Bengaluru-based musician Ricky Kej, who won the Grammy Award for his album Winds of Samsara in February, laments that there are few 'true independent artists' in India. He says there is a need for musicians to write about 'real topics'. (Also Read: Grammy Winner Ricky Kej Says India is Not the Primary Market For His Music)
"There are a few true independent artists in India, but most of them do not make music from their heart. They are constantly making music hoping that a Bollywood producer listens to it and likes it. So they are actually making music which slyly caters to Bollywood," Ricky Kej told IANS in a telephonic interview.
The musician was in the capital to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who personally congratulated him for the Grammy win.
Ricky's 2014 release Winds of Samsara, for which he won the Best New Age Album trophy at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards in February, spotlights the musical, cultural and political connections between India and South Africa. He collaborated with South African flutist Wouter Kellerman for the venture.
Drawing a parallel between the music cultures of India and the West, the composer also questioned why Indian musicians couldn't write about hard-hitting subjects that were bothering them personally.
"It's just not music from the heart nor is it music which defines the (composer's) personality. If you look at the West, a singer like Adele writes an album when she breaks up with someone, and John Mayer writes an album when he falls in love with someone, whereas Coldplay and U2, when they feel strongly about a political issue, write about it.
"Why can't that happen in India, where musicians can write about real topics and real things that are bothering them personally or about their own philosophy, or make music that they themselves listen to," he added.
When asked about his opinion on the independent music scene in India, Ricki said, "An independent musician like me in India. I have the same issues as a non-cricketer faces in sport."
Ricky, who has previously composed music for films like Accident and Venkata in Sankata, says he is no longer open to such projects as he finds 'composing music for films generally frustrating.'
"I needed to have freedom to make the music that I wanted to do. I didn't want the music to be married to a visual. I found the film industry rather stifling for me and I decided that I needed to do my own thing," he said.
Although Ricky is no longer interested in composing music for films from the scratch, he says he is 'open to do a film' if the makers want to use his existing music as an OST (original sound track).
"After the Grammy win, I had got many offers to do films, but the only way I am open to do a film is if any film wants to use my existing music," Kej said.
"Like how it works in the west, if someone would like to use my music as an OST, I would be extremely happy to do that because my music will reach out to a wider audience," he added.