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Taken from Deccan Herald (Aug 04, 2019)

Karsh Kale, Getting the perfect score

Going solo has never been so enviable, writes Deepa Natarajan Lobo about musician Karsh Kale

by Deepa Natarajan Lobo

A WONDER Karsh Kale. Courtesy Image
A WONDER Karsh Kale. Courtesy Image

To hardcore music-lovers, renowned musician Karsh Kale needs no introduction. The solo recording artiste, producer, DJ, composer, and live performer has had an illustrious career spanning over two decades, which has seen him collaborate with some world-famous artistes as well as produce some great solo works.

Recently in the news for composing the enviable original score of Gully Boy and working on the score of a digital series called Smoke based on the drug scene in Goa, Karsh has many more exciting projects up his sleeve.

In a quick chat, he speaks about all that and more.

Did you always want to be a musician?

Yes, pretty much. Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be a musician. I fell in love with music at a very young age.

What are the current trends in the underground music scene?

There are so many new artistes emerging and innovating in so many fabulous ways. For me, the most exciting thing to see is how live musicians are merging technology and reinventing what a performance can be.

How was the experience of working on the score of 'Gully Boy'?

It was an exciting opportunity to create a soundtrack for this story set in Mumbai. It had striking similarities to what I had seen up close in New York. Growing up in Queens, New York, I watched the birth of hip-hop as those like Afrika Bambaataa, Whodini and Slick Rick gave birth to the genre.

These guys were poor and famous, not rich and famous, exactly how the Mumbai scene is, and I realised that this was a

project I could bring a lot of my experience to. That being said, it required quite some work and collaboration.

You have done many collaborations. Who has been your favourite artiste to work with?

Working with people like Zakir Hussain, Bill Laswell, Anoushka Shankar, Ravi Shankar, and Sting perhaps has taught me the most.

I carry much of what I learned from those experiences into a lot of what I do.

Is there anyone you would like to work with?

Yes, definitely. Peter Gabriel and Radiohead.

Tell us a bit about your documentary that covers your career.

It's being produced by a film company run by well-known music directors Salim-Suleiman.

It's a kind of timeline of decades of experiences told through interviews with people like Zakir bhai, Anoushka, Midival Punditz, Bill Laswell and many other artistes I have worked with. It is still in the editing phase.

What are the other projects that you are working on?

I am now working on a new album of material.

How different is it to work on a movie, an album, and something more recent, like, say a web series?

Working on a film or a web series is more about helping tell the story and achieving the director's vision, whereas making an album is your own film. So then I am the director and can freely travel where I need to.

Who are your inspirations?

I have diverse inspirations. From Bruce Lee to Zakir Hussain, Peter Gabriel, Sting and Stevie Wonder, the list is endless.


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