Kailash Kher on his collaboration with Prahlad Tipanya
It was in 2008 that Kailash Kher first heard folk singer Prahlad Tipanya who sings Kabir bhajans in the Malwi folk style from Madhya Pradesh.
And that is when he decided to collaborate with Tipanya for an album dedicated to saint and poet Kabir. “There's a beauty in the thoughts and ideas of saints. In this everyday life, people say things to each other but the way in which they say them, can make or break moments. And it’s those moments that can become turning points in your life,” says Kailash. The singer spoke to CS about this unique collaboration:
Appreciating our own beauty
I have met a lot of international musicians and during my interactions with them, many proposals for collaborations have come. But many times I have realised, that most things that fascinate us are foreign in nature. We don't appreciate things that are Indian or local. I've never seen Khajuraho. I've never seen the beauty of the Himalayas. I haven't explored Indian folk yet. We need to start from the roots. These folk artists are our nation's gems and they are yet to be explored in a mainstream way.
Prahaladji sings with a pure heart and inspires us and the young generation alike. When I heard him sing, I was reminded of my father. He also used to sing with an iktara. I used to see a passion and junoon in him and that’s what I saw in Prahladji.
Connect with God
When I got married in 2009, my wife Sheetal got to know that I only hear his album in my car. That's when she decided to surprise me by arranging to call him for a live singing session for my birthday in 2010. I was so happy, that I was laughing and crying at the same time. That was my first birthday when I realised that is a meaning in celebrating special days. Because it's when you hear meaningful things and are in meaningful company, that there is an instant connect you feel with God.
I did many odd jobs before entering music but God had picked me for music. When I entered music, I was 30 and now I'm 39. But in these nine years, I've seen so much progress. I feel that maybe God was training me all this while. Since Kailasa has its own sound, we decided to take Kabir's thoughts to the world in a rock form. We decided to make it more spiritual and philosophical. There should be some enlightenment along with entertainment.