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Ricky Kej, Grammy-winning Music Composer, Says Way To Global Fame Is To Stay Rooted

Ricky Kej won a Grammy for his album 'Winds of Samsara' in the Best New Age Album category in the year 2015.

| Written By
Anjali Negi

Image: Republic & AP

Ricky Kej, Grammy award-winning music composer, opened up about the importance of being true to one's self and art and not blindly copying what goes in the west or what's popular speaking to Republic TV on the special Republic Day broadcast 'Proud To Be Indian'. The 41-year-old composer from Bengaluru said the best way to gain international recognition is to stay close to one's roots. 

"In the past, when it came to music, most young musicians used to feel they need to make western music and in the English language but now we have realised that the best way to get recognition globally is actually to dig deep into your roots, find out what uniquely makes you Indian and that is what gonna give you appreciation all over the world," Kej said.  

'Don't wait for somebody to pay'

When asked about the advice he would like to give younger musicians, Ricky Kej said, "My sincere advice to the youth is to make music from the heart. Don't wait for somebody to pay you to make music.

"Bollywood has such a strong grasp on the music industry in India, almost every song that comes out of India is either a love song or an item song. There are so many things to celebrate in India, our culture, our heritage, our people and we all should write songs on these things and showcase them to the world," he added. 


Talking about his Grammy win, the music producer said it was an 'unattainable dream' for him. He won his first Grammy at the age of 33 in 2015 followed by another one in the year 2022.

This year, Ricky is nominated in the Surround Sound Album category at the Grammys and he said it 'feels surreal' to get this kind of recognition especially when his music is not mainstream.

Musician on a mission 

Kej won a Grammy for his album 'Winds of Samsara' in the Best New Age Album category in the year 2015. He has performed in over 30 different nations, including the United Nations headquarters in New York and Geneva. At COP14, Kej was selected as a UNCCD Land Ambassador to educate the public on the problems caused by land degradation, desertification and drought.

Ricky Kej also supports UNICEF as a celebrity supporter. He is an ambassador for the Earth Day Network and is a "Global Ambassador for Kindness" for UNESCO's MGIEP programme. Kej was recognized as a GQ Hero 2020 by GQ magazine 2020.

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