Musician Karsh Kale feels nice that his work is being recognised globally | music | Hindustan Times
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Musician Karsh Kale feels nice that his work is being recognised globally

Karsh Kale, who recently performed at the Coldplay concert, shares his thoughts on meeting Obama, and how collaborations are a learning experience.

music Updated: Nov 23, 2016 08:21 IST
Akshata Shetty
Karsh Kale performed at the Global Citizen Festival in Mumbai on November 19.
Karsh Kale performed at the Global Citizen Festival in Mumbai on November 19. (Anja Matthes)

A pioneer in the world of global fusion music, composer and producer Karsh Kale has gone through many avatars over the past 15 years. From being a renowned tabla player to a film composer, Karsh had everyone up on their feet during his recent performance in the city.

In an interview with HT Café, Kale shares his excitement about being “considered” for a nomination for the Grammy Awards in the World Music category, doing a web series, and why meeting US President Barack Obama was the “highlight” of his life.

You don many hats — composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist. How do you strike a balance?

Each role appears as per the situation. My work requires me to play many roles during the creation of my music. I think that when you are younger, you seem to have the energy to do three different things at the same time.

The deeper you go into any instrument, the more difficult it becomes. It’s kind of the opposite of what people think. As you get older, the better you get. The more the instrument reveals to you, the harder it gets.

Your album ‘UP’ is being considered as nomination for the Grammy Awards in the World Music category…

I was told by various people that my work was being considered in the World Music category. I haven’t heard any thing since then, but it’s nice to know that my work has made it onto the Grammy radar. [You] can’t ever hope for such things, if it ever happens, it will be a great surprise.

You are doing the voice over for a music-based TV show that is now a web series...

Well, the digital world allows for a lot more flexibility in terms of viewing, sharing etc. The episodes were always uploaded on YouTube post their television premiere. People today are watching and consuming content a lot more on their phones, this seems like an answer that works.

I have worked with this team before, so there were a lot of reference points to start off from. It’s good to know why you were asked to do a project such as this.

In 2013, you were invited to perform at the White House. US President Barack Obama in his speech, said, “Karsh Kale mixes eclectic beats with the sounds of his heritage to make a sound that is distinctly his own”. How was the experience?

Absolutely unreal. It is one of the highlights of my life, as it came as a surprise. I never expected the POTUS to utter my name, let alone introduce me and my work, so that moment will always remain special and memorable.

You have worked with renowned artistes such as Pt Ravi Shankar, Sting, and Alicia Keys. Do collaborations help you grow as an artiste?

For me, since I never had a formal guru, collaborating with others will always be a learning experience. However, there are too many to list. I am working on a new solo album as well as finishing up an album I am producing for sarod geniuses Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan.