The role that music has played in people's lives over the years varies from individual to person. Some celebrate its expulsion from their lives as it interferes with their rituals; others, on the other hand, make it their rituals. Between these two categories are those known as listeners, who rejoice if they find the music important, relevant, or at the very least - amusing. There are only a few musicians and singers, who have seldom garnered all of these accolades from their followers and admirers.
Not even a week ago, the name Krishnakumar Kunnath was not known to all. People love to remember the shortcuts and abbreviated versions when it comes to calling their favourite music stars. In order to get the big break in the show business, these monikers helped and still successfully kept the relevance in the modern age, and Kunnath also adopted the policy as he's been called by the name 'KK' throughout his career - a celebrated and glorious career without any question. The one artist, who had been there as the muse of best vibes for those listeners who understand Indian languages and songs. The one 'KK' in the entire world - who moved and grooved the billions through his iconic sharp and crystal clear yet profoundly melodic voice. A success story of a groundbreaking legendary playback singer - who ended up being a tragedy, leaving those billions in utter shock and utmost grievance. The voice, that has been existing in the playlists of these billions through thick and thin. Most importantly, for now, the man - who breathed his last this past Tuesday night, on the eve of June - leaving these billions shattered. He was only 53, yet a young and majestic rocker, but most importantly - he was vibrantly alive and performed profoundly for the fans in his very recent and very last concert, for which he ultimately ended up sacrificing his body.
Not everyone in this world has been blessed to make the industry debut with the legendary AR Rahman, another successful abbreviator who is better known as AR, rather than his birth name Allah Rakha Rahman. That never mattered, nor that mattered in KK's case either - and the duo ultimately ended up meeting each other for the hit 1996 Indian Tamil-language action romance film 'Kadhal Desam.' That movie may not ring a bell for everyone in the current context; however, the songs are certainly remembered by many - especially the superhit song "Mustapha Mustapha" and "Hello Doctor." KK voiced the Telegu and Hindi versions of the track, making his debut in the mainstream Indian film industry. But prior to that, the Delhi-based Malayali singer and a commerce graduate from the Kirori Mal College, Delhi University, had to make a name in the industry with an astonishing number of jingles. Some 3,500 jingles later within just 4 years and that too without a musical background, KK was referred to Rahman by Indian singer-composer Lesle Lewis, whom he always gratefully referred to as his mentor. Soon after his debut, he sang a small portion of the song "Chhod Aaye Hum" from Gulzar's period political thriller film 'Maachis' (1996) - but his big break in mainstream Bollywood came with the song "Tadap Tadap Ke Is Dil Se" from Sanjay Leela Bhansali's blockbuster hit romantic drama film 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam' (1999).
Meanwhile, a miracle happened. Sony Music had just launched in India in 1999, and they were willing to sign a new performer. KK was chosen as the new artist, and he released his debut solo album, 'Pal' (Moments) with songs written by popular lyricist Mehboob and composed by Lesle Lewis. The album consisted of a total of 8 songs; all became massive hits - but the title track was the chartbuster and skyrocketed KK's stardom. So much so, that the superstar only released a total of two albums during his short-lived yet profound career, but always remained relevant. "Yaaron" and "Pal," two of the most fan-favourite tracks from the album, became synonymous with friendship and farewells, even transcending the borders and barriers of other nations like Bangladesh as well. His second and last album 'Humsafar' came out 8 years later, marking his debut as a composer.
