Musician, Karsh Kale:
A typical audience at a Karsh Kale concert speaks volumes about diversity. The overpowering sincerity in his music attracts an assortment of people; South Asians, South Americans and Europeans, all swayed by his craft. His work has a similar cross-cultural appeal featuring collaborations with an array of artists. From the domestic music scene, Karsh has worked with guitarist Warren Mendonsa, drummer Jai Row Kavi, singers Benny Dayal, Monali Thakur, Papon and others. And then there is Anoushka Shankar, American guitarist-songwriter John Shannon, bassist Tony Grey and vocalist Priya Darshini, among other musicians.
But after releasing six solo albums and dozens of other records—collaborations, live projects, EPs and remixes since 1996, Karsh found ridding himself of all the labels that came with being an influential musician. His new album, UP, was his answer to all the unrest that crept in with time. Karsh took Platform through the making of UP.
You’ve given 20 years of your life to this industry. What all has changed in all these years?
Lots of things. When I started, we were still recording on tape. This was before ProTools came into people’s homes. Technology has changed. Earlier, we had to study to be able to get into the studio. Now kids can buy a laptop and start learning how to make music. That, and the exposure, to different types of music. There’s a whole new generation of people all over the world who are listening to different types of music and are exposed to so much more music than I started. All those diverse styles that we adapted were what we discovered on our own but today that’s second nature to bring different sounds together.
You divide your time between Brooklyn and Mumbai. How challenging is it to do that being a working father? Also, have you ever faced an identity crisis as to where you belong?
Yeah, all the time! It has never gotten easier. It’s an ongoing process. The only thing that you can get used to is how quickly you can snap out of it, how quickly I can get into the mindset I need to be to get work done, and snapping out of when I go home. You can’t walk into the house with all that stuff hanging off you, and all the shows that I have done. I have to leave what I do as a musician at the door and go in as a father.
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