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Lesle Lewis (composer)

Lesle Lewis is an Indian singer and composer known for his work with Hariharan as the duo Colonial Cousins.[1] They won the MTV Asia Viewer's Choice Award and then the U.S. Billboard Viewer's Choice Award for ‘Colonial Cousins', their debut album.[2] He conceived and created all the music for Coke Studio, MTV India debut season.[3]

Lesle Lewis
Lesle Lewis.jpg
Background information
Birth nameLesle Peter Lewis
Born (1960-06-20) June 20, 1960 (age 59)
GenresIndi-pop, filmi, rock
Occupation(s)Singer, composer, music producer
InstrumentsGuitar, Bass, Keys, etc
Years active1987–present
Associated actsColonial Cousins, Hariharan

Popularly known as ‘Lezz’ in the industry, Lesle Lewis is one of the very first Indian composers to have introduced the Indian audiences to Rock and Pop music. Lesle’s creative side comes as an inherited value from his father, P L Raj, noted choreographer from the film industry.

With an aim to give the audiences a taste of varied music flavors, he has been successful in keeping his originality intact with advertisement jingles, film music and other forms of modern music.

Early lifeEdit

Lesle Lewis is the son of P. L. Raj, a prolific film choreographer.[4] He was educated at St. Mary's High School, Mt. Abu in Rajasthan.

As a child, Lesle was greatly influenced by The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton and with further working on his musical capabilities bagged the opportunity of recording with renowned music directors.

He played guitar at the Cafe Royal, Oberoi Towers, Mumbai and recorded with Kalyanji–Anandji, Laxmikant–Pyarelal, R. D. Burman and Louis Banks.



From 1987 he composed advertising jingles and was nominated for awards from the Indian Academy of Advertising Film Art (IAAFA). In 1989 received an award for his work. He went on to make some famous jingles such as Doodh-Doodh-Doodh (Piyo full glass), Mango Fruity fresh and juicy, Thums up taste the thunder, Santoor Santoor, etc.[5]

Mainstream MusicEdit

Lewis remixed Asha Bhonsle's album Rahul and I and composed songs for Janam samjha karo, O mere sona, Piya Tu- ab toh aaja. He also composed and produced the music for Paree Hu Main by Suneeta Rao, Bombay Girl by Alisha Chinai and for KK's album Pal. He even composed songs such as Bombay Girl and De De- Mujh Ko for Alisha Chinai.

He also launched indipop boy band A Band of Boys and gave music for their hit songs such as Meri Neendh, Gori and Aa Jaa Meri Jaan.

In 1998, Lewis recorded his first solo album, Haseena. He composed the score for the Hindi films Mela and Jahd and the Tamil films Modhi Vilayadu and Chikku Bukku.

Colonial CousinsEdit

Lesle Lewis's at Launch of his album 'Tanha Sa Hoon'

Lewis first worked with ghazal singer Hariharan in 1992, creating a jingle. They formed Colonial Cousins in 1996 and recorded an album, Colonial Cousins. They were the first Indian act to be featured on MTV Unplugged.[6] It won the MTV Indian Viewers' Choice award and Billboard Award for the Best Asian Music Group.[6][7] They released the albums The Way We Do It (1998) and Aatma (2001) and composed the soundtrack for the Tamil films Modhi Vilayadu[8] and Chikku Bukku.


Awards and achievementsEdit

  • 1997: MTV Asia Viewer's Choice Award for Colonial Cousins in Radio City Hall - New York
  • US Billboard Viewer's Choice Award - Las Vegas
  • Awarded 'Indian of the Year 2017 [9]


  1. ^ Leslie Lewis composes for his first Bollywood flick IBN Live; 13 November 2007
  2. ^ Chitra, Swaminathan (11 November 2010). "The Cousins come calling".
  3. ^ "Coke Studio will be a revolution in Indian music industry: MTV head Aditya Swamy & Leslie Lewis". Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  4. ^ Lesle Lewis - Biography Archived 19 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine ; 17 June 2011
  5. ^ "Lesle Lewis tells Health & Nutrition about his struggle, his relationship and his undying passion for music : MagnaMags". Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Colonial Cousins to regale Bangaloreans". The Hindu. 23 September 2004.
  7. ^ "Artist biography: Hariharan" Archived 2 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 28 January 2011
  8. ^ "Colonial Cousins' debut in Tamil". The Hindu. 25 July 2009. Archived from the original on 31 July 2009.
  9. ^ "Brands Academy Organized Mega Event "Indian of the Year" - New Delhi".

External linksEdit