India's Ricky Kej, Neela Vaswani win the Grammy awards


The 57th Grammy Award was held on 8th February in Los Angeles. Two Indians were honoured at the function. One is the music artist Ricky Kej, while the other one is activist Neela Vaswani.

Ricky is a musician from Bangalore. His album ‘Winds Of Samsara’ was the winner in the category of Best New Age Album. Ricky had worked on this album with flutist Wouter Kellerman from South Africa. Ricky is the very first Indian to win in Best New Age Album category. The album has a wonderful theme, as the website explains, “Winds of Samsara speaks to themes of peace and positivity, spinning together forward-moving harmony, progressive composition, and technical prowess with a verve and passion never before attempted in the New Age genre.”

On 5th December 2014, Ricky and his partner Kellerman were announced as nominees. ‘Winds Of Samsara’ had also enjoyed number one position on US Billboard New Age Albums Chart in August 2014. This album stood first in Zone Music Reporter Top 100 Radio Airplay Chart in July 2014 too. Ricky is 33 years old and is a self taught musician. ‘Winds of Samsara’ is his 14th album and he had previously composed for Kannada films. The other albums nominated in the same category were –'Ritual’ by Peter Kater & R Carlos Nakai, ‘Bhakti’ by Paul Avgerinos, ‘In Love And Longing’ by Silvia Nakkach & David Darling and ‘Symphony Live In Istanbul’ by Kitaro.

Neela Vaswani won the trophy for ‘I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education And Changed The World (Malala Yousafzai)’ in the category of Best Children's Album. In this album, Neela had narrated the audio version of the book with the same title. She is known as an author for her works- memoir ‘You Have Given Me a Country’ and a short story collection ‘Where the Long Grass Bends’. The author has previously won various other awards in America- American Book Award, ForeWord Book of the Year gold medal, Audie Award, O. Henry Prize and Nautilus Book Award gold medal.

Anoushka Shankar lost in the category Best World Music Album. She is the daughter of late sitar maestro Ravi Shankar. It was Anoushka’s third nomination in this category. In this Grammy Awards, Anoushka was nominated for her album ‘Traces of You’.  This is her seventh album that features her half-sister Norah Jones in the track ‘The Sun Won't Set’.