Kailash Kher (born 7 July 1973) is an Indian pop-rock singer with a music style influenced by Indian folk music. He has sung in 18 languages for Indian films, and over now 300 songs for the Bollywood film industry. He was inspired by the Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and the classical musician Pandit Kumar Gandharva. They remain his inspirations.
Kailash Kher was born in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh on 7 July 1973 to a family with Kashmiri roots. His father Pt.Mehar Singh Kher and his mother Chandrakanta Mehar Singh Kher were from Meerut. Kher's father Mr. Mehar Singh, a Hindu priest, was an amateur musician whose performances of traditional folk songs were a regular household event.
Kailash learned music from him in his childhood. Kailash Kher was brought up in a musical atmosphere and from his school days he was fascinated by music and used to listen to his father's Indian folks songs all the day. Even as a four year old, Kher revealed a natural musical talent and he would often impress friends and family by belting out songs with his prematurely powerful voice.
At the age of 14, Kher left home in search of a guru or an institution to further his musical training, and he embarked on years of classical and folk music study. According to him, "It was because I wanted to pursue my passion for music. It required me to stay in isolation".He also attended music classes and would teach the same to students for just Rs150 per session to maintain himself, taking care of all his personal expenses from lodging to food, plus his education and music expenses.
Although he couldn’t find the right guru or a school and he started learning Music by listening it. He listened to Indian classical, Pandit Kumar Gandharv, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Gokulotsav Maharaj and later even Nusrat Fetah Ali Khan,Lata Mangeshkar and their contemporaries.
He then experimented with a family friend's sari export business till 1999. His depression phase started in the beginning of the year 1999 when his business collapsed. He went to Singapore and Thailand, and stayed there for 6 months.
Later, after he relocated to Delhi with his family, he graduated from Delhi University through the correspondence program.
In 2001,Kher left New Delhi for Mumbai, the epicenter of India's highly competitive music industry, to seek his fortunes as a professional singer. For a while, Kher struggled, living in cheap residence, hostels and eking out whatever musical work he could find to make ends meet.