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Kamaal kar diya

Kamaal Khan is on a roll with singing assignments and an acting debut

Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.

THOSE WHO could drag their eyes off Salman Khan's washboard abs in the song O Oh Jaane Jana in Pyaar Kiya to Darna Kya, would remember the playfully sexy vocals thanks to the U.K based Kamaal Khan. Kamaal has met with phenomenal success singing for Salman from the title track of Hello Brother and I was Made for Lovin' You (Janam Samjha Karo) to Kyu Khanke Teri Chudi (Tumko Na Bhool Payenge) and O Jaana (Tere Naam).

"I guess it is by accident and not design that I seem to sing mainly for Salman," Kamaal says. In town for the launch of the new Mercedes, Kamaal is on top of the world with his acting debut and his singing stint for A.R. Rahman. "I am singing two songs for the Salman (naturally) starrer Dil Ne Jise Apna Kaha. The director, Atul Agnihotri, approached Rahman and he suggested my name for the songs. Later, Atul said he hoped Rahman would suggest me."

Describing working with Rahman as "a great experience," Kamaal says, "Rahman has a unique style of working. He is a very `hands on' musician. With most music directors, the track would be 90 per cent complete by the time of dubbing. For Rahman, it is the other way around. You would be singing with just about 10 per cent work and then he would come and add a little something. You can really see the track grow before your eyes!"

Film foray

Kamaal is also excited about his film debut in Jo Bole So Nihaal. Directed by Rahul Rawail, Kamaal plays a negative character opposite Sunny Deol. Describing Sunny as "very down to earth and comfortable to work with," Kamaal says, "Rawail was more nervous than me as he had not given me a screen test! He had just gone by gut instinct. I am comfortable in front of the camera and I look at films as an extension of music videos with dialogues." And yes Kamaal is singing two songs and has dubbed for the film as well.

While Kamaal wrote the lyrics of his first album, he has been hiring writers for his later efforts simply because, "I have run out of ideas about pyaar and ishq!" Kamaal has come to terms with fact that his voice would be "picturised on someone else. As an artiste, exposure matters and the kind of exposure your song would get if Salman sings it is awesome."

Kamaal got into singing eight years ago and there was "no safety net, there wasn't anything else I could fall back on. If you work hard enough and believe in yourself the world is yours. If you really want something the universe conspires to help you achieve it."


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