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Grammy joy for India

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Newspaper Deccan Chronicle has an interview with Ricky Kej about his Grammy nomination – which actually is India’s first nomination in the New Age music category.

Composer Ricky Kej has his friend to thank for this “incredible feeling”, because if it weren’t for Sairam Sagiraju, a native of Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh, his now Grammy-nominated album could have been “massacred”.  Kej, on Saturday, became the first-ever Indian to win a Grammy nomination in the genre of New Age music for Winds of Samsara, which also  features South African flautist Wouter Kellerman. Former winners in the category include Enigma, Enya and Peter Gabriel.

“My first reaction? It was a mixture of disbelief and pure exhilaration. I mean the Grammys is big for a reason — it doesn’t take money or sales into consideration and neither does it consider record labels, it’s all about the music,” says Kej, a North Carolina-born composer, who now is based in Bengaluru. “Sairam’s music videos have been very instrumental in making the album visible. After seeing his earlier work, I was confident that he was one of those narrative directors with a rare skill in interpreting music and he did it beautifully. I mean he could have single-handedly killed the album but the fact that the videos caught the attention of American listeners so quickly is a testimony,” claims Kej.

And yes, his tracks topped the US Billboard charts soon after the video was out.Sairam worked on videos for two tracks — Mahatma and Longing. “Ricky’s music is very positive and it’s about harmony. So the music itself was inspiration enough,” says the 25-year-old filmmaker, whose association with Ricky began with a ‘friend request’ on Facebook.

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