Leslie Lewis

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Leslie Lewis
Lesle Lewis.jpg
Background information
Birth name Leslie Peter Lewis
Born 1961
Genres Indi-pop, filmi, rock
Occupation(s) Singer, composer
Years active 1987–present
Associated acts Colonial Cousins, Hariharan

Leslie Lewis is an Indian composer, perhaps best known for his work in Colonial Cousins, a duo composed of Lewis and Hariharan.[1]

In 2003 Lewis stated that he felt the public associated him too much with remixes and for that reason he had begun to avoid remixes and instead concentrate on his original compositions and on his work in Colonial Cousins.[2] Lewis' father P. L. Raj was a prolific film choreographer.


Leslie Peter Lewis (or "Lezz", as he is known) inherited his artistic inclinations from his father P. L. Raj.[3] His father is a choreographer for films. Later, at St Mary's High School,Mount Abu,Rajasthan (boarding school), Lezz was exposed to the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. With these diverse musical influences, Lewis soon began plucking guitar chords at the Cafe Royal, Oberoi Towers. Later, he had the opportunity of recording with renowned film music directors such as Kalyanji Anandji, Laxmikant Pyarelal, R. D. Burman and Louis Banks.

In 1987, Lewis launched a music company and began carving out a career in jingles composing. He composed for some of the leading television networks and picked up nominations for the awards handed out annually by the Indian Academy of Advertising Film Art (IAAFA). After four consecutive nominations, in 1989, Lezz bagged the award.[citation needed]

Lewis's other musical credits include doing the remix job for Asha Bhosle's Rahul and I album and writing the musical scores for the legendary diva's Janam samjha karo album. He also composed and produced the music for Suneeta Rao in "Paree Hu Main", Alisha in "Bombay Girl" and for KK in Pal.

In 1998, Lewis cut his first solo album, Haseena, which sold fairly well. He has also made a foray into film music, completing the scores for the Hindi films Mela and "Jahd" and working on the scores for the Tamil film Modhi Vilayadu. Lewis' father had long been prodding him to do film music, reminding him that that was where the big bucks and big names were.[citation needed]

Colonial Cousins[edit]

Leslie Lewis's at Launch of his album 'Tanha Sa Hoon'

It was during Lewis's jingles career that the idea of Colonial Cousins was conceived. Lewis had called in Hariharan to sing a jingle for him one evening in 1992. The lyrics for the jingle were late coming in. Lewis began singing something while strumming his guitar, Hari felt inspired to jam with an alaap, and the result: the seamless fusion of Eastern and Western sounds that has become characteristic of the Colonial Cousins.The year 1996 was a career milestone; he formed the band Colonial Cousins with ghazal singer Hariharan.Their first album, Colonial Cousins was a fusion album and was the first Indian act to be featured on MTV Unplugged.[4] It won a string of awards including the MTV Indian Viewers' Choice award and Billboard Award for the Best Asian Music Group.[4][5] By this single album, Hariharan established himself as one of the pioneers of Indian fusion music. The next albums by this band were The Way We Do It (1998) and Aatma (2001) but were fairly noticed. 2009 Tamil film Modhi Vilayadu had score and soundtrack composed by Colonial Cousins.[6] They also scored the 2010 Tamil film Chikku Bukku.


Awards and achievements[edit]

  • 1997: MTV Asia Viewer's Choice Award for Colonial Cousins
  • US Billboard Viewer's Choice Award


External links[edit]