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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

I don't have a plan to take over Bollywood, says Karsh Kale

Subuhi Parvez, Hindustantimes.com  New Delhi, November 29, 2013
First Published: 18:15 IST(29/11/2013) | Last Updated: 18:33 IST(29/11/2013)

The pioneer of fusion music, Karsh Kale will once again spin magic on the closing night (December 1) at the NH7 Weekender. The artist will perform with his Indian band Karsh Kale Collective. The act, as the artist says, will turn into a party towards the end. A day before the festival kicks off, Kale opens up about the event, Bollywood and the music scene in India.

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Your music has become quite popular among the youth. But you have stayed away from Bollywood. Is that a conscious effort?
I don't exactly have a plan to take over Bollywood. It is just another outlet or medium for me to express myself. I have been interested in film music since I was a child. It would be as interesting to score some more crossovers, independent or even Hollywood films. At the moment, I am more interested in the Collective I have created with my band. I'd like to do more with these artists in terms of writing, recording live and performing.

Music artist Karsh Kale

How would you describe Bollywood music in present times?
Well, it's not really a genre as many forms of music including the score make up the true sound of Bollywood. However, most of the music is used to sell the films, the item numbers and the hot songs all seem to have become quite generic. Pop music around the world has become one homogenized sound. Bollywood is no different; you can exchange languages but it's all become one thing.

You were one of the few artists who were picked for Coke Studio Season 2. What do you have to say about Coke Studio India as oppose to that of Pakistan.
I feel like this season in India, the music is reaching out to a much broader international audience. People around the world are watching and music is reflecting that now. The mistake is to see it as two different styles or approaches. Within the Pakistani and Indian versions there is such a diverse collection of artists, composers and musicians that it is a crime to split them into two styles. There are hundreds of styles being explored and we need to acknowledge that rather than compare Pakistan and India once again.

What's your take on reworking a popular number? You were brave enough to try your hand on Dil Cheez and it got tremendous response.
Well, it's about respecting the work. I felt we could take that old song and bring it into a 'today' kind of sound without really changing it.

You blend a lot of music styles. We see Indian classical with electronica, rock and pop. Tell us something about that.
I grew up in many worlds at once being an Indian growing up in New York. If I am to be honest about where I come from, I am equally influenced by Indian classical and film music as I am rock music and electronica.

I grew up playing drums in rock and jazz bands while practicing the tabla at home. I was always inspired by music and for me the similarities between different styles of music became more apparent than the differences. So now when I make music, all these influences come together as one idea.

How excited are you for Bacardi NH7 Weekender Delhi?
Bacardi NH7 Weekender is an amazing festival, and a place where indie music comes together, and I love playing at the festival each year. The Karsh Kale Collective + NH7 All Stars, which is the finale set for the festival, is a celebration of all the music that's played at the festival. It features the best of the festival, and is going be full of surprises.

Is there anything special that you're planning for Delhi fans?
I'm always excited to play a concert with the Karsh Kale Collective. The first half focuses on Karsh Kale Collective material and then our friends will come out and make it into a party.


Catch Karsh Kale's performance

Event: Bacardi NH7 Weekender festival
Date: December 1, 2013
City: New Delhi

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