Life has changed a lot for US-based Indian origin music composer Ricky Kej after he won a Grammy earlier this year.
"It's been great, actually. After winning the Grammy, everyone has told me, 'we read about you in the paper and we loved your album'. It's been absolutely wonderful," says the 33-year-old, who won the prestigious music award for his album Winds of Samsara in the Best New Age Album category.
Interestingly, the last time we spoke to Kej, he said that he wasn't a big fan of the way independent music is seen in India. In a more recent chat on his visit to the Capital, Kej reveals that even after the award-winning effort, no one has given him the due that he probably deserves.
"Before I won the Grammy, our album was number one on world radio charts and US billboard charts, and we were played on 450 radio stations across the globe. Yet, not even a single station in India played our songs," he says.
And that's not where the rather amusing series of events stopped. "Two radio stations contacted me. One asked me to fill the NOC form in which I had to fill the details of a director, actor and actress in the album info section. The other one told us to associate our songs as bonus tracks with a film. And this is the funny part - radio stations want to interview me. But they don't want to play my songs. There is no space for any music besides film music here in India."
Kej, who has composed music for a few Kannada films, adds, "Everytime I tell someone I am a composer, they ask me, 'Which movie have you composed music for?' Music is very deep-rooted in the film industry here. Nobody considers anything else as music. That's why I had to compose for a few films, I was seeking that validation of a music composer."