He was greater than a singer — to me and hundreds of thousands of others, KK was a buddy who guided us by way of good and unhealthy occasions.
On Might 31, 2022, famend musician Krishnakumar Kunnath, often known as KK, handed away after falling in poor health whereas performing for his followers. I really feel like my childhood died with him on that stage, and right here’s why.
As a baby in Karachi, I grew up round music, with my amma listening to classical Hindi songs on the radio. She would hum to the tunes of Lata, Rafi, Noor Jehan, Nayyara Noor, and Roona Laila whereas cooking her well-known korma, and I’d watch her with inquisitive eyes, standing on the door of the kitchen.
Slowly and step by step, music turned part of my life too. However in contrast to my amma, my playlist would come with songs of up to date singers as effectively, so if songs like ‘Dekha Ek Khawab’ by Lata gave me butterflies each time I developed a crush, ‘Sau Dard’ by Sonu and ‘Tadap Tadap’ by KK turned my go-to melodies after each heartbreak.
Throughout my childhood, I solely listened to songs, with out considering an excessive amount of in regards to the individual behind the voice. However as I grew up, I developed an odd fascination for real-life tales. I used to spend days and nights digging by way of articles and movies to get details about my favorite singers. This behavior has continued to this present day and thus my subscription record on YouTube contains channels like Sureeli Baat and Bollywood Hungama, which have featured interviews of a lot of my favorite singers, together with Sonu, Sunidhi and KK.
Over the course of a few years, I’ve adopted the tales of a number of singers and listened to many songs, however now after I look again, I realise it was KK’s music that proved to be essentially the most therapeutic for me by way of all the numerous and most emotional phases of my life.
Whether or not it was my first crush or the sudden demise of a buddy, KK’s songs consoled me by way of each a part of my journey. If ‘Yaaro Dosti’ made me cry at my faculty farewell, ‘Pal’ made me realise learn how to make and cherish good recollections, and now that KK isn’t any extra, I really feel like my childhood has died with him.
Photograph: AFPTo clarify higher why I really feel this manner, I’ve to inform KK’s story, to let you know all about his journey and the way I not solely fell in love together with his songs however his journey too. I’ve to let you know how he constructed himself from the bottom up, how he made daring strikes in an trade that was very immune to new individuals and new sounds. How he made a reputation for himself and received the hearts of the individuals. His songs have been my associates, however his journey turned my mentor and information.
KK began his profession in gross sales to marry the love of his life. He labored there for 3 months after which left to pursue a profession in music. He began off as a jingle artist in Delhi and labored there for a number of years earlier than shifting to Mumbai in 1994 with a want to launch his personal album.
He reached out to a number of music labels, together with Magnus and Crescendo, however nothing panned out as they weren’t enthusiastic about his type of music. There, he met standard playback singer Hariharan who launched him to Indian singer and composer Leslee Lewis, who known as him for his first gig as a jingle artist. From 94 onwards, he sang round 3,500 jingles in 11 Indian languages.
KK was ultimately approached by a fellow music composer and buddy Vishal Bhardwaj to sing a number of traces of the track ‘Chor Aaye Hum Woh Galiyaan’ for a movie known as Maachis in 1996. Nonetheless, his first breakthrough in Bollywood was the track ‘Tadap Tadap Ke’ from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999), a film that developed a cult following years after its launch.
This was the period of music albums. Sony Music had simply began out in India, they usually have been trying to launch a brand new face. KK rightfully turned their debut artist and his much-loved album Pal was launched. With its launch in 1999, KK’s dream of releasing his first music album was fulfilled. The album quickly turned successful, with songs like ‘Pal’, ‘Yaaron’ and ‘Aap Ki Dua’ ruling the hearts of children within the 90s. This was the time when KK determined to strive his luck as a playback singer. His calculated threat paid off as his songs turned immediate hits with the general public, cementing his place as one of the vital versatile singers within the trade.
Over the course of a profession spanning greater than 20 years, KK sang many timeless songs, together with ‘Alvida’, ‘Hai Junoon’, ‘Zara Sa’, ‘Tu Jo Mila’ and ‘Ankhon Mein Teri’, however what established his popularity within the trade as a singer was his form and humble nature. He was targeted on his work and had no insecurities the general public might see.
KK labored with many music administrators similar to Pritam, Ismail Darbar, Vishal-Shekhar, Shankar Ehsaan-Loy and Amaal Malik they usually all cherished him for his down-to-earth character and musical expertise. In an interview, Amaal Malik appreciated him for his glorious sense of pitch and intonation. In reality, well-known lyricist Mehboob additionally admired KK for his distinctive high quality to “emote notes at a higher range”.
Standing by his phrases
Photograph: @mrshubhambhatt through KK/InstagramKK had a larger-than-life persona. He firmly believed in his talents and did not draw back from taking dangers.
”[I knew] the day I get an opportunity, I cannot falter,” he stated in an interview to Bollywood Hungama. And he didn’t. In an interview, speaking in regards to the struggles of his early days, he stated, ‘Kuch pehle kar lete hain, phir milenge. Kyonke tum aise chale jao na kisi kay paas tou tumhari qadar nahi hoti [Some people do it earlier. Because if you go to someone like this, you have no standing left].”
This assertion has resonated essentially the most with me. As a author who’s attempting to make ends meet along with her poetry, I can utterly relate to what he stated. He believed, ”Your work ought to communicate for itself. You don’t want to socialize to get work.”
In a aggressive showbiz trade like that of India, the place a significant a part of your success relies upon vastly on the type of social circle you have got, it takes confidence and can to make tough selections and KK had the audacity to not solely make these selections however to additionally stand by them.
Greater than a singer
For me, KK was not only a singer — he was a buddy. His songs and his phrases helped me perceive elements of life that I in any other case wouldn’t have realized on account of a lifetime of helicopter parenting.
His confidence in his work taught me to have extra confidence in mine. His phrases taught me to concentrate on private betterment moderately than the negativity that surrounds you as you department off into the unknown. He taught me to have extra religion in myself and to consider in my talents, whereas his songs stored me firm all through, giving me emotional power the place wanted, or a shoulder to cry on after I met with failure.
Now that KK isn’t amongst us, I’ll stay vicariously by way of his songs with the immense satisfaction realizing that he died doing what he cherished essentially the most. Even in dying, he has given me targets to aspire to. However that does not change the truth that my buddy is gone now and can by no means come again.
I feel everybody can relate to me, not simply in mourning KK’s demise however within the realisation that our childhood songs are dying with the dying of those wonderful singers and composers.
We’ll miss you KK. “Ab kehna aur kya, Jab tu ne keh diya alvida [What else is left to say, when you’ve said goodbye]!”