Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

1. Colonial CousinsThe Way We Do It

I bought this record when I was a child, by this point I had moved to Lahore. And I don’t know why I bought it or how it came into my hands, because I didn’t know them. It was cool, because there’s kind of a modern fusion to it, and there’s a sweetness there as well. And there’s this use of acoustic guitars and drums and stuff that is still very gentle – there’s something innovative about the way it’s produced, it didn’t feel cheesy to me. I thought it would, but there was something in the production and the compositions that was drawing me in. In a world where, simultaneously there’s the Backstreet Boys, the Spice Girls, all this other stuff is happening, there’s Colonial Cousins with this little secret album that, to me at least, felt like a little discovery.

I really remember listening to the singer Hariharan’s voice for the first time in any context at all and I was deeply surprised by how beautiful it was, it’s a combination of the tone and the choices and the restraint and the skill, his voice sort of stunned me. That was my first discovery of what Carnatic music is, which is like a South Indian kind of classical style, very different from North Indian. And he’s one of the best singers I would say, in India, in that idiom. He’s kind of a legend. I didn’t know anything about that, so that album was a nice gateway for people like me.

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