While the definition of sufi music is getting blurred in these modern times, especially when bands are trying to add different elements to the devotional style, Kailash Kher’s band Kailasa still treads the path where fusion and devotion are juxtaposed with sincerity. The singer says the aim of their music is not just to entertain, but also to enlighten the masses.
“Kailasa’s music is not just entertainment, but it is very enlightening also. The music doesn’t entertain, but creates an awakening in the listener. It opens the mind, gives a vision and at the same time, gives fun to the listener,” Kailash told IANS on the sidelines of the SulaFest in Nashik.
Kailasa, which treads the path of spiritual Indian music while also incorporating western elements, has existed since 2005 and has released four studio albums till date. The band has played live in India and across the globe, thus spreading their sound and vision on a grand scale.
Yet, after all these years of creating and performing music, Kailash says that the band always assesses the crowd at their concerts, as he doesn’t want to sound too preachy with his message.
“We decide our repertoire because we have a limited set of time. So among us, we decide what kind of crowd it is. We think that there are so many songs by Kailasa which cater to different moods,” Kailash said.
For most performers, especially Kailash, having an intimate connection with the crowd is pertinent. However, sometimes it is also important to not go overboard with the message, he says.
“The relation between audience and performer is very intimate. It is a love-based relationship. You know the vibe… how you will impress your lover. You need to feel the love, so in that case, you need to decide the repetoire,” the 42-year-old said.
So how does Kailasa try to modify the inherent spirituality of the music while performing on stage?
“Along with fun, our music also teaches. So, we have to think before delivering this kind of music to a particular audience. We have to assess the crowd at each concert and think how much of our message do we need to deliver. We can’t also be very spiritual at such places because everyone is there to have fun,” Kailash said.
“They (the crowd) are with their girlfriends or boyfriends. So, if I start getting preachy with the spiritual message, then they might think that I am a hermit,” he quipped.
Kailasa, who performed at the ninth edition of the SulaFest here on Sunday, are now ready with their new album “Ishq Anokha”. According to Kailash, the message of the album is yet again spiritual, but he, very mystically, refused to divulge much information about the music itself.
“Kailasa’s new album ‘Ishq Anokha’ comes out next month. Whatever comes in that will be new and I won’t be able to tell you about that,” Kailash said.
For someone who has been living his life as a musician and as an artiste devoted to his craft, Kailash says he doesn’t “waste a single moment” being who he is not.
“Some things that I may not be able to express in another language, so whatever you have been given by the almighty, you have to use that. We are giving the same message in our new album ‘Ishq Anokha’,” Kailash said.
What is also important for Kailash is to not treat his music merely as “work”.
“In this world, if you do some work where you are in solitude, whatever emotions which come in your head, whatever aspirations you have, when you want to impress others, when you start living like that, you work will not be merely work, but something unique,” he said.