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From Humble Beginnings to Musical Icon: Kailash Kher’s Inspirational Story

From Humble Beginnings to Musical Icon: Kailash Kher’s Inspirational Story

Kailash Kher

Indo Thai News is proud to present a remarkable and matchless event starring the exceptionally gifted Padma Shri Kailash Kher, and his outstanding band Kailasa, in Bangkok on May 27th, 2023.

Kailash Kher is one of Bollywood’s finest singers, renowned for his soulful Sufi renditions. I vividly recall the first time I heard his mellifluous voice, which left me feeling euphoric. While browsing television channels, I stumbled upon his Allah Ke Bande, where he sat serenely on the shore, providing a tranquil escape from the chaos of daily life.

Kailash Kher
The electrifying Kailash Kher on stage

His rendition of Allah ke Bande exuded the aura of a Sufi saint seeking love and enlightenment. His melodic delivery of verses left me spellbound and engrossed.

Kher’s singing is synonymous with tranquillity, which has earned him immense popularity among the masses. Despite having no formal musical education, this talented artist from Meerut has made a remarkable impact on the music industry.

His awe-inspiring journey from a modest beginning to a beloved pop icon, renowned Bollywood playback singer, and celebrated television personality is undoubtedly exceptional. Today we trace the journey of this legendary artist.

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The Beginning of Kailash Kher

Music runs in Kher’s family, with his father being a traditional folk singer. Even as a child, he captivated audiences with his powerful vocals, garnering attention from his family and neighbourhood.

Born on July 7, 1973, he hails from a Kashmiri family in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. He inherited his musical talents from his father, Mehar Singh Kher, a respected folk singer. From a young age, Kher was drawn to music and received training in childhood, with a particular affinity for folk songs due to his father’s influence. As a result, Indian folk music and Sufi music greatly impacted Kher’s singing style.

Kher’s passion for music flourished over time, prompting him to embark on a journey to find a guru at 14. He pursued classical and folk music training for several years, honing his skills in the craft.

The Beginning of Kailash Kher
Kailash Kher in a live concert

The Rise of Kailash Kher

Despite leaving home to seek a Guru, Kher never had the opportunity to study under one formally. However, he devoted countless hours to listening to renowned Hindustani musicians, such as Pandit Kumar Gandharva and Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, to comprehend the complexities of Indian music fully. Today, his unmatched singing style has captivated audiences worldwide and is a testament to his self-taught prowess.

Kher’s musical career took off in 2001 when friends in the film industry brought him in. He quickly landed several ad jingle gigs, mesmerising audiences with his fresh voice. Although breaking into Bollywood proved challenging, he was eventually signed to sing Rabba Ishq Na Hove for the film Andaaz.

However, his much-loved Allah Ke Bande in Waisa Bhi Hota Hai–II propelled him to fame and cemented his position as one of Bollywood’s top performers, with few rivals to date.

His musical journey was not without difficulties, as he faced depression and contemplated ending his life after facing disappointment. Nevertheless, his love for music helped him overcome these obstacles and return to the stage, where he continues to shine.

Padma Shri Kailash Kher

Throughout his musical career, Kailash Kher has received numerous accolades that attest to his remarkable talent. Notably, he has been honoured with two coveted Filmfare Awards for Best Male Playback Singer for his contributions to the soundtracks of the Hindi film Fanaa (2006) and the Telugu film Mirchi (2013).

Padma Shri Kailash Kher
Receiving the Padma Shri award from the President of India Pranab Mukherjee

However, in 2017 he was bestowed with the Padma Shri for his contributions to the field of music, the fourth-highest civilian award of the Republic of India, marking a momentous and well-deserved milestone in his illustrious career.

The Band Kailasa

Kailasa, a band fuelled by their passion for music, was founded by Kailash Kher along with musicians Paresh and Naresh Kamath in 2005. The band’s debut album, Kailasa, was released in 2006 and included chart-topping hits such as Teri Deewani and Tauba Tauba. Their second album, Jhoomo Re, was also a commercial and critical success when it came out in 2007.

Kher’s band successfully challenged the notion that only Bollywood film music could be popular with audiences. Kailasa’s music was widely embraced by listeners, leading the band to perform over a thousand concerts worldwide.

In January 2008, Kailasa performed at the GlobalFest held in New York’s Webster Hall, where Kher mesmerised the audience with his energy and vocal prowess. With this captivating performance, the band Kailasa gained global stardom in the world music scene.

The Band Kailasa
Kailash Kher mesmerizing the audience in a concert

The Enigma of Kailash Kher

He began his career in the music and film industry fairly recently in 2002 but expanded his repertoire to include singing in 14 different regional languages. These languages include Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Oriya, Bengali, Sindhi, Bhojpuri, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Konkani, and more, for regional films. In addition to all this, he has also recorded over 200 songs for Bollywood films.

For Kailash Kher, music is a divine path to attain proximity to the almighty. One could aptly describe him as a Sufi, a wandering troubadour, and a spiritual emissary in unison with nature and God.

Kailash Kher transcends categorisation as his versatile vocal stylings cater to every genre, evoke any emotion, and render him a veritable musical saint in his own right.

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Photo Credit: Kailash Kher Website

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