|Birth name||Ricky Kej|
5 August 1981 |
North Carolina, US
Ricky Kej (born 5 August 1981) is an Indian musician, composer and producer, born in North Carolina, US. He works primarily in New Age and World Music. He has released a number of albums throughout his career, including seven on the Virgin EMI record label. Kej began his career producing and creating radio and TV jingles. He was also a keen keyboard and guitarist for a number of bands.
In his early career he released three albums before licensing his albums with Virgin EMI. In 2011, he created the opening ceremony song for the 2011 Cricket World Cup. In 2012, he was awarded by VH1 as India Rules – Artist.
Early life & education
Kej first began experimenting with music during his college days, and slowly began to take music seriously. He started off his musical career playing keyboard and guitar for various Rock bands in India.
In the year 2005, he graduated as a Dental Surgeon. Ironically, he did not practice Dentistry after he was awarded his degree and pursued a career in music instead.
Early works (1990s – 2007)
Kej produced jingles for television and radio throughout his education and the beginning of his music career. Over a period of 13 years, he produced over 3000 jingles for TV and Radio. His expertise in this field allowed him to work with a variety of companies like Essilor, Microsoft, Levis, Air India, and Blaupunkt.
After his jingle success, in 2003 Kej released his first International lounge album titled 'Communicative art – Lounge from the bay'. Songs from this album were released on over 20 international compilations in France, Poland, China, Taiwan, India, Israel and Germany.
After the success of his first album, Key featured on the compilation album titled 'Asha Waali Dhoop', which was released in 2006. Kej's success in India was recognised in the US, which led him to release his next two albums with Water Music Records USA. His second and third albums were released in quick succession and were titled 'Kamasutra Lounge part 1 & 2'.
Virgin EMI & films (2008–2011)
After the release of Kej's third album, he went onto win a number of awards. In 2008 he received an advertising award at the Clio Awards. A year later wh was awarded another advertising award at the Adfest Asia Awards.
The success of his first three albums allowed him to get involved in film soundtracks. His first break in this field came in 2008 composing the entire score and songs in the Kannada language including Accident in 2008 and Venkata in Sankata in 2010. Ricky won a 'One Show' award for Advertising Excellence and a finalist for the Cannes Advertising Award for his Nike jingle.
His other works during this period include 'Bollywood Remixed ', 'Dance The Golden Years'. In 2011, he composed music for the opening ceremony of the ICC Cricket World Cup, held at Dhakka on 17 February 2011. This opening ceremony was telecast in over 200 countries worldwide. It was hailed by the World Media as the best Opening Ceremony in the history of World Cup Cricket.
In 2011, Times of India nominated Ricky as one of Bangalore's Most Desirable and Indian Express hailed him as the most eligible bachelor in Bangalore.
In the same year, Ricky released the internationally successful Dance/Percussion based album Fiery Drums, followed by Fiery Drums Volume 2, Mesmerizing Flute and Mesmerizing Santoor.
Recent career (2012 – present)
In 2012, Kej's music video for "Arabian Sea" had frequent airplay on VH1, leading him to be declared an "India Rules – Artist" by VH1 in September 2012. During the same year, he also composed/produced tracks for various French compilation albums, such as Indian Zen and Des Voix De L'Inde, and, he created an official remix of the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire song "Jai Ho", which was featured on the compilation album Dance The Golden Years for the USA markets.
In 2012 Ricky Kej created the anthem 'Jaya Hain Kannada Thaye' as a tribute to the state of Karnataka. He collaborated with well-known wildlife photographer and Conservationist in creating the first ever 'Wild Life Music Video' in India. This music video was shot entirely in the forests of Karnataka including the Western Ghats. It featured rare species found indigenous to Karnataka. With a message of conservation, the video got tremendous airplay television channels, and was unanimously critically acclaimed.
In 2013, Ricky released his first independent albums in the US via his own Raveolution Studios, including Shanti Orchestra, Ballad of Maya and Kamasutra Lounge – The Deluxe Edition.
In November 2013, Ricky was nominated for a Hollywood Music in Media Award in The Best New Age Category for his song "Forever" off of his album, Shanti Orchestra.
- Clio Awards – Advertising (2008)
- Adfest Asia – Advertising (2009)
Kej he has appeared as a guest judge on many singing reality shows in India, and is an activist for Music Education and Animal Rights. Ricky is the Festival Curator for the International Film Festival at UB City – 'Film Harvest' – and with a keen interest in art, he is known to curate works of younger artists and help them showcase their works at art galleries and exhibitions.
Kej is a trustee and founding member of the 'Majolly Music Trust'. Their main objectives are to raise the standards of music education in India and to set up a pension fund for old and infirmed musicians who are no longer able to make a livelihood from musical performances and recordings.
- Communicative Art (2004)
- Kamasutra Lounge (2007)
- Kamasutra Lounge 2 (2008)
- Mesmerizing Flute (2011)
- Urban Grooves South India (2011)
- Fiery Drums Volume 1 (2011)
- Mesmerizing Santoor (2012)
- Punjabi in the Club (2012)
- Bollywood in the Club (2012)
- Kamasutra Lounge – The Deluxe Edition (2013)
- Shanti Orchestra (2013)
- Fiery Drums Volume 2 (2013)
- Ballad of Maya (2013)
- Accident – (Film OST- Anand Audio- India)
- Venkata in Sankata (Film OST- Anand Audio- India)
- Crazy Kutumba (Film OST- Times Music- India)
- Ondu Rupayalli Eradu Preethi (Film OST- Ashwini Audio- India)
- Asha Waali Dhoop (2006)
- Mumbai Spirit (2007)
- Cafe Goa (2007)
- Relaxation DAilleurs (2007)
- Doosha Project (2008)
- Hangzhou Lake (2008)
- Indian Zen (2008)
- Vox Del Taire (2009)
- Chillout Bombay II (2010)
- Chillout Lounge Classics (2010)
- Dance the Golden Years (2010)
- Bollywood Remixed (2010)
- Masters of Fusion (2011)
- Best of 2011–12 Fusion (2012)
- Chillout Flute (2012)
- Best of Fusion- Indian Spirit (2012)
- Party Drums (2013)
- "Young on the console". The Hindu. 3 August 2004. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
- "I will continue to strive: Ricky Kej – Bangalore – DNA". Dnaindia.com. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
- "Film Harvest 2012 – The Team behind the Festival". Filmharvest.in. 16 March 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
- "Water Music Records". Water Music Records. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
- "Free Inspirational Music from Ricky Kej". Project Peace on Earth. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
- "India Rules Artist on VH1". Bangalore Mirror. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
- "City boys go international with their latest album". New Indian Express. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
- "About Us". Majolly Music Trust. Retrieved 27 August 2013.