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Sorry for the break

Leslie Lewis on whatever happened to the Colonial Cousins. Gayatri Makhijani interviews the singer.

art and culture Updated: Aug 20, 2007 19:31 IST

He's the dapper guy who doled out Krishna with conviction.

He's one half of the Colonial Cousins, who took India by storm in 1996. Leslie Lewis is composer, singer, lyricist and now messiah for several pop star-aspirants. After being in hibernation of sorts for four years, he's back on the scene, composing for Kaushik Roy's film Apna Aasman.

The album is decidedly mellow. He explains, "We weren't looking to merely sizzle pop charts. We wanted to create an everlasting number, not just a fad that quickly bites the dust. We wanted to recreate the magic of Hum honge kamyab!"

Changing time
In the era of rap, dance and hip-hop will Apna Asmaan's music loop airwaves? Lewis is unafraid. "We aren't making music only to push album sales..but to take good Hindi music to the other end of the globe. We're looking beyond the average Hindi movie music buff." <b1>

Of the changing Indian music scenario, Lewis asserts, "Cinema absorbs everything that threatens to become bigger than itself. When Indi-pop was at its peak, cinema took it in, and now, cinema is using rock bands. The musicscape has broadened, which makes it easier for pop groups like the Colonial Cousins."

But, whatever happened to the Colonial Cousins, you ask? They are alive, kicking and dishing out an all-new album, soon enough, I learn. Says Lewis, "We've just been so busy doing our own thing, we've haven't had the time. But we've figured out everything about the new album in our heads. It's going to be a fun album with a lot more Hindi rather than English music."

Rays of hope
A new album in an era of shrinking album sales? Lewis has it figured out. "Earn your bread and butter from films," he says, "but for the love of music, to satisfy that creative urge, cut an album."

But, isn't the survival of the pop-artist difficult? <b2>

"There's a flurry of singers and music contests, but contests only send telephone operators laughing all the way to bank. The stars shine, but the rest lose their way, after naively believing they've already arrived!"

Lewis, of course has a solution - a production house that's taking up much of his time. "For rookies who want to make it big but don't know how to - I record their voice, get the music right and help them make a video, before finally selling to the music companies.

"It's about time you engineer your voice, and join on the bandwagon - several of new artistes like Prajakta Shukre, Abhijeet Sawant and the Band of Boys are already there," he sums up.