Dentist Turned Musician Wins Grammy Award

A dentist-turned musician and environmentalist, Ricky Kej shared the award with Stewart Copeland, the drummer of the iconic British rock band The Police, who collaborated with Kej on the album.

Music composer Ricky Kej, based out of Bengaluru, has won his second Grammy in the best new album category for 'Divine Tides'.In 2015, Kej took home a Grammy in the best new age album category for 'Winds of Samsara'.

'Divine Tides' is a nine-song album that aims to deliver the message that "each individual life plays a crucial role in maintaining the balance that serves all equally".

As he gets his second Grammy on Monday, congratulations poured in for him from across the Indian music industry with Benny Dayal and Shreya Ghoshal heaping praise on the 40-year-old.

Ricky Kej was born in North Carolina in 1981 to a Marwari father and a Punjabi mother. He has been living in Bengaluru since he turned 8. He did his schooling in the Bishop Cotton School in Bengaluru before finishing a degree in dentistry from the city’s Oxford Dental College.

Ricky Kej started off as a keyboardist with progressive rock band Angel Dust before he became a full-time composer. His musical inspirations are Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Pandit Ravi Shankar, and Peter Gabriel. He was also nominated for an award at Cannes for his jingle on Nike in 2010. He has created music for over 3000 jingles.

In 2015, after he won a Grammy, Hans Zimmer was the first to congratulate him and pose for a selfie with him. In 2010, he was nominated for a Cannes Lion for his Nike jingle. He has composed music for over 3,000 advertisements and even Kannada feature films.

The album for which he won the Grammy this year featured artists from all over the world and is described as a "tribute to the magnificence of the natural world and the resilience of our species." According to the nomination description, "this critically acclaimed album features nine songs and eight music videos shot around the world, from the exquisite beauty of the Indian Himalayas to the icy forests of Spain." 'Divine Tides' is a surreal audio-visual experience meticulously pieced together by two masters at the top of their game."


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