delhi, and there’s a marked trait in these areas that surround UP and the farther outskirts of the Capital. There is so much to learn here. Of course, people are aggressive and impatient. But there are some good things too. One of these is how they love; it’s very intense but devoid of any pretence. The boys here wouldn’t go up and tell a girl that they loved her, but they would do everything to make sure she was safe and happy. They wouldn’t let other boys stare or make advances, and be ready to give up their lives even if the girl didn’t know! Not all expression of love is linear and apparent, and this is what the album is about,’ says the singer.
While Kher has written, composed and sung most of the tracks, the album is a deviation from his traditional style with sounds such as saxophone and flamenco by Spanish and American artists, in addition to guitars, bass, keyboards and additional percussions by rock artist-duo Naresh and Paresh Kamath that make up his band. Jazz-fusion maestro George Brooks plays in one of the tracks, Berukhiyan. ‘These musicians make the sounds more universal,’ shares Kher, adding that his music, like all things, has evolved over the years.
‘All eight tracks in the album show love in different perspectives and realities. Kailasa is a band that has never believed in sounds that are repetitive. We need to keep reinventing ourselves. We are all Nature. Somewhat like trees. At first, their leaves are green, and then they turn yellow and brown with changing seasons, before wilting away and then being born anew. So with the winds. Sometimes it’s a romantic breeze, sometimes it’s a violent storm. Just like Nature changes forms, so does love in its manifestations. That is what this music is about. And as we are growing in our journey, our expressions have transformed too. Kailasa has completed close to 1000 concerts in a span of 10 years. Of course, we’ve performed in front of the world, but we’ve also travelled internally. This is about everything we have imbibed during the course of this exploration.’
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