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All that fizz

Siddhartha Khosla, the Indian-American frontman of LA band Goldspot, admits that Bollywood songs inspired him to make his own music. Purva Mehra talks to the singer...

music Updated: Feb 21, 2009 19:46 IST
Purva Mehra

It’s refreshing to hear Siddhartha Khosla, the Indian-American frontman of LosAngeles’ popular rock band Goldspot, acknowledge Indian film songs as his point of initiation into making his own music.

At 7, his mother coerced the New Jersey born artist into memorising bhajans for visits to the temple. 32 and wiser, Khosla embraced the very experience he resisted as a child.

Growing up years
“I grew up farthest from the Western musical tradition, listening to Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar because that’s all my folks would listen to. Only later in high school I enjoyed the company of The Beatles, The Cure, REM and The Smiths,” said Khosla on the eve of his performance at Hard Rock Cafe, Mumbai.

In 1999, Khosla came up with ‘Goldspot’ for a band name, borrowing from the hugely popular though now discontinued Indian cola Goldspot. He pulled favours from friends and a 9 to 5 for months to fund their first independently released album, Tally of the Yes Men.

“I wrote the songs in a cubicle pretending to work, wondering about the recording by night,” said the Punjabi lad who was the first music director of the widely heard capella group, Penn Masala.

Ethnicity issues
Their debut has kept the five-piece LA band on their toes four years and earned them deals with recording giants Mercury in the UK. “My ethnicity was an issue at one point in the States. Many major labels loved the record but were reluctant to release an album with a brown singer as frontman,” revealed Khosla, whose band made an appearance on the hugely popular drama series, The O.C. and has even contributed music for the recent Bollywood release, The President is Coming.

While the mellifluous singer-songwriter opts for altering musical ensembles, he decidedly sticks to his Indian musical roots. “It’s what I know best.

In fact, I would love to do more Bollywood, work with A R Rahman himself (Sid has previously recorded with the producer’s orchestra in Chennai) and am currently looking for the right record company here.”