For most of us who grew up in the 90s, indie-pop music played a vital part and singer KK was among the most popular indie singers. His songs "Yaaron", "Pal" and "Aapki Dua" were a hit among the youth that time, and even now they remain eternal favourites.
However, success wasn't served to KK on a platter. He has worked his way up.
He started out his career by singing ad jingles, and his first break was given to him by none other than musician Leslie Lewis. “Leslie Lewis directed me to sing for a sixty second ad jingle. The agency and the client loved it," and that is how he forayed into music.
The singer then went on to become one of the front runners for indie-pop music with his songs topping the charts. He reveals that he enjoys singing those songs even today, and hopes that this genre is revived, since not everyone is a fan of mainstream music. “Everyone can't be a part of Bollywood since it's like a small canal. Hence, there should be other ways to promote new and different music."
For a singer who didn't get formal training in music, at no point did he think that he didn't have a chance in the industry. “I'm happy with my songs. At times, I do feel that if I had some classical training, I could have explored new things. But look at it this way: Since I don't have any parameters or yardstick, I can explore what I want," he says.
The singer says that the legendary Kishore Kumar played a huge role in shaping his musical sensibilities. He says, “It was during my early days in Delhi. I admired him for his style and approach and the emotional undertones he lent to his songs. Kishore Kumar never learnt music. I was inspired by him -I thought even I could sing."
KK's resume boasts of an impressive list of hit songs. Apart from 3,500 jingles, he has also contributed his voice to more than 500 Bollywood movies and 200 songs in Telugu, Bengali, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam movies.
We ask him how he gets into the mood him how he gets into the mood for a song in a language alien to him, and he says, “We singers are like actors from within. We don't have to emote our emotions but need to bring it out in our songs." Talking more about the process, he says, “I sit with the lyricist, understand and write down what the song is about whether it's a love song or a melancholic song. When I hear the music I relate it to the tune. It's not very difficult when you have the language diction sorted," he explains.
He has plans to soon launch another pop album, which is sure to spell good news for all his fans.
Catch him live at Phoenix Market City, Whitefield, on December 21.