Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Prem Joshua: the bestselling World Music artist in India

Prem who? Prem Joshua, that sitar player and flautist who perfectly blends the magic of Eastern music with modern Western sounds.

Born to a musical family in Germany, Joshua began learning the flute at the age of five, becoming a fine flautist while still a child. He vividly remembers hearing Indian music for the first time, age 16 - a crackly vinyl record of a sitar performance by Ravi Shankar: “I had never heard anything like this before,” Joshua recalls.

This experience changed his way of perceiving music completely. And so, in the late seventies, at the age of 18, he left home, high school, abandoned all career plans, and travelled to India instead, visiting Greece,Turkey,Iran,Afghanistan, Pakistan in between.

When he finally reached India it was like coming home! He started playing with musicians from all over the world and learning from some of India's finest teachers, among them Maestro Ustad Usman Khan, who became his sitar mentor.

Years later, in the early nineties Joshua returned to the West after many years of study in India. He and his music had totally changed - it was time to share the overflow and time for his music to really blossom.

Until today he has released 14 albums under his name and played on countless studio recordings. Joshua is now the number one bestselling World Music artist in and the daily newspaper "The Times of India" has lauded him as the new "Guru of Fusion". In 2003, the BBC nominated him for its prestigious “World Music Listeners Award”.

In early 2005 the music channel "MTV" invited Joshua and his band to give a half-hour live performance during one of their regular MTV live shows in Bombay. His performance was broadcast on TV several times - a rare opportunity for a musician of his genre to be featured on a TV music channel that otherwise concentrates mainly on mainstream music.

In 2007 Joshua received the award "Best Film Music on Indian TV" at the Indian TV Awards in Mumbai.