The singer, who performed in the city recently, talks about his journey and film music versus independent numbers

In an industry that sees a fresh voice take centre stage every week, Krishnakumar Kunnath (KK) has managed to hold his own for almost two decades. The singer, who has delivered chartbusters in many languages, is still a big draw among music lovers, many of whom thronged The Forum Vijaya Mall in the city for his concert last weekend. In a quick chat with MetroPlus, he opens up about his musical journey…

source : Hindu

Performing in Chennai…

I’ve sung here many times and have loved it. I remember singing at IIT-Madras and having an amazing audience. Performing at any live venue with a crowd is a great feeling.

You once stated that ‘a singer should be heard, not seen’. Can you elaborate?

For me, a singer is more about the voice. If you look at greats like Kishoreda, Mukesh and Rafi, you used to hear them and conjure up images. I think I’m seen enough; I don’t want it to be an overkill.

When you burst into the scene, your voice was considered fresh and different from the crop of singers then. Today, a lot of youngsters dominate the music scene. Some of them, like Arijit Singh, have openly stated that they’re a big fan of your voice…

When I came into the music industry, I changed something… and now, there are other singers doing the same. Having said that, I’m very happy that I’m still doing songs, despite being around for 20 years. The younger generation and their musicalities are different. When you amalgamate with them, you come up with something fresh.

You’ve sung a lot in Tamil, Telugu and a couple of numbers in Malayalam. How do you approach a song in a language you aren’t familiar with?

I sit with the lyricist to know what the words mean. By default, the lyrics and tune gel — so you know about the vibe of the song. After that, it’s just emotions. Thankfully, I’ve been good with most of the languages I’ve sung in. I’ve sung so many memorable songs in Tamil.

Can you recall the first one?

The first couple of songs were ‘Poovukkellam Siragu’ for Vidyasagar and ‘Strawberry Kannae’ for A.R. Rahman.

Why haven’t you worked with ARR for a while now?

I go to sleep when he starts working. My voice goes to sleep after 12.

So, what does KK do when he’s not recording film songs or performing in concerts?

My aim when I went to Mumbai was to make my own music. That’s why I did Pal. But it took nine years to do Humsafar, as I was entrenched in film music during that period. I have no regrets because that phase taught me so many things.

Such as…?

Patience. And, to be able to overlook your own likes and dislikes when you’re working with someone else. You have to like a song, take in all you can and sync it. Be it a sad song or a dappakuthu like ‘Appadi Podu’. It’s a bit like method acting. I imagine myself in a zone; then it’s easier for me to emote.

So, you are making your own music?

I am working on my independent music in my home studio. Singing for films is a non-stop trip; you’re always on call. When you’re doing your own music, it’s more relaxed. Currently, I’m putting down some melodies. The project is in its nascent stages, but I know where it’s going.

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