Kailasa is changing. There’s a new flavor to its music and it now has its own label. A fourth album is also slated for release soon. Kailash Kher and Paresh Kamath share the making of their ambitious project with Anita Iyer
The flavours of the kahwa, kashmiri tea served at Kailash Kher’s Juhu bungalow still lingers. But what stays with you even longer is Tu Kya Jaane, a track from Kailasa’s upcoming album Kailasa Rangelee, slated for release soon.
Hearing some tracks of Rangelee at Kailasa studios located in Aaram Nagar, Versova gives you the distinct feeling that the band has matured musically with three albums already under their belt. Labeled thus far as a Sufi ensemble, Kailasa now wants to break the shackles and move into wider realm with their new offering. The six tracks, ready for the listener, seem to bear testimony to the experiment.
Kailasa has however stayed true to their roots. The sound of the album is organic with ample use of natural sounds. The title track Rangelee has an impressive music arrangement, something that continues throughout the album with a perfect blend of modern and traditional instruments.
Although Kailash Kher – lead singer and composer, is seen as the face of the band, Kailasa has eight members – Naresh Kamath – bass guitar, Paresh Kamath – electric guitar, Sameer Chiplunkar – keyboardist, Kurt Peters – drums, Sanket Naik – percussionist, Sankarshan Kini and Tejasvi Rao.
The next track Tu Kya Jaane has excellent backing vocals by Naresh, enhancing the feel of the song. It is a little known fact that Naresh initially started as a vocalist, only to pick up the guitar later. Having penned all the songs for this album, Kailash’s lyrics in Rang Na Dalo is open to multiple interpretations accentuated by his pure vocals. Rangelee has one experimental story telling track named Katha Gaan. Paresh mentions that Kailash’s dad used to sing this type of song. Katha Gaan has no bridges, no chorus but just a linear flow of words paired with rustic music. The album has a myriad moods.
Rangelee – The Making
Although their last album Kailasa Chaandan Mein released in 2009 under Sony Music, the band insists that work on Rangelee commenced only a month and a half ago. Clubbing some existing tracks from their stock in trade with freshly composed ones, a whopping 12 tracks have been finalised. Paresh jests, “The first album took a year to be completed, the second took us about eight or nine months, we took five months for the third, and a month and a half for this one. We are getting faster with every album!”
Tracks in Rangelee are shorter than the usual Kailasa ones, restricted to less than four minutes. The idea is to provide more variety in the album rather than dragging the six tracks and shorter tracks assure listener attention.
The artists have put in a conscious effort to reinvent themselves, as they say. Kailash reasons that people have tagged him as a Sufi singer although he isn’t one. “My songs are essentially romantic songs – Teri Deewani is a mad passionate song, so is Saiyaa and Ya Rabba. Merely using words like Allah, Maula, Khuda doesn’t make for a Sufi song. These can be used in romantic numbers too.”
Paresh says that apart from the lyrics, musically too the band has cut off from everything that was binding them to the Sufi tag. “I used to feel afraid to use the electric guitar in my earlier albums; it was quite natural for me to play the acoustic guitar to suit Kailash’s raw voice. But I am done with that with three albums and this one is really about reestablishing and reinventing our music.”
Interestingly, Kailasa kept thinking about how to recreate the songs for live performances and how to distribute the musical paths among the band members during shows, even as they were composing the album.
While Sony Music released the previous three albums of Kailasa, the band has this time floated an independent music label Kailasa Records, to release Rangelee. The new label will be involved in manufacturing and production of music in association with Promo Sapiens India, but it might tie up with a music major for distribution. Kher hints that it could be Sony Music again this time.