Vocal prowess

in conversation

Vocal prowess

Think of a romantic song that has your attention from the last decade, chances are it is belted out by Krishnakumar Kunnath or KK, as music lovers know him.

KK is the voice behind Tadap Tadap Ke (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam), Awarapan Banjarapan (Jism), Khuda Jaane (Bachna Ae Haseeno) and Tune Maari Entry (Gunday), to name a few.

He grew up in a family where music was treated with respect. “We used to listen to music on my father’s tape recorder. My mother sang, but not professionally, and my grandmother was a music teacher. I have never learnt music, though,” he says.

He has fond memories of growing up in New Delhi. “I used to stay at Green Park in a place called Yamuna Apartments. I have really fond memories from the place. My growing up years in Delhi was very special and I had a group of friends who were instrumental in my shaping up as a good human being,” he recalls.

Big moves
KK’s move to Mumbai in 1994, three years after his marriage to his long-term girlfriend Jyoti, is the decision he made when, “my job in Delhi didn’t bring me any happiness,” and adds, “the happiest day of my life was when I was jobless!” He attributes his success to his wife, who “gave me the courage to go through my tough initial days in Mumbai. I sang English songs with a few groups, lent my voice to jingles in 11 languages, and also made money.”

The song Pal for Sony Music, in 1999,  was the turning point of his life. “That song was my trump card to get into playback singing. Tadap Tadap Ke began my singing journey.”
Other catchy music by him are Tu Ashiqui Hai from Jhankaar Beats, Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai from Gangster, Zara Sa from Jannat and Ajab Si from Om Shanti Om. And with a list like that, is it any

surprise that he has come to be one of the most sought-after singers in Bollywood?
He has sung so many numbers, which are KK’s personal favourites? “This is a very tough question! When a singer sings, they give their best and all songs are close to my heart. But there are certain songs which have their own identity. Like Pal, which we recorded in 1998. The song is over 15 years old, but is still going strong. I live my life through my songs. Am happy that God gave me the opportunity to sing those songs which made me feel complete,” he explains.

Comparison
Interestingly, KK is often compared to the legendary singer Kishore Kumar, to which KK says, “I feel flattered and humbled. I have grown up listening to his songs. I have learnt from him to be true to lyrics at all times, and not to overdo songs.”

On the current music scenario in India, the famous singer chips in his two cents, “Good music is around and listeners just have to be open to it. I didn’t aspire to become a commercial singer, so I don’t treat my songs as commercial quests. India gives plenty of musical opportunities to those who have the right intentions.”

KK and Jyoti are blessed with two children, Nakul and Taamara. Nakul (20) has his own music studio. KK sees him as a friend and “advises him upon request.” His daughter, Taamara, also sings.

Like his contemporaries Mika, Shaan and Sonu Nigam, will KK be seen on screen? “Not even in my dreams! I am happy in my zone.”

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