“NOW I ASPIRE TO WORK AT INTERNATIONAL LEVEL”
Who can forget the soothing voice of Kedarnath Bhattacharya alias Kumar Sanu, who started his singing career in Kolkata. He still possesses that same resonance and pleasantness of 80’s and 90’s. Recently he has been honoured with ‘Maharashtra Ratna Award’ and also started his innings in politics. He has joined Bharatiya Janta Party. He has also made a record of recording 28 songs in a day. Mahesh Bhatt’s Aashiqui proved to be a u-turn in his career. After this he hasn’t looked back. Sanjay Sinha talked to him over these issues. Excerpts:
How did Kedarnath Bhattacharya become Kumar Sanu? Tell something about the beginning of your career.
My father Pashupati Bhattacharya gave me training in tabla. I used to perform as a tabla player. But I had a singer inside me who was impatient to come out. So I started singing. I was a big fan of Kishore Da. While idolising him, I started gaining foothold in the field of singing. In 1986, I got a chance to playback for a Bangladeshi movie Teen Kanya. Shibli Sadik was the director of this film. After this in 1987, famous ghazal singer Jagjit Singh offered me to sing for a Hindi film Aandhiyaa. Since then I became Kumar Sanu from Kedarnath Sanu. Gradually people started recognising me. I got a golden opportunity to sing for the film Jadugar under the guidance of the music director Kalyanji- Anandji.
Aashiqui , a 1990 release, is a milestone in your career. After this all your songs were hits. You have come a long way and reached a position. How do you feel about it and are you satisfied?
God has given me more than I’ve expected. I have reached so far only with the blessings of my teachers and mentors and love of my audience. I am quite satisfied with my career but I still wish to do something extraordinary and better in my life.
What are you doing these days?
I am working more for the regional films. Many Bengali films are about to get released and I have sung a few songs in them. Apart from it, I am doing reality shows and also performing abroad. Even abroad, people are very fond of melodious songs. Now I really wish to work at an international level.
Do you have any other aim that you wish to fulfill?
I always try to do better and improve myself. But I also want the next generation to come forward. Both my daughters are now in London and they sing for English films. I wish that my children do well in their career so that I can be proud of them.
Do you regret anything or any incident that you can never forget?
I regret my decision of not singing for the film Roja, in which music was composed by AR Rahman. Actually, AR Rahman approached both me and Alka Yagnik for a song. But we refused the offer, as we both were very busy at that time. Later I regretted my decision.
You have given hundreds of melodious songs to the film industry. And all of them are still popular. But do you have a personal favourite among them that still touches your heart and that you often hum in your leisure time?
I like many of them. But if I have to choose one, then I really like the song jab koi baat bigarh jaye from the film Zurm.
You have seen a melodious era, but now people are running towards irrational songs. Melody is getting lost. What is your view on this?
Just like revolving Earth comes back to its original position from where it starts, the age of melodious songs will also come back. I live or not, melody will surely return.
What will you suggest to the young singers?
Young singers have a craze to attain stardom overnight. But I would suggest that they should prepare themselves fully. They should learn the basics very carefully before they can successfully perform. They should not look for shortcuts.
You have recently joined politics. What is your motive behind it?
In 2004, Venkaiah Naiduji brought me to the BJP fold. Then with the inspiration of Amit Shahji I joined BJP. I am not greedy for power and position but I truly want to do social service.
What message will you give to the people of India?
People should listen to good songs, buy good albums and play melodious songs. So that age of melody comes back again.
(Translated by Madhumanti Das)