While making some of the greatest Indi-Pops between the 90s and early 2000s' - KK started to bless Bollywood with his iconic voice, making smashing hits one after another. He was simultaneously working for television shows and soap operas, showing up in musical reality shows as a guest judge and also voicing for films from Khans to Kapoors and all other major actors - he was doing it all, at the same time. "Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe" for the iconic friendship celebration film 'Dil Chahta Hai' with Shankar Mahadevan and Shaan, "Sach Keh Raha Hai" from the romantic cult-classic 'Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein,' the superhit track from 'Devdas' film "Dola Re Dola" with Shreya Ghoshal and Kavita Krishnamurti, the massive popular track "Tu Aashiqui Hai" from 'Jhankaar Beats,' "Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai" for 'Gangstar,' "Kya Mujhe Pyaar Hai" ('Woh Lamhe'), "Labon Ko" ('Bhul Bhulaiya'), "O Meri Jaan" and "Alvida" from 'Life in a... Metro,' "Aankhon Mein Teri" for Shahrukh Khan starrer 'Om Shanti Om,' "Khuda Jaane" ('Bachna Ae Haseeno'), "Hai Junoon" ('New York'), "Dil Ibaadat" ('Tum Mile'), the title track of Hrithik Roshan's acting masterpiece "Guzaarish," "Zindagi Do Pal Ki" and "Dil Kyun Yeh Mera" for the film 'Kites,' "I Am In Love" ('Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai'), "Tu Jo Mila" ('Bajrangi Bhaijaan') and more - all these tracks with almost all the superstar music composers and lyricists proved that KK has rightfully earned his fame and position in everyone's playlists, and fans across the world are grieving for his untimely death.
Those fans included many iconic superstars in the subcontinent. Legendary singer Runa Laila wrote on her Facebook sharing a photo in memory of KK, "I heard the horrible news of KK's death a while ago. I have no language to express my sorrow. The photo was taken at a press meet on the eve of my 50th anniversary in the music industry, where KK sang." Popular singer Adnan Sami wrote, "I can't process this... Utter Shock and Disbelief... My Heart Is Crying." Bengali-Indian singer Shreya Ghoshal tweeted, "This is too hard to accept! Heart is shattered in pieces." Popular singer-songwriter and music composer Vishal Dadlani wrote: "The tears won't stop. What a guy he was. What a voice, what a heart, what a human being." Actor Emraan Hashmi, whose most popular songs were voiced by KK, said the singer would "live eternally" through his music. "A voice and talent like no other.. They don't make them like him anymore. Working on the songs he sang was always that much more special. You will always be in our hearts KK and live eternally through your songs. RIP Legend KK," he wrote. Dhallywood superstar Shakib Khan wrote on his Facebook: "Rest In Peace KK, the VOICE OF LOVE. Your songs will keep your name alive forever !!" Expressing condolence, popular singer-music director and Coke Studio Bangla Producer Shayan Chowdhury Arnob wrote: "KRISHNAKUMAR KUNNATH, Rest in peace." Reminiscing fond memories of covering the song 'Pal,' singer-journalist Elita Karim wrote: "The death of KK is, for sure, an end of an era. May you rest in peace, dearest KK." Popular Bollywood singer Mohit Chauhan wrote: "KK... not fair man. Not your time to go. This was the last time we were together to announce a tour together. How can you just go??? In shock. In grief. A dear friend, a brother is gone. RIP KK. Love you. Actor R Madhavan, who worked with KK in the song "Sach Keh Raha Hai" from the romantic cult-classic 'Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein, opened up his feelings on KK to the Times of India by stating, "I will never forget KK. He has one of the best souls I ever met and he was the nicest human being ever. He always sang with an open heart and the irony is that's the only thing that gave up on him. I am heartbroken."
The city of Kolkata is known as the 'City of Joy,' and a major cultural hub in the entire world. May is the month when Bangladesh's National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam was born, and KK's last stage performance was held at a college fest at the 'Nazrul Mancha' auditorium in South Kolkata. The recurring themes of friendship and the bittersweet weight of nostalgia made him the icon among millennials coming of age in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and it was that crazy love for which he eventually sacrificed his life, suffering a heart attack after the concert. Ironically, his last performed song was "Pal" which says "We will remember these moments whether we're here or not" - and that sums up the journey of KK's life.
We, the millennials - will surely remember him through our playlists.
Leave a Comment
As expected, the IMF has formally approved what it called a 'stabilisa ...
The United States and the Philippines announced an expansion of Americ ...