Untrained and with no backers within the Hindi movie business, a younger KK (Krishnakumar Kunnath) had begun knocking the doorways of music composers within the early Nineteen Nineties. Musician Lesle Lewis remembers his ‘Colonial Cousins’ bandmate Hariharan asking him to check out the brand new child on the block.
“KK got here to me and requested whether or not I could make an album for him. Not everybody might make an album again then. You needed to get signed by a document label, fund a video and needed to have some sort of a reputation. I instructed him that it’s a lengthy shot and that he should wait. However, since he was gifted, I began calling him for jingles. Lastly, after some years, I took a few of his jingles to Sony Music and requested them to hearken to this nice upcoming singer. They cherished his voice and requested me to make an album with him,” Lewis talks to The Hindu, a day after KK’s premature demise after a live performance in Kolkata.
That album ‘Pal’ got here out in 1999, standing out with its comfortable rock influences amid a sea of remixes and bubblegum pop within the unbiased music scene. After KK’s passing away, the songs from the album, together with ‘Pal’ and ‘Yaaron’, have been among the many most shared by his followers. The album was all the fad on campuses and reunions, and nonetheless stays so.
Lesle, who composed the music, introduced in a dwell band for the recording, a rarity in these occasions. He had the arrogance to experiment with the younger singer, who additionally had the background of singing in some rock bands.
“He would come residence, sit and be taught the songs written by Mehboob and be taught its nuances. We waited till he would get used to the songs, in order that he would sing in his personal distinctive type. At the moment, we could not make it extra rock, and selected a extra melodious pop rock sound, as the overall inhabitants weren’t prepared for rock even then, however that ensured that the album would attain a bigger viewers,” says Lewis.
Singers from South India, particularly Kerala, typically discover it arduous to lose the affect of their mom tongue whereas rendering Hindi songs, and vice versa. However the songs of KK would by no means give away his roots, for he had that potential to adapt his voice to the language. Although the pure diction in Hindi might be attributed to his rising up years in Delhi, even when he sang an all out Tamil dappankuthu music ‘Appadi Podu’, nobody might guess that it was sung by a non-Tamilian. This was one of many components which helped him make it massive each in Bollywood and the Tamil industries.
Regardless that he belonged to Thrissur and was born to Malayali dad and mom, ‘Rahasyamay’ from Puthiya Mukham (2009) was his solely Malayalam music in a profession spanning greater than 25 years. Deepak Dev, music composer for the movie, knew him from his early days in Mumbai, the place he was working as an assistant music director.
“KK was already a giant singer then. I used to be only a keyboard programmer. However, realizing that I’m a Malayali, he got here and talked to me. He instructed me he had no Malayalis in his buddies circle there and he was on the lookout for somebody to talk the language to. It was a fanboy second for me as I had grown up listening to albums like ‘Pal’. He instructed me that he had not sung in Malayalam until then. After I turned a music director, I waited until I discovered the best music for him. Although he did not know the way to write Malayalam, he was very fluent within the language and had the best diction. After I spoke to him a number of months again, he had instructed me that he hasn’t been in a position to work in Malayalam after that and that he’s engaged on a brand new album,” says Deepak Dev.
For the listeners in Kerala, who started following him from the times of working with A.R. Rahman for ‘ Kalluri Salai’ from Kathal Desam (1996) and ‘ Strawberry Kanne’ from Minsara Kanavu (1997), his works from each Bollywood and the Tamil business stay favourites. Be it when singing ‘ Khuda Jaane’ or ‘Uyirin Uyire’, he was at all times seen by Malayalis as certainly one of their very own, though his diction by no means gave it away.