Kailash Kher

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Kailash Kher
Kailash kher saali khushi.jpg
Background information
Native name Kashmiri: کیلاش کھیر
Hindi: कैलाश खेर
Born (1973-07-07) 7 July 1973 (age 42)
New Delhi, India
Genres Indie, Bollywood, Pop Rock, playback singing, Sufi, folk
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, music composer
Instruments Vocalist, harmonium
Years active 2003–present
Website www.kailashkher.com

Kailash Kher is an Indian pop-rock singer with a music style influenced by Indian folk music. He has sung in 20 languages for Indian films, and in over 5000 songs for Bollywood.[1] He was inspired by the classical musician Pandit Kumar Gandharva, Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, and the Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. They remain his inspirations.[2] He has won Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer for the Bollywood movie Fanaa (2007), and has also won Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer - Telugu for the film Mirchi.

Early life[edit]

Khan learned music from his childhood.[3] Kailash Kher was brought up in a musical atmosphere, and from his school days, he was fascinated by music and used to listen to his father's Indian folks songs all day.[4] Even as a four-year-old, Kher revealed a natural musical talent and he would often impress friends and family by belting out songs with his prematurely powerful voice.[5]

At the age of 14, Kher left home in search of a guru or an institution to further his musical training, and he embarked on years of classical and folk music study. According to him, "It was because I wanted to pursue my passion for music. It required me to stay in isolation".[6] He also attended music classes and would teach the same to students for just Rs. 150 per session to maintain himself, taking care of all his personal expenses from lodging to food, plus his education and music expenses.[7]

Although he couldn’t find the right guru or a school, he started learning music by listening to it. He listened to Indian classical, Pandit Kumar Gandharv, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Gokulotsav Maharaj and later even Nusrat Fetah Ali Khan, Lata Mangeshkar and their contemporaries[8]

He then experimented with a family friend's Indian handicraft export business till 1999.[9][10] His depression phase started in the beginning of the year 1999 when his business collapsed. He went to Singapore and Thailand, and stayed there for six months.

Later, after he relocated to Delhi with his family, he graduated from Delhi University through the correspondence program[11] [12]

In 2001,Kher left New Delhi for Mumbai, the epicenter of India's highly competitive music industry, to seek his fortunes as a professional singer. For a while, Kher struggled, living in cheap residence, hostels and eking out whatever musical work he could find to make ends meet.[13][14]

Career beginnings[edit]


He moved to Mumbai in the year 2001, where he began his foray into the music industry. [15]

When he moved to Mumbai, he already had a few friends in Mumbai who were connected to the film industry. His name was recommended to musician Ram Sampat, who was then looking for a different voice for a jingle for Nakshatra diamonds. The jingle may not have given Kher instant recognition but fetched him Rs.5000 ($100) which he needed desperately at that time "just to survive”.[16]

This was his early attempt in getting into the music industry, by singing jingles for TV and radio commercials. He received critical acclaim for his unique style of singing. Some of the brands that he sang commercials for are Coca Cola, Citibank, Pepsi, IPL and Honda Motor Cycles.[17]

Playback singing and regional singing[edit]

Kailash had to struggle to get a chance in Bollywood. He got opportunity to sing a song for the movie Andaaz. In this movie his song "Rabba Ishq Na Hove" became much popular. His song "Allah ke Bande" from the obscure movie Waisa Bhi Hota Hai Part II became very popular and this song made him a popular singing star in Bollywood.[18]

Kher has a uniquely soulful, raw, high-pitched voice. He sang a number of the songs in the Bollywood film Mangal Pandey: The Rising, in which he had a cameo appearance. His another famous song is "O Sikander" from Corporate.[18] The song "Teri Deewani" from the album of the same name by his band Kailasa and the song "Ya Rabba" from the movie Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute to Love had record sales.

A. R. Rahman says

By 2014, he had sung in 20 Indian languages including Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Oriya, Bengali, Sindhi, Bhojpuri, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Konkani, etc. for Indian films and more than 500 songs for the Hindi film industry and recorded more than one thousand radio and television advertising jingles.[20][21]

He has also ventured into the Kannada film industry. His hits from Kannada films include the songs "Hale Patre" from the movie Junglee and "Ekka Raaja Raani" from the movie Jackie.

Currently, he has composed and sung the title track of Star Plus's no. 1 serial Diya Aur Baati Hum along with Shubha Mudgal. It is a very soulful, classical-based Rajasthani folk song. He has also sung the title track of Colors serial "Udaan" along with the anthem for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the national campaign for cleaning India spearheaded by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Film music as music director[edit]

He has given music score's for the movies like "Chandni Chowk To China", "Dasvidaniya", "Sacred Evil", "Sangini" and others. He has also penned lyrics in few movies like "Chandni Chowk To China", "Dasvidaniya", "Kaal" and "Traffic signal".[22]

He composed the song "Ambar Tak Yehi Naad Gunjega" for Anna Hazare anti corruption movement, and sang it in Ramlila Maidan during Anna Hazare protest.[23]

Forming Kailasa band[edit]

He formed Kailasa in Mumbai in 2004, with Mumbai-based musician brothers, Paresh Kamath and Naresh Kamath, whom he met in Mumbai.[24]

Albums and other non-film work[edit]

