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Taken from The Hindu (May 30, 2017)

Karsh Kale: ‘Music is like water’

Karsh Kale talks about his music and blurring the lines between genres

by Medha Nidhi

Amid work, sleep and the traffic, it’s hard for a Bengalurean to find time to do anything more. But for those who did make it to the recently-held VR Bengaluru’s VROne Carnival, the two-day extravaganza was worth the effort. While the adults gave in to the child in them by indulging in games and jests, the highlight of the event was popular acts like Penn Masala and Thaalavattam and enterprising musician and producer Karsh Kale.

Catching up before his performance, the eclectic composer talks about how his music has brought him this far.

“My journey with music began when I was a child,” Karsh recollects. “It was something that I recognised and felt was analogous to what I was going through very early on in life. When I was three I started hearing music and I would imagine myself playing it. I once saw Buddy Rich, who is a very famous drummer, on television and I remember saying to myself ‘I can do that’ even though I couldn’t. That was the beginning of my pursuit.”

The instrument he first learnt to play was, of course, the drums thanks to Buddy Rich. The musician can play a variety of instruments now, including the guitar, bass, keyboard, drums and tabla. He goes on to add: “I learnt how to play because I wanted to write music using those instruments. My main instruments are the drums and the tabla.”

On the impact that he wants his music to have, he says: “I want people to reflect on their own life as opposed to focusing on what I’m doing. Music at its most potent is like medicine. Yes, it is entertaining and fun and makes you dance. But it is more powerful and effective when it can help someone go through a rough patch. So for me, when people come and tell me they were able to make it through difficult times with the music I make, that is when I feel most successful as a composer and a musician.”

Karsh has performed across the world at notable venues like the White House, along with music greats like Zakir Hussain and Benny Dayal. The musician has had his music featured in TV shows and composed music for Bollywood as well.

“I don’t have a genre nor do I really believe in it. I think that it’s just a label; a way to categorise music. But music is like water, it can change. It depends on the audience. But I don’t have a favourite genre, I just like good music.”

On future prospects, he says, “I have no idea what the future has in store. I wake everyday thankful for the fact that I get to continue doing this. The music business is very fickle and none of us can really guarantee that we’re going to be around tomorrow. I can only hope and wish every day that I wake up and I have a job,” he laughs.


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