All along his life he was criticized, they were saying “he can’t sing nor is his voice any good”. With no confidence or much knowledge about movies, Kailash Kher today is a heartthrob making his name fly high with mesmerizing Sufi songs. From the spiritual note of 'Allah ke banday' to a romantic number of 'Teri Deewani’, he made people fall deeply in love with his voice. Yes, the same voice which was dispirited earlier. How did the change happen?
“A fragrance of rural Indian soil.” – A.R. Rahman’s words for Kailash Kher
Not Born With A Silver Spoon
Born and brought up in a musical atmosphere, fame was not easy for Kher. He was so fascinated by folk and Sufi songs, that at a teenage age of 14, Kher left home in search of a guru or an institution to nurture his musical training.
"It was because I wanted to pursue my passion for music. It required me to stay in isolation". - Kailash
He had to start teaching music to students for just Rs. 150 per session to maintain himself, taking care of all his personal expenses from lodging to food, plus his education and music expenses. Not finding the right Guru or institution he started learning music by listening to some Indian classical singers like Pandit Kumar Gandharva, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Gokulotsav Maharaj and the like.
Singer By Chance
Singing seemed to be out of his league during that moment. He experimented in many other businesses as his singing career was not working out. He then joined hands with a family friend's Indian handicraft export business. People can earn millions but if there is no love for his job it’s all worthless. The same happened with Kailash. His depression phase was becoming so high that he even tried committing suicide once when his business collapsed.
"I always sang but before I turned to singing full time, I did many kinds of businesses - some flourished and some left me with emotional as well as financial loss! That's when I realised that my purpose in life is not to do business. I don't have the temperament for that.” - Kher
That is when he realized his true love for music. At the age of 29, when people settle down, Kher was trying to explore and start a new career of his passion – music. Movies were never his forte or dream, all he wanted to do was make an album. He never thought Sufi as a genre will flourish in Indian films. But it happened; life changed its course when Allah ke bande happened. "Being a singer wasn't a part of my plan, I became one, but just by chance," he says.
Kher says that "Sufi is not a genre of singing. It's a thought process of a person about God.” Keeping this thought in mind he keeps charming the world with his beautiful voice and expressive lyrics. Not only nationally but he spreads the same charm worldwide. He aims that Sufi and folk music gets recognition worldwide, which seems to come true gradually. “Yes, Indian music is getting popular, but let's face it - there's still a long way to go. If you go to any music store abroad, you'll still find our music in the 'World Music' section which is tucked away in some obscure corner! They don't have a special category for our music. So while all these awards are great, we should not be content. We still have a long distance to cross before we call our music truly global!" - Kher
From earning Rs. 150 per session to Rs 50,000 or more per track, life has turned drastically for Kailash Kher. Passion Connect wishes his dream of making Sufi, Folk and Indian music popular worldwide comes true. We salute his journey and struggles and for giving Indian film a new and beautiful genre of music.