Composer Siddhartha Khosla wins ASCAP Award for This is Us


Siddhartha Khosla performs at 20th Century Fox Television and NBC Present "This Is Us" FYC Event at John Anson Ford Amphitheatre on June 06, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rachel Luna/Getty Images)
Siddhartha Khosla performs at 20th Century Fox Television and NBC Present "This Is Us" FYC Event at John Anson Ford Amphitheatre on June 06, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rachel Luna/Getty Images)

Composer Siddhartha Khosla has won an ASCAP Screen Music Award for his NBC’s drama series This is Us.

Khosla, who was previously nominated for an Emmy award for the series, won the Top Network Television Series during a three-day virtual celebration held from June 23 to 25.

The Screen Music Awards are organised by American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), a professional membership organisation of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music.

Khosla, along with other winning composers gave personal acceptance speeches from their home studios, some with creatively staged video segments, and celebrity friends chimed in with special congratulatory messages.

“Beyond thrilled to accept the 2020 @ASCAP ”Top Network Series” award for my work on @NBCThisisUs. Thank you to my college roommate @Dan_Fogelman for the endless inspiration. Can’t wait to get back to work on Season 5,” he tweeted.

ASCAP also hosted conversations featuring three of its top 2020 Screen Music Awards winners — Khosla, Michael Abels and Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer.

During his conversation with actor Chris Sullivan, who plays Toby on This Is Us, Khosla said, “If I had known it would take me years of little failures… I could have easily stopped at any of those points, but I kept going. The main thing I would say I wish I knew early – do what you can to find your own voice.”

“I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. Every Sunday, while growing up, I’d sing at our local Hindu temple in Bergen County of New Jersey; it’s how I learned to sing in front of a crowd. I was in Jazz Rock at Dwight-Englewood, had bands in high school, etc. Music was always a big part of my childhood,” he added.

Khosla’s Indian-born parents came to the US in the mid-seventies for studies, worked night jobs to make a living and were forced to send their toddler son back to India to be raised by his grandparents.

Back then international calls were expensive, music became central to Khosla’s life as he listened to his mother sing to him on cassette tapes she mailed from America.

Khosla’s song Evergreen Cassette is about this very experience and featured in the first season of This is Us.

His love of music and connection to his Indian heritage were kept alive by his parents through the songs of popular Bollywood singers like Kishore Kumar, Mohammad Rafi and Indian movie soundtracks, that they played in their home once he returned to the US.

As a teenager, he embraced Western bands such as The Smiths, The Cure, The Beatles and Paul Simon. His childhood experiences and musical roots inform his scores and songs to convey a sound that is engaging and unique.

Khosla is a skilled multi-instrumentalist, and uses varied instrumentation on his scores from vintage electric and acoustic guitars, rare organs, orchestras, Eastern instruments like the harmonium and the Greek bouzouki, to Flemish harpsichords and vintage analog synthesisers.

In November 2013, he was invited as the musical guest for First Lady Michelle Obama’s Diwali celebration at the White House, where he delivered an emotional performance of several of his original songs.

Khosla has a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, where he composed and sang for the university’s award-winning a cappella group, Off the Beat. He now resides in Los Angeles with his wife and children.