February 9th, 2015
Kej’s album, “Winds of Samsara”, which he co-produced with South African flautist Wouter Kellerman, has sounds inspired from India and the African continent, and had debuted at #1 on the US Billboard New Age Albums Chart late last year.
Ricky Kej won the Best New Age Album award at the 57th Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on Sunday, in Los Angeles.
“Winds of Samsara” edged out “Bhakti” by Paul Avgerinos, “Ritual” by Peter Kater and R Carlos Nakai, “Symphony Live In Istanbul” by Kitaro, and “In Love And Longing” by Silvia Nakkach and David Darling, to win its category.
Kej, 33, an American citizen, was born into a family of doctors in North Carolina and moved to Bangalore when he was eight years old. He attended Bishop Cotton Boys’ School and acquired a degree in dentistry from Oxford Dental College, although he didn’t practice even for a day.
The world of music soon won him over. A self-taught musician, he was part of now defunct local Bangalore outfits such as Angel Dust, University and Techno Rave Band.
“I started playing around with the guitar in the ninth standard. In college, I was playing with Angel Dust, during which I got more serious and disciplined with band practices,” he was quoted as saying in a newspaper in 2008.