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Singing different tunes

Kerala boy K.K. is tasting success in Bollywood. He has put the fizz in cola commercials, singing `Yeh dil maangey more', and worked with some of the leading composers.


IN A volatile and competitive background music scenario where Sonu Nigam, Shaan and other noted male pop artistes have doubled as playback singers, one artiste to have made a definite mark and going strong is KK, who shows great promise in singing, from a peppy Bardasht nahi kar sakta (Humraaz) to a melancholic Tadap tadap (Hum dil de chuke sanam). His rendition of Koi kahey (Dil Chahta Hai) has become the anthem among the youth. "My first stage performance was ABBA's masterpiece Fernando, when I was in Class X. During my high school I was more inclined towards western music while Kishore Kumar and Mohammed Rafi inspired me during childhood. During my early college days Uriah Heep and Deff Leppard formed an inspiration after which I toned down to Sting, Billy Joel and Bryan Adams. People ask me if I have any formal musical training. And I say that I have learnt from these artistes," says K. K.

Regarding his name, he said, "K. K. stands for Krishna Kumar. I come from Kerala. I was brought up in New Delhi and am now stationed in Mumbai," he adds.

Do bands like `Silk Route' and `Parikrama' and his own stardom speak of an encouraging music culture prevailing in New Delhi? "Every city has a flourishing music scenario. I got my break in Mumbai since there is nothing bigger than films in the country," he says.

Who would know better than an artiste whose every other number is a hit and is crooning for almost all the films released and in the offing? "I don't know when I turned professional singer," he adds.

Many wouldn't know that he is the voice that brought the fizz in the cola campaigns with the Yehi hai right choice and Yeh dil maange more. With over 3,000 commercials to his credit --"Colgate, Monte Carlo and Pepsi have been my favourite," he says.

And how can one forget the Pyar ke pal and Aap ki dua from his debut pop album `Pal' from 1999, produced by none other than Leslie Lewis! Back then Pyar ke pal became the Valentine's Day score cutting across all age groups with its lilting tune, soothing vocals and an artistic video directed by Shamin Desai. His title track for the serial Just Mohabbat is yet another feather in the crown.

But it is the big screen that got him the popularity and the deserved visibility. "I have worked with Gulzar, A. R. Rehman and other leading directors, some of the films for which I have done the playback are Taal, Maachis, Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai, Jism, Kuch to hai, Sapnay (Tamil and Hindi), and others. I have sung in about 11 languages. It's great working for Tamil and Telugu films. Some of the Telugu films I have done playback for include Nuvvu Nenu, Jayam and Prema Desam. At present, I am working with R. P. Patnaik. ," he adds.

He recently received the AP Film Journalists Award for his Tadap tadap. Is there a fresh pop album his fans could look forward to?

"The shows and films don't leave much time to work on a private album. But I will be bringing out one this year. It will be like the first album with slow numbers. The numbers don't have to be racy to be popular, though the album will have a few fast numbers too," he says.

Here's looking forward to some more as the dil mangey soothing notes. In the meantime you could get more of him in the film audios.

SYEDA FARIDA

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