Ricky Kej and Neela Vaswani from India made the country proud by bringing home the prestigious Grammy award in its 57th edition. Here is all you need to know about Kej the self-trained musician and his journey to international success.
Bengaluru-based musician Ricky Kej won this year’s Grammy for the ‘Best New Age Album’ at the award’s 57th edition on Monday for “Winds of Samsara”.
“Winds of Samsara”, which symbolizes peace and harmony, is a collaborated album for which Kej teamed up with South African musician Wouter Kellerman. The album was an instant hit and stayed at the Top 10 for 12 weeks in the US music charts under the ‘New Age’ category.
Apart from Kej, another Indian Neela Vaswani won a Grammy in the Best Children’s Album category for “I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education And Changed The World (Malala Yousafzai)”.
While two Indians managed to grab the coveted trophy, Anoushka Shankar, who was nominated for her album “Traces of You” in the ‘Best World Music Album’ category lost out to Angelique Kidjo’s album “Eve”.
Born in the US and raised in Bengaluru, Kej was all set to become a dentist after getting his degree, but his love for music made him take up a different path. He never took a formal training in music but became a known name in Kannada music industry at a young age. He would sit down with a guitar and keyboard to teach himself various tunes.
Best known for his amazing work in Sandalwood like “Venkata in Sankata” and “Crazy Kutumba”, Kej has also produced over 3,000 jingles for reputed brands like Toyota, Essilor, Levis, Lee, Air India, Fosters, Ford, IBM, Nike, etc.
One of the biggest highlights of his career was when he created the theme song for the opening ceremony of ICC cricket World Cup at Dhaka in 2011. Gradually, Kej’s love for music grew stronger and some successful stints in the industry gave him a boost to launch his career at an international level.
Having proved his calibre at a regional and national industry, Kej was all set to try his luck internationally and launched his first music album “Communicative Art – Lounge from the Bay” in 2003.
Here is a track from one of Kej’s works which shows a side of Karnataka never seen before
Since then, it was never looking back and he went on to launch many albums and judge several music reality shows which gave him worldwide recognition.
The self-taught musician who started his career at the young age of 19 now needs no introduction. We congratulate him and all the other winners and nominees for their incredible work and hope to see many more success stories and artists in the future.