Kumar Sanu lent his voice to almost every Bollywood hero in the ’90s. But the playback singer, who holds the record for recording the maximum number of songs in a day, claims to have become choosy.
“I will not sing bad lyrics. Whenever they (songs with bad lyrics) come to me, I reject them. That is because the position I have in the industry today is a result of a lot of hard work, and I don’t want to lose it,” says Sanu.
Here, he talks about his music career, which spans almost three decades, his biggest learnings from the industry and how technology has changed the face of music.
You have completed 27 years in the industry. How has the experience been?
In these years, I have received opportunities to sing good songs and be part of good music. I have received immense love from people. I consider myself lucky. I had to struggle initially [in my career]. However, in my 27-year-old journey, I haven’t lost anything. I have only gained.
What has been the most memorable incident in your career so far?
There have been many memories, especially with people such as Pancham da (RD Burman), Jagjit Singhji, Kalyanji bhai (Virji Shah) and Aadesh Shrivastava. I have learnt how to live a fulfilling life from these people. I learnt how to stay practical from my father (Pashupati Bhattacharya). He was a part of the music industry. Every music director has a different style [of working]. I had to adapt to these styles and deliver [my work] on time.
You hold the Guinness World Record for recording the most number of songs in a day…
It was not intentional. I had to record 28 songs in one day as I had to travel for a month and 10 days for a tour. The producers wanted me to record their tracks before I left. So I called everyone one after the other to my studio and I kept recording [the songs]. By the end of it, I realised I had recorded 28 tracks that day.
Is there something that you wanted to do, but couldn’t do in your career?
I have achieved whatever I wanted. I got a chance to do everything I wanted, by God’s grace. I am happy. The most important fact is that I got to [sing] good numbers.
Among the new lot of singers and composers, who are your favourites?
There are a number of people who are making good music. Jeet Gannguli (music composer) is one of them. Among the singers, I like KK. He sings well and is versatile. The rest of the singers haven’t been able to create their own identities.
Also, the songs that are created today are monotonous and have vulgar lyrics. Yes, change is good, and everyone longs for it. But that change shouldn’t take place in such a way that we forget our social responsibilities.
What is the one major development you have seen in the music industry today?
Technology is doing wonders to the music scene. Earlier, we had to coordinate with everyone (singers and composers) for availability. That is not required today. Singers record their parts according to their convenience. Technology can make singers out of non-singers.
If we had the same kind of technology in our time, I would have sung around 40,000 songs because of my fast pace. However, though there is development in technology, songs these days don’t stay for long in the audience’s minds.