The year 1999 gave some of the most magical Bollywood music tracks. It was a time when eminent male singers were reigning in Bollywood in a way that there was neither any space for anyone else nor the requirement.
Yet, when Krishnakumar Kunnath alias KK screeched ‘Tadap tadap ke is dil se aah nikal ti rahi…’, his voice tugged at the heartstring of the teens, tweens, youth, and everybody in between and beyond.
That was the first time KK had given his voice in a mainstream big banner Bollywood movie. The biggest differentiator of KK’s voice has been the perfect balance between youthfulness and melancholy. The magic of KK’s voice - extremely measured and subtle rendering of emotion that left a deeper and more resonating impact on the psyche of the listeners.
In his illustrious career, KK has given his voice to 3,500 advertisement jingles and numerous title tracks for TV serials before starting to sing Bollywood songs. Just like his idol Kishore Kumar, he had never received any formal training in music. Yet, his voice was complete with depth and nuances that gave a transcendental experience to the listeners.
Here’s a list of 10 timeless Bollywood musical tracks sung by KK that are special, particularly for but not limited to every ’90s kid of India.
Yeh Pyaar Ke Pal
‘Be in the moment of love’ cause you might only get it back in your memories… the most hard-hitting reality spoken in simple words and breathed into life through the voice of KK.
The song featured in KK’s debut solo album - Pal. The lyrics were penned by Mehboob and the album was arranged and compiled by the singer and music composer Leslie Lewis. The album was released in 1999 and put KK in the limelight right away.
Yaaron Dosti Badi Hi Haseen Hai…
Well, who wouldn’t agree to it? Of course, friendship is the most beautiful thing in life. But after this song was released in KK’s debut album ‘Pal’, it defined the theme of the farewell parties for outgoing students in schools and colleges all across India. People called up friends they had not been in touch with. Even today, this song is sung by friends at their reunion parties, in college canteens, and even at small get-togethers between friends.
Aashayein Khile Dil Ki
Victory song of a deaf and mute cricket aspirant in the 2005 sports drama Iqbal. The track plays in the backdrop as the leading character - Iqbal walks into the cricket stadium in the blue uniform amidst a cheering crowd. KK’s voice along with Salim Merchant weaves the magic once again. Every time I hear this song, I take a deep breath to fill my lungs, and the song lingers in my mind for quite some time. Has that happened with you as well?
It’s not for nothing that they say - KK’s songs become the voice of every jilted heart. Nothing explains this statement better than this song that was featured in the 2007 Bollywood movie - Life in a Metro. Lyrics by Amitabh Varma and music composed by Pritam, this song is exactly what you need while picking up the pieces of your heart. Or remembering such incidents on a cloudy melancholic evening or a starry night.
Main Ne Dil Se Kaha
Well, did we just say ‘melancholy’? Here is a song that you reach out to every time you find yourself dunk in a better-be-forgotten-but-can’t-get-over heartache - old or fresh. This song certainly heals because it renders the exact words that you can never say, and that too in such a soulful manner. That’s KK!
Tadap Tadap Ke
Yes. We have spoken about it at the beginning of this write-up. Yet, it deserves a special mention in the list. And why not? It is KK’s first Bollywood song featured in 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam'. The song created a powerful differentiator amidst other tracks sung by some of the stalwarts of the music industry, including - Udit Narayan, Shankar Mahadevan, and Kumar Shanu. The song stood out strong and gave a new singing star to Bollywood.
Aankhon Mein Teri
KK’s songs have never left any layer of human emotion untouched. ‘Aankhon mein teri ajab si ajab si adayen hain’ - is a song that featured in the 2007 blockbuster ‘Om Shanti Om’. Written by Vishal Dadlani and composed by Vishal-Shekhar, the song had become a rage among the youth. It was lip-synced by Shah Rukh Khan on screen. The complacency in KK’s voice in this song cast the spell once again.
Tu hi meri Shab hai
KK had been the youth’s voice. The peppy song from the 2006 movie - Gangster had every music lover swooning. The song was penned by Sayed Quadri and music composed by Pritam. It still remains a favorite among aspiring vocalists and guitarists apart from music lovers.
Tu Jo Mila
Yet another from the KK-Pritam duo that stood out in the entire soundtrack of the film - Bajrangi Bhaijaan. The song was penned by Kausar Munir. The soulful delivery of KK makes this song timeless and an all-time favorite for music lovers.
Dus - the much-hyped movies got shelved. But its title track lived on. The peppy song was brought to life by the quintessential voice of KK and Shaan. It was penned by Panchhi Jalonvi and music composed by Vishal-Shekhar. The youthfulness in this song makes it irresistible for all music lovers. Perhaps, that is the reason why we have a Dus Bahane 2.0 in the movie Baaghi 3.
No Alvida for you, KK
KK breathed his last on May 31, 2022, after performing at Nazrul Manch, Kolkata. His contribution to Indian film music is exemplary. He will always be alive through his songs and continue to inspire singers in the times to come.
Team ipassio pays a respectful tribute to KK.