GRAMMY® WINNING ALBUM
WINDS OF SAMSARA, his 14th studio album and a collaboration with South African flautist WOUTER KELLERMAN was released on 15 July 2014 after being in production for 2 years. RICKY and WOUTER had built a bond over Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, KEJ has noted that given Mandela's admiration for Gandhi and Gandhi's years in South Africa, the duo believed it would make for an interesting cross cultural collaboration. The two pieces initially recorded evolved into several recordings and eventually the full album.
The album featured about 50 instruments and 120 instrumentalists. The 'Samsara' in the album name has many meanings – the world around us, the world within us, family, ideals, etc. And Winds was specifically because of the album being a flute-based one. The album made a debut at No. 1 on the US Billboard New Age Albums Chart in August 2014, a first for a person of Indian origin and stayed in the top 10 for 12 weeks straight. The album also peaked at No. 1 on the Zone Music Reporter Top 100 Radio Airplay Chart in the month of July 2014, and was ranked No. 3 on the ZMR Top 100 Airplay Chart for 2014.
On 5 December 2014 Ricky and Kellerman were announced as nominees for a GRAMMY® AWARD in Best New Age Album category. One of the strongest contenders for the award was Grammy-winning Japanese artist Kitaro's Symphony Live in Istanbul but the duo went on to eventually win the award on 8 February 2015. Kej dedicated the award to non-film music composers in India.