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News |  27 Jun 2013 18:02 |  By RnMTeam

I depend on my instincts, patience and myself: Kailash Kher

MUMBAI: Playback singer, composer Kailash Kher has come a long way since peddling his demo to label offices in Mumbai a decade ago. Sharing his journey from his roots in Meerut to the top of the entertainment industry Kher said that talent and hard work go together to achieve success in the industry as anywhere else.

"Both talent and hard work are important and one needs to know the direction one is taking. You have to learn how to present yourself and be aware of what's happening. Having a musical talent is inborn, methods and 'tricks' will help improve your talent. Everyday will bring you surprises and its best to be prepared. One might have the talent and the skills but there will be many more like you," he said.

He said he personally would not emphasis too much importance on formal education in music and his attempt at learning music did not bear the desired results.

"When I tried learning music I saw many students taking more efforts in touching their guru's feet than learning music and the teachers were more into traditional methods of teaching. When I started composing songs, I didn't know the difference between 'Antaras' and 'Mukharas'- I just followed my instincts. I was told by MBA 'types' that my songs wouldn't work- but they were the ones who were used to selling Coco-Cola and not music- so they couldn't understand."

Another liability that Kher turned to his advantage was his lack of exposure to Bollywood music. Realizing his lack of exposure to the style, he used his ignorance in the genre to compose refreshingly original tunes and sounds.

But like everyone else he had to pay his dues and learnt how the industry worked before lady luck smiled upon him and success beckoned. He used to ply his demo to labels and made mistakes that any novice did.

"I had a demo of six songs- four were covers of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan- and two of my own compositions. I used to pitch my demo as a collection of covers Khan, avoiding to mention that two tracks were my originals. After meeting repeated failures, one day, record executives took interest in my demo, and as luck would have it, they wanted the two original tracks- which they thought were (still) unheard tracks of Nusrat. I was caught as I couldn't confess that they were my originals."

His struggle also taught him to stay away from hanger-ons and pretentious people. He said artists must keep clear of people who inflated their sense of worth with praises for them without critically analyzing their work.

"The danger of artists cultivating an inflated sense of themselves and talents starts from their parents. They (the parents) start building up their children's' egos when they have only achieved at a small level- they should wait till they achieve something big."

What Kher strongly believes in is patience, belief in oneself and instincts.

"Because I didn't learn music, all my works are inspired or motivated. My approach is to induce my own emotion and style- be it a Bollywood song or a jingle. It is your instinct that can sometimes cross limits. Patience is another thing that you need in the industry- if you want long enough you will be at the right place and right time."