BEHIND THE MUSIC OF ARSH KHAIRA
عرش - The Throne of God is the reigning centre of God in the Abrahamic religions and is called Araboth (Hebrew: עֲרָבוֹת ‘ărāḇōṯ) in Judaism and al-'Arsh in Islam.
خير - The word Khair in Arabic refers to goodness and is often included in the common expression : Jazāk Allāhu Khaira(n) (جَزَاكَ ٱللَّٰهُ خَيْرًا) meaning "May God reward you [with] goodness."
Arsh Khaira has always been musically gifted. From a young age, he has been singing, performing, and playing a variety of instruments. As a graduate of the PhD program in Music at the University of Alberta, he has been fortunate to share his musical and academic interests with many students while teaching courses at several universities in Edmonton. Arsh has taught courses such as, "Introduction to World Music (MUS 102)," "Introduction to Western Religious Traditions (REL 101)," as well as marketing and management courses such as "Consumer Behaviour," and "Principles of Management."
Arsh is also an alumnus of the University of Alberta's MBA program, as well as Concordia University Edmonton, where he completed his BA as well as his MA in Biblical and Christian Studies.
Arsh began his musical journey with the electric guitar in 1994 (ironically, the year of the passing of Kurt Cobain, one of Arsh's biggest inspirations in terms of songwriting). He was in his first band by 1996, with two of his friends from school. Throughout junior high and high school he always maintained a strong interest in concert band (orchestral percussion) and jazz band (drum-set) while performing with his band as a vocalist, lead-guitar player, frontman and songwriter.
As a part of his ethnomusicological work, Arsh has also spent considerable time woodshedding on the Afghan/Kashmiri Rubab. A seasoned guitar player, Arsh also demonstrates professional competency in the Bass Guitar, Piano and Drum-Set.
Arsh's influences include: Nirvana, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Ahmed Zahir, Bashir Hamdard, System of a Down, Hole, Sum 41, Alanis Morissette, Kabul Dreams, Junoon, Blink 182, Atif Aslam, Jal, Strings, Noori, The Cranberries, Abrar Ul Haq, Nickelback, Bif Naked, Staind, Fuel, Oasis, Wide Mouth Mason, Everlast, Preet Harpal, Manpreet Shergill, Matthew Good, Creed, Avril Lavigne, Michael Jackson, Tom Cochrane, Damhnait Doyle, Drezus, Itzhak Perlman as well as folk music from Kashmir, Afghanistan, Mongolia, China and Ukraine, along with Jewish Klezemer Music, Israeli pop music, Persian classical, folk and pop music, as well as Soviet Era fusion including Jazz and Electronica from the former Eastern Bloc. He also loves classical music especially Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade," and Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker." On the odd celebratory occassion you might also find him listening to Russian "Hard-Bass" electronic music.
His primary guitar sound is a blend of Vintage aesthetics from the 70's, with some of the Grunge sensibilities of the 90's. He believes that one does not need to own the most expensive gear but should be true to themselves and their art in their tone choices. He strongly believes that players should be responsible for their own sound, including pedals, amplification and pickups, as well as taking good care of their own gear. In this vein, he primarily plays a variety of guitars including a Jaguar, Telecaster, Les Paul and other "one-off's" most in which he has installed Seymour Duncan pickups. He runs through a number of pedals and primarily into a Vox AC30 Heritage Vintage Reissue amplifier. Similarly on the bass side he primarily runs through an Ampeg SVT CL 300, and an 8x10 cabinet. His biggest vocal influences are Kurt Cobain and Scott Weiland.
Along with establishing himself as a writer and scholar in English, Arsh also has fluency in Persian, Urdu and Punjabi. When he is not immersed in his music, he is also a devout ice hockey fan, a sport which he has played his whole life (a natural Right Winger, Centreman and face-off specialist), and a sports-car enthusiast with a love for anything with just two doors and a manual transmission.
With several albums and over a hundred songs in English, Persian, Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu to his name, most of which bear his solo songwriting credits, and most of which upon he played almost all of the instruments, Arsh has never let go of his true calling.
Learn more about Arsh Khaira and his professional music journey:
Arsh Khaira's Main Axe
Although he uses a number of different guitars, his primary selection is a Fender Jaguar with Seymour Duncan JB (Bridge) and Jazz (Neck)
Arsh Khaira's Main Rig
Arsh also uses a number of different amplifiers, but primarily writes and records with a Vintage Reissue Vox AC 30 Heritage Handwired.
Although he runs a number of different configurations on his board, he keeps things relatively simple usually employing a blend of fuzz and overdrive, some compression, room-reverb and boost. He may also employ phasers, ring-modulators, wah, or volume pedals, although this is done very rarely and sparingly as his primary sound is a straight-forward vintage-esque grunge cacophony.