Hint of old Indian sounds in my music, says Indian-American composer

Siddhartha Khosla

New Delhi– He grew up listening to old classics by legends like Kishore Kumar and Mohammed Rafi, and feels they helped him shape up his career in the musical world. Indian-American musician Siddhartha Khosla, the composer behind hit American TV show “This Is Us”, says “hints of old Indian sounds” pop up in his creations.

But adding an Indian influence to his music score isn’t his priority.

Khosla, who has immense respect for Bollywood music, is especially a fan of the “golden age of Indian music”.

“My favourite artistes in the world are these old singers — Kishore Kumar and Mohammed Rafi. I grew up singing and learning music because of them. Hindi music and old Hindi music is in my blood.”

Siddhartha Khosla

“It is a big part of me and who I am as a person and as a musician. There are various images and some of the sounds do find a way into my scores for TV and films,” Khosla told IANS over phone from Los Angeles.

He added: “But it really depends on the project.”

The singer-songwriter fronts the New York-based band Goldspot, and has also written music for TV series like “The Royals” and “Grandfathered”. At the moment, he is enjoying all the acclaim coming his way for his musical compositions for TV show “This Is Us” — the season finale of which was aired in India on Star World Premiere HD.

“This Is Us”, featuring Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, Justin Hartley, Sterling K Brow and Chrissy Metz, is an emotional and heartwarming story of a family, and how they cross one another’s path. The series traverses through different time periods to tell the story.

It revolves around the lives of a group of people with the same birthday, including Jack (Ventimiglia), whose wife, Rebecca (Moore), is expecting triplets in Pittsburgh.

The triplets are — Kevin (Hartley), a handsome television actor growing bored of his fly bachelor lifestyle, Kate (Metz), his funny and sweet heavyset sister, and Randall (K Brow), a big shot commodities trader in search of his biological father.

Khosla also mentions that there is a ‘desi’ musical string that runs through his score for “This Is Us”.

A second-generation immigrant, he said: “The music that I am writing has references or hints of old Indian sounds. In episode 13, when Kate sits on the ground at the weight loss camp and she has a flashback of her father’s funeral… It is very Indian sounding music if you listen to it… Sometimes I go there and sometimes I don’t.”

What about the present-day music of Bollywood?

“I know there is a lot of great music coming out of India. I don’t listen to it as much, and I am not as much exposed to it… But there is some really great stuff coming out of there. I don’t really listen to Bollywood music.”

“I respect it and I love it and I think it is great. But I am more of a fan of what I call the golden age of Indian music, which has musicians like S. D. Burman and others.”


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