Singer Kishore Kumar’s son, Sumeet Kumar, is being seen and heard...and quizzed by
Happy with the reactions to the Bachna Ae Haseeno title track?
Thrilled. It’s my first playback, I couldn’t have asked for a better debut. I felt as if I was singing with baba. (Wistfully) I was only five when he passed away. I’ve always regretted that I never got an opportunity to yodel with him.
Apparently, you had recommended Amit Kumar to Vishal-Shekhar for the song?
Yeah, when we met for the first time, I told them that I’m not a great singer. (Laughs) They listened to me with a straight face and then insisted they wanted me for the song.
Have you ever faced criticism?
In Kolkata, people are fanatical about Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhosle and Panchamda. Some time ago, one of baba’s die-hard fans thought that I was a mischievous remix artist. He called home and complained to my brother that some boy was playing around with Kishoreda’s song. My brother explained the rationale behind the remixed song and he was pacified.
So, will you be doing more playback?
I’m 26. By now, most singers my age have already made their mark.
But you started early?
I was 18 when I started working on ad jingles. But I’ve never projected myself as a singer. What I did in Bachna... was no different from what Abhishek Bachchan did with the Bluffmaster title track. I’ve worked on the technical side, done visual editing briefly. I was a confused kid in college. (Grins) I get bored easily. Dada (Amit Kumar) says that I should get more serious about my career. But frankly, I don’t plot and plan. I’m a mast maula. I’ve never gone out and sold myself.
You don’t want to carry your father’s legacy forward?
Dada and I will carry his legacy forward. We’re working on a biopic. Shoojit Sarkar is a friend. He was the one who approached me to make this film.
Why did it take the family 21 years to give the go-ahead to a biopic?
No one approached us before. I think my father deserved more respect from the film fraternity. He was to Hindi cinema what Charlie Chaplin is to Hollywood, maybe more.
Do you get the royalties for his songs?
We’ll have to wait a very long time for that. Singers are treated as vocal instruments. Music composers get paid huge amounts but no such luck for singers.