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The Colonial Cousins return

The nineties’ popular Indi-pop duo Colonial Cousins release album after a decade; promise that new offering will bring back their signature style

music Updated: Oct 27, 2012 14:15 IST
Nirmika Singh

There was something about the Colonial Cousins that caught the attention of music channel buffs in the nineties. Their on-screen look — a duo comprising a ponytailed rocker and a traditionally attired classical singer — perfectly complemented their brand of fusion music — catchy melodies sung in Hindi and English, set to Western arrangements. At the height of the Indi music boom in the country, Hariharan and Lesle Lewis’ fresh sound ensured that their 1996 eponymous debut album was a massive success with hits like ‘Krishna’ and ‘Sa ni dha pa’.

But two more albums later, the cousins ventured out to pursue independent careers. The state of independent music in the country, too, wasn’t the best time for artistes to release their work. That’s probably why their latest offering, which also marks their comeback, means so much to them. Colonial Cousins Once More, their fourth album, is out today more than a decade after their last release.

Colonial Cousins: Hariharan (L) and Leslie Lewis

“Brighter times are ahead for independent music and we are looking forward to recreating the same kind of magic and music as before,” says Lewis. Despite the long hiatus, not much has changed between the two over the years. “We’re older; and that’s the only change!” he says.

The duo promise that this new album, which features seven tracks, will stick to their signature style. Says Hariharan, “We’ve had a great time working on this album. Our soul is in there. Like our previous albums, there’s a spiritual feel in this one too. Also, the music represents the sound of 2012. For both of us, it’s been quite a journey.” Adds Lewis, “With this album, we’ve gone back to our roots. And we’re enjoying ourselves.”

In the beginning

Colonial Cousins was the debut album of the eponymous band comprising Hariharan and Lesle Lewis. It was released in 1996 and received a great reception from fans and critics. The music was a fusion of Indian and western styles and won the duo many awards including the MTV Asia Viewers’ Choice award.

Colonial Cousins Once More is available on Nokia Music Store, and Flipkart.