Annette Philip

Class of
Artistic Director, Berklee India Exchange

Annette Philip is a musician, innovator, and influencer. A versatile vocalist hailing from Kerala, India, she is known for her dense choral arrangements, for concept-driven productions, and for delivering on big dreams. A seasoned recording and touring artist, composer, pianist, and voiceover professional, she's a judge and vocal consultant on the Emmy-winning American TV choral contest Sing That Thing! on WGBH (PBS). Among her various accolades are Woman of the Year in 2016 from the India New England Foundation and Artist of the Year in 2018 from the New England Choice Awards for her work as a musical impresario and thought leader.

Philip's career has included memorable collaborations and performances with Grammy-winning artists such as A. R. Rahman, Bill Whelan, Zakir Hussain, Terri Lyne Carrington, Angelique Kidjo, Philip Bailey, Buster Williams, Jack DeJohnette, and Ysaye Barnwell as well as prolific artists such as Pandit Anindo Chatterjee, Nona Hendryx, Shreya Ghoshal, Ghatam Giridhar Udupa, Ranjit Barot, Shankar Mahadevan, and Clinton Cerejo. She was a featured soloist on a Jazz Urbane record produced by the late George Duke.

A faculty member at Berklee College of Music since 2010, Philip is the founder and director of the Berklee Indian Ensemble, a viral phenomenon with close to 200 million views of its videos to date. From the ensemble grew an institute, Berklee India Exchange (BIX), of which she's artistic director. The BIX ecosystem builds collaborative dynamism between Berklee and India through original content, high-profile artist collaborations, innovative educational offerings, and career pathways for Berklee students and alumni. 

Creating community through art and conversation are at the core of everything Philip does. Prior to her Boston years, in 2003 she founded Artistes Unlimited (AU) in New Delhi, India, a performing arts collective that promoted collaboration among musicians in the city. With a vast repertoire spanning genres such as jazz, rock, R&B, funk, and Indian and Western classical music, among others, AU became one of India's largest, most diverse youth platforms for musicians, with a rotating lineup of over 250 artists. Today, Philip has taken this mission global through the internationally acclaimed and multiple-award-winning vocal quartet Women of the World. Performing in 37 languages, the four singers—representing Japan, Italy, India, and the U.S. via Haiti—believe that learning about myriad world cultures through song is one of the most powerful ways to gain and spread more understanding, respect, and acceptance of one another.

Philip has personally experienced the healing power of creativity and imagination through such art forms as music, dance, photography, poetry, and fashion such as saris. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, she launched the online reflection series keeping it light with Annette Philip, through which she inspires her global audience to use simple, effective tools like visualization meditation, alignment breathing techniques, and mental pivots to find and create more calm, healing, and positivity. She plans to launch a keeping it light book, podcast, community resource page, global tour, and concert series, using her global platform to share her affirming message of self-love, resilience, and kindness with those who need it the most.