Thank you Emily for the suggestion! It has been a while since I did a musical post. And July is filled with birthdays, so there’s lots of options.
I love Indian singer biographies because they are so different yet so similar to each other. Like most singers, Kailash came from a traditional singing family, his father was a folk singer. Of course, you can’t make a living at that any more, so they also had a small handicraft business. At 14, Kailash dropped out of school and started traveling around focusing on his music. Eventually he came home and got a degree from Delhi University but still wanted to do singing. So he moved to Bombay and struggled until he started getting his first few jobs, singing jingles for ads. Most singers have this story. Start studying as soon as you can speak, traditional schooling is an after thought, you learn from gurus and your family not schools, and then you come to Bombay and pick up work because Bombay has a lot of work for singers, from ad jingles to Marathi films to everything.
As a success in Bombay, he works in EVERYTHING. Does a little lyric writing, does a little composing, started a band separate from his film work, and does playback singing for every language industry, and just works from sun up to sun down. That’s life for most playback singers. Only the ones at the very very top can manage to just SING. Everyone else has to do a little bit of everything. But Kailash, even with his many hit tunes, he’s still gotta scramble.
Let’s look at some of those hit tunes!
His first big break, an unusual folky sound to it, “Allah Ke Bande”
His first SRK song!!! “Yun Hi Chala”, with that nice casual easy sound to it
And of course, “Mangal Mangal” the best part of Mangal Panday
Another great Aamir song, “Chand Sifarish”!
And then SUCH a gorgeous song from Rahman and Kailash, “Arziyan”
Hilariously (to me), a Delhi folk singer’s son ended up singing Rahman’s great anthem towards Tamil language, “Aalaporan Thamizhan”
There’s loads more of his songs if you like how they sound. And he also has a “MeToo” scandal, but it’s more along the lines of “he put his hand on my thigh, I say anonymously on twitter”. And with the way the Indian media is, and the Indian twitter space, I’ve decided not to let it interfere with appreciating his music.