The 45th Annual International Trumpet Guild Conference
6.01.21 – 6.05.21
Known fondly as the “Trumpet King” of India, Kishore Sodha has had his name etched in the annals of Indian film and independent music. He is probably one of those very few artists who has had a long career of four decades as a solo trumpet player and still continues to awe his audience. Today in India the trumpet has become synonymous to his name.
Having started his career as an eighteen year old boy with the legendary Indian singer, composer and actor Kishore Kumar, Kishore Sodha was soon spotted by the maverick and extremely popular music composer Rahul Dev Burman and joined his team. Over the next, more than four decades Kishore worked with numerous composers and played in over 6,000 songs, apart from numerous background scores, commercials and live performances.
When Sodha first became a recording artist for Burman, he was thrilled and also apprehensive as Burman was known for his jazz and blues influences while Sodha was more attuned to the traditional musical aesthetics. Describing it as a “refreshingly new experience,” Sodha says, “I first worked with Burman in the film “Shalimar”, which took 30 days of background recording. “Shaan” and “Sanam Teri Kasam” followed where the songs offered more trumpet segments that got increasingly noticed.” Kishore has played on cult songs like ‘O Maria’ and ‘Sagar Kinaare’ from the film Saagar and ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’ from Hum Kisise Kum Nahin and has had his audience in raptures at his concerts.
Sodha was born in Ujjain and moved to Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh as a five year old boy. In 1975 he came to Mumbai to join his brother, Rajinder, who was already a session artist in the Indian movie industry. Sodha’s father, Rai Singh, was a bandmaster and led an orchestra of 150 musicians during the 1940s. Kishore’s first brush with the trumpet happened when he was five years old when his brother Rajinder had accompanied the legendary Indian songstress Lata Mangeshkar on a tour to the United States and had bought a small trumpet for him. The rest, as they say, is history.
The first song that Kishore played on the trumpet was “Rote Hue Aate Hain Sab’ in the film Muqaddar Ka Sikandar. Though very soon R.D.Burman’s “Jeete Hai Shaan Se” song got him noticed well amidst the connoisseurs of music. Later he played for cult films like The Burning Train, Shalimar, Shaan, Sanam Teri Kasam etc. More and more music composers started composing songs to suit his unique style of trumpet playing, giving life to some legendary songs.
Apart from R D Burman Kishore holds the credit for having worked with other leading list of composers like Kalyanji-Anandji, Bappi Lahiri, Anu Malik, Laxmikant Pyarelal, Anand Milind and contemporary music composers like Salim-Suleiman, Vishal-Shekhar, Sajid-Wajid, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and A R Rahman and countless stage shows with legends like Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Sharukh Khan, Salman Khan, Amir Khan etc. He has also worked with numerous independent artists and bands, some of them being Ska Vengers, The Bartenders and Fanculos. Kishore Sodha has currently teamed up with singer-songwriter Ujjayinee Roy and guitar player and producer Ed DeGenaro for creating a jazz fusion album due to be released soon. Kishore Sodha is also known to play Indian classical music on the trumpet, a genre quite unusual for an instrument that is not indigenous to India.