There is something about the earthy voices, the ones that distinctively sound Indian. Take for example, Kailash Kher, who burst on to the scene with the soulfully acoustic Allah Ke Bande, and then went on to start his own band called Kailasa.
Kher is one of the few singers who will remain irreplaceable, because of the sheer quality he brings to a particular song. Here are 15 of our most favourite songs in the form of a playlist, which we picked across Bollywood and his tenure with Kailasa.
1. Allah Ke Bande
This has to begin with Kher’s breakout hit, composed by Vishal-Shekhar for the offbeat gangster dram Waise Bhi Hota Hai Part II. Over the years, the song has brought out more beginner guitarists for that catchy strumming pattern.
2. Teri Deewani
Kailasa’s first music video, established them as one of the best alternative music acts in the country. And you could hear mostly all college bands perform the song for its Sufi rock elements.
Their next album called Jhoomo Re, had this gem of a song which is widely considered Kher’s best song. Add to it Paresh Kamath’s insane guitar skills, and I’m not even surprised why the song is so liked.
4. Kaisi Hai Yeh Udaasi
Kher lent his vocals to this song composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy in Farhan Akhtar’s Karthik Calling Karthik. And he captures that feeling of separation perfectly in his vocals, emboldening the trio’s beautiful melody.
Composing for their first film, Vinay Pathak-starrer Dasvidaniya, Kher along with the Kamath brothers followed up on their acoustic-heavy desolate sound which they aced in their first album. Kher’s vocals are absolutely splendid.
Sharing the dais with the brilliant Javed Ali, this song composed by AR Rahman sees an equal opportunity for Kher to shine in the second para of the song. As he repeats the same line Mora piya ghar aaya in 4 different ways like only he can, you can’t help but smile.
7. Ya Rabba
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s song in Nikhil Advani’s Salaam-E-Ishq, again oozes the heartbreak with Kher’s vocals. It plays to the love story of John Abraham and Vidya Balan, and the emo quotient is only amplified.
8. Al Madath Maula
Known for his Sufi influences he found common ground with Rahman’s composition for Mangal Pandey: The Rising, as Kher transported his listeners to a trance with his perfect vocals along with Rahman himself.
9. Yun Hi Chala Chal Rahi
Kher’s debut with the maestro from Madras, he collaborated on the song with Udit Narayan to voice the lines of a vagabond played by Makarand Deshpande in Ashutosh Gowariker’s Swades. His alaaps in the song, made it the huge hit which it became.
10. Mere Maula
One of Kher’s first songs after his popular debut in Allah Ke Bande, he sang this terrific song for Ram Sampath. The album was Rajkumar Santoshi’s fantastic cop-thriller Khakee.
One of his lesser-known songs from Kailasa’s debut album, the song has an interesting harmony portion right at the end of chorus. The song nails the band’s ethos of folk music with a twist.
12. Jana Jogi De Naal
Based on the words of the great Bulleh Shah, the song talks about a dying lover’s last wish to see his love one last time before he shuts his eyes forever. Kher’s earthy vocals along with the haunting words make it a song which continues to burn slowly within you, long after you’ve heard it.
13. Jhoomo Re
The title track of their second album has an absolutely insane harmonium solo, and that’s what makes the song so special.
14. Daulat Shohrat
From the band’s second album, the song shines because of Kher’s rustic vocals and the progressive rock arrangement. Kailasa’s fusion always gives me goosebumps.
15. Tu Jaane Na
Singing a different version of the song composed by Pritam for Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahaani, Kher’s vocals bring a solitude to the song which Atif Aslam is not quite able to.
You can thank us later for this.