The band's first album ‘Kailasa’, released in March 2006, went on to revive the Indian pop music market.[citation needed] The album was an immediate smash hit.[citation needed]

Their second album, Jhoomo Re released in May 2007, went on to be an equally smash hit.[citation needed] With songs like "Saiyaan" and "Agad Bamm" touching the right chords with Indian as well as international audiences.[citation needed]

Kailasa's third album Chaandan mein released in June 2009, was yet another smash hit![citation needed] This Hattrick Hit got him his first international album on the acclaimed independent record label Cumbancha.[25]

He released his fourth album Rangeele, which was released by his owned company Kailasa Records in January 2012. This album was widely acclaimed amongst the fans of Kailasa, and was critically acclaimed worldwide.[citation needed]

In 2013, Kher collaborated with singer Shreya Ghoshal for the first time for a mission titled 'The Project Resound: Upgrade your Ears', in which Kher wrote, composed, and invited Shreya to sing along a song named "Naina Chaar". This online initiative by Sony Music India, aimed to make people aware of the rising technological advancement in the field of music, which may make it difficult to distinguish between noise and music. The project also promoted the use of Sony headphones.[26][27]

Performances and International concerts[edit]

Kailash Kher and his band Kailasa has performed over 1000 concerts in approximately ten years across the globe. He has not only performed for the south east Asian diaspora, but also for international audiences in festivals and venues such as GlobalFest at New York's Webster Hall, Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.), Stern Grove Festival (San Francisco), Celebrate Brooklyn, Santa Monica Pier Festival (LA), Fillmore Center (San Francisco), Hollywood Bowl (LA), Hammersmith Apollo (London), Symphony Hall (Birmingham), Massey Hall (Toronto).[28]

In 2007, he participated in a concert tour in North America entitled "The Incredibles", also starring Asha Bhosle, Sonu Nigam and Kunal Ganjawala. In March 2011, Kailasa performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as part of the Maximum India festival.[29] Kailash Kher performed at the closing ceremony of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.[30]

In 2012, as part of Kailasa's 3rd world tour, Kher performed at Dhaka in Bangladesh, Nairobi in Kenya, London and Leicester in the UK, Karachi in Pakistan and Muscat in Oman.[31] His performance on 14 April 2012 in Karachi, Pakistan received overwhelming response.[32][33]

Television and reality shows[edit]

He has appeared in various television shows, including Saregamapa Lil Champs (Zee TV), Mission Ustaad (9X), Indian Idol (Sony), IPL Rockstar (Colors) and Rock On (MTV).[34][35]

Personal life[edit]

He got married to Mumbai-based film student Sheetal, on 14 February 2009, and they have a 5-year-old son Kabir.[36][37]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Regional songs". Retrieved 8 May 2012. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Inspiration". 
  3. ^ "Learning Music from his father". Yahoo! News. 8 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Love for Music". 
  5. ^ "Natural musical talent". 24 May 2012. 
  6. ^ "I didn’t have money to pay the fees: He struggle a lot during initial days and no money to wear proper footwear. Kailash". The Times of India. 21 July 2009. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  7. ^ "Early Life". mid-day.com. 17 November 2008. 
  8. ^ "Learning Music". 24 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "Experimenting with export business". 
  10. ^ "Wanted to commit suicide once: Kailash Kher". Hindustan Times. 22 November 2011. 
  11. ^ "graduation". Yahoo! News. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  12. ^ "I didn’t have money to pay the fees: Kailash". The Times of India. 31 July 2009. 
  13. ^ "shifting to Mumbai from Delhi". 24 May 2012. 
  14. ^ "Shifting to Mumbai". 24 May 2012. 
  15. ^ "Musical Journey". Yahoo! News. 8 November 2011. 
  16. ^ "Moving to Mumbai". 
  17. ^ "Singing Jingles". Yahoo! News. 
  18. ^ a b "Playback singing". Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  19. ^ "Rehman launches Kailash Kher's debut album". 
  20. ^ "Regional singing". Yahoo! News. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  21. ^ "Regional singing and bollywood singing". Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  22. ^ "writing lyrics". Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  23. ^ "Anna's movement mobilised entire country: Kailash Kher". The Times of India. 30 August 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  24. ^ "forming band". Yahoo! News. 
  25. ^ [1]
  26. ^ "Kailash Kher and Shreya Ghoshal team up". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 19 April 2014. 
  27. ^ "Kailash Kher and Shreya Goshal on a mission". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 April 2014. 
  28. ^ "performances and concert". Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  29. ^ "Music – maximum India – March 1–20, 2011 – The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts – Washington, D.C". Kennedy-center.org. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  30. ^ "commonwealth games". Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  31. ^ "Kailasa as popular as Coldplay". The Times of India. 17 April 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012. 
  32. ^ "Kailash Kher's first Pak concert". The Times of India. 17 April 2012. 
  33. ^ "Kailash's performance in Karachi". zeenews.india.com. 17 April 2012. 
  34. ^ "Sa Re Ga MA Pa Li'l Champs". Hindustan Times. 5 May 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  35. ^ "Reality shows". Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  36. ^ "Kailash Kher's first anniversary bash". 
  37. ^ "I have seen Mamata's aura: Kailash Kher". 
  38. ^ "Muddu Manase (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) - EP". iTunes.com. Aananda Audio Video. 

External links[edit]