The epitome of adaptability
Kishore Da was like a chameleon who could get into any mode that a song called for. He had great conviction. One should be open to different styles of singing and that is exactly how Kishore Da was. Many singers get caught up in a particular style, believing that they are the best only with that style. So I always try, I never say I can’t. It’s an effort and if it doesn’t work it’s okay. But it’s worth a try.
I have been compared to Kishore Da many times. But I have tried to be original as far as possible. As for Kishore Da, he’s incomparable! If I sound like him, it’s probably because I grew up listening to him and so I tend to imitate him a bit at times. But if you go down south, every other singer will sound like Yesudas or SP Balasubramanium. I have emulated a lot of singers and bands – Kishore Kumar, Mohd Rafi, Bryan Adams, Billy Joel, Guns N Roses, Deep Purple. And while I did that, at some point of time, I found myself. It just came to me. I realised that I am an amalgamation of the sub-parts that I have accumulated over the years. One forms one’s own identity when you get an original song. So when new singers come, they shouldn’t be bracketed. They should be given time to grow and find their own space.
My five favourite Kishore Da songs
Zindagi Ka Safar is one of my all-time favourites. I love the overwhelming lyrics. Then there is Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si, where it’s a simple thought and Kishore Da has sung it in a whisper. It is so romantic. Chalte Chalte Mere Yeh Geet is yet another song that puts me in a particular zone and I start
thinking. Then I love Dil Kya Kare Jab Kisi Se. It’s one of the most passionate songs I have ever heard in Hindi music. The lines ‘Daud Raha Hai Saath Lahoo Ke Pyaar Tera Nass Nass Mein’ are simply mind blowing. Period. There’s nothing beyond that. This is one song that nailed it for me; be it passion, love, sex, whatever you call it. It’s just perfect. There are no sound modulations, just plain singing. Then Chingari Koi Bhadke; I like it because the person singing this song is in love with his girl. The emotion of him conveying his helplessness has been brought out so beautifully by Kishore Da.