Singer KK, who is performing in the city tomorrow, says his strength lies in his ability to connect with the audience
Be it Salman Khan with his well-toned body, Ranbir Kapoor with his disarming smile or Shah Rukh Khan with his intense expressions, when it comes to serenading their leading ladies, they often bank on this man’s powerful timbre. From young romantic actors to the slightly older Boman Irani, Krishnakumar Kunnath — better known as KK — has lent his voice to almost all of them. “My voice hasn’t changed in tonality over the years, and it suits many people,” smiles KK, who is in the city (to perform tomorrow at Sri Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall for a charity event organised by Madras Esplanade Round Table 30 and Madras Esplanade Ladies Circle 100).
This isn’t the first time he’s performing in the city. “I’ve sung here seven or eight times. I have some fantastic memories of the concert in IIT. It was a surreal experience, especially when the audience lit up their mobile phones and swayed it in the air. As for Chennai, it’s a vibrant city and I love the food here... particularly the masala dosa at Saravana Bhavan,” he says.
So, what’s he got in store for us tonight? “A repertoire of hits, along with songs from Jannat 2, Jism 2, Ek Tha Tiger. I’ll also try to take requests from the audience.”
Just back from a show in Singapore, he believes his strength lies in his ability to connect with the audience. It’s important to interact, improvise on the songs and change things at the spur of the moment. A rock star on stage, is there anything that worries him while singing live? “I’m worried about power cuts,” he laughs adding, “It has happened a couple of times. I just sang without the music.”
As for singing in studios and recording, it’s a spiritual experience, he says. “While at it, you experience highs and lows. It’s important to get the emotion right. For a singer to get the melody right is a basic thing. But you need to record the song right and for that you have to feel every word and what it’s saying.”
A self-taught singer, KK grew up listening to Kishore Kumar, Yesudas, Billy Joel... Of his contemporaries, some of his favourite singers are Shaan, Mohit Chauhan, Sukhwinder Singh and Karthik. So, who is his competition? “All of them are. Anybody who can hold a mike and sing is competition. But, it’s a good thing. Otherwise, it’ll make you over-confident. This keeps you on your toes.” Even with all the competition around, KK has turned down a lot of songs. “I didn’t want to be typecast as a singer who can only sing a particular genre. To be able to showcase your talent, you have to say no.” And that is also his word of advice to upcoming singers and winners of singing reality shows.
Speaking of which, while many from his profession are seen judging such shows on television, why do we not see KK doing the same? “I’d rather be heard than be seen. A lot of people don’t know how I look. I like this enigma and as long as they hear me, I am fine.”
Pal (from the film Pal)
Khuda Jaane (Bachna Ae Haseeno)
Abhi Abhi (Jism 2)
Ankhon Mein Teri Ajab Si (Om Shanti Om)
Zara Sa (Jannat)
Uyirin Uyire (Kaakha Kaakha)
Appadi Podu (Gilli)