Ram Dass Kailey, or R D Kailey as we know him, is an accomplished music composer and vocalist in Indian classical & light music, including Ghazals (Urdu poetry) and devotional songs. Presently a coveted banker with Punjab National Bank (PNB), Kailey was born on June 14, 1955, to the family of Smt. Savitri Devi and Late Sh. Lal Chand, in the village Jugial of District-Pathankot, Punjab. Despite a humble, rural beginning, the musically oriented artist shaped his destiny to explore the prolific world of Indian music and go places.
Professional Career and Musical Pursuit
Despite hailing from a humble family, R D Kailey kept pursuing his musical passion. All this while, he stayed focused on his diverse professional settlement. Accordingly, after MA in English Literature from Punjab University Chandigarh, he cleared his PNB PO exams in 1977. Life was settled and easy, with a musical ‘background’ when in 1992-93, Kailey sang a few songs in an informal gathering of friends and colleagues. Stunned by his performance, his audience encouraged him to pursue his passion at a bigger platform. Inspired, Kailey decided to focus more on his music. His wife Kamlesh Kailey, a BA in Music, who teaches at a Government school in Chandigarh, is his biggest critic. She has been guiding him on the ‘hows’ and ‘whats’ of musical technicalities. Kailey’s competence and devotion to music even fetched his bank’s (PNB) support. The bank has been staging his performance at different official events. Therefore, music continues to invigorate Kailey’s personal as well as professional life.
Inspired by the high musical aesthetics of his maternal uncle, R D Kailey had an early start in the field, at the age of 7 to be precise. Setting out on his artistic journey as a school & college student, R D started pursuing it seriously since the year 1994. Ustad Laxman Dass Sindhu, a renowned All India Radio (AIR) singer of Patiala Gharana, trained Kailey on Thumri (Indian Semi-Classical) and Kafi (Indian Classical) ragas for 6 years. In 2001, Kailey started learning Ghazals (Urdu poetry) from Pandit (Pt.) Mohinder Sarin, a very reputed Indian Semi-Classical singer & composer in Delhi. Like Ustad Sindhu, Pt. Sarin also graced the esteemed Classical music panel of AIR. Kailey’s final milestone of formal music learning was ‘Sangeet Martand’ Pt. Shyam Das Mishra of Barhia Gharana (Indian Classical). The training happened in Patna, Bihar and lasted for 2 years. Eventually, like his guides, Kailey too made it to the AIR ‘light’ music panel in 2000 as its approved member.
Today, Kailey is an authority in ‘Geet’ (Indian Light Song) and ‘Bhajan’ (Hindu Devotional Song) genre of light music at AIR and Doordarshan (DD) – Delhi, Jalandhar, and Patna. Kailey has been performing live in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Bihar, besides frequent shows at Chandigarh and Delhi. To date, Kailey has performed on several platforms in several cities. His musical partnership with singer Komal Chug of Patiala has earned tremendous public adulation. R D Kailey has made his mark in Geet, Ghazals, Gurbaani, and Bhajans. Having composed over 250 tunes, the artist specializes in singing Shiv Kumar Batalvi’s (1936-73) poems. Batalvi was a Punjabi poet, author, and playwright of ‘romantic’ genre.