One night in Mumbai, both Hariharan and Lesle Lewis sat over a session in a studio which led to the formation of The Colonial Cousins. The fusion of Lesle's blues, country, folk, jazz with Hari's Indian classical singing was a magical moment in the history of Indian music industry.
They released their debut album in 1996. Colonial Cousins then went on to do two more albums – The Way We Do It (1998) and Aatma (2001). In 1996, they became the only Indian band ever invited to perform on MTV Unplugged in London, and that same year, they won the the Channel V Award, MTV Asia Viewer’s Choice Award and the US Billboards Viewer's Choice Award.
Both Lesle and Hari have gone on to establish successful and fulfilling individual careers but Colonial Cousins has always been their pet project.