Grammy award winner Ricky Kej performs at Surrey Fusion Festival
Grammy award winner Ricky Kej just wrapped up two performances at the Simon Fraser University and at Holland Park for the Surrey Fusion Festival. The singer is known for bringing together music and environmentalism. Through his concerts and albums, the Bengaluru-based musician is always working towards creating awareness about this cause.We speak to him about the gigs in Canada and his upcoming projects:
Tell us about the concerts in Canada.
I have just returned from Surrey BC, Canada after performing two spectacular concerts at the Simon Fraser University and at Holland Park for the Surrey Fusion Festival. I brought together outstanding musicians from Ghana, Vietnam, USA, India and Canada for these two concerts. The performance at Simon Fraser University was for Canadian parliamentarians, change makers and business leaders who have the power to make key decisions and influence change to protect and conserve our environment.
The concert at Holland Park was played to thousands of people and it was amazing to feel the positive vibrations throughout. It was truly a celebration of love for one another and for the environment. The audience was amazing, the energy was electrifying.
Tell us about the other musicians who you performed with.
I brought together a large ensemble of over 50 stellar artists including six international Grammy award winning musicians all on one stage. We performed music from my album Shanti Samsara – World Music for Environmental Consciousness.
I had Grammy winner Vishwa Mohan Bhatt (India), Grammy nominee Rocky Dawuni (Ghana), Grammy nominee Lonnie Park (USA), renowned dan tranh player Hai Phuong (Vietnam), state award winner from Karnataka Chaitra H G, violinist Manoj George from Kerala, tabla and percussionist Muthu Kumar from Karnataka and drummer Nirmal Antony from Kerala.
What made it even more special was that I got two of Canada’s brilliant musicians Grammy winner Jennifer Gasoi and Grammy nominee Ron Korb and the amazing Surrey City Orchestra performing along with me.
What attracted to you to the event?
All my music, my work and my life is dedicated to the cause of the environment. I have been performing world-over advocating climate action through the medium of music. When Canada was having one of their most important annual Fusion Festivals, which pretty much transforms the entire beautiful city of Surrey, they thought it apt to invite me for performing. As through my music I could get the people of Canada to rally for the environment, recognise the effects of climate change and take action to alter lifestyles and activities that put the environment at risk.
I also had a very special musical dedication to this beautiful country of Canada. I specially created and performed an instrumental version of their National Anthem which was accompanied by my music video showcasing the beauty of the UNSUNG inhabitants of Canada, the Wild-life and the natural world who have lived on the land long before any human ever set foot.
What are you working on next?
Lots of concerts all over the world. Concerts for large audiences, and intimate concerts to policy and change makers. Inspiring change through the emotional language of music. I also am hosting an awards program for musicians who create music for a positive purpose.
A project I am currently working on, which is very close to my heart is an education programme for children, where I plan to bring about environmental consciousness in children through teaching them songs about nature. This is a mega undertaking, hoping for great impact.