I have never been jealous of our contemporaries: Kavita Krishnamurthy
Singer Kavita Krishnamurthy, who has had contemporaries such as Alka Yagnik and Anuradha Paudwal record for the same songs that she was offered at first, says music is above all of this.music Updated: Jul 26, 2017 18:05 IST
Having debuted with ‘Aayega aanewala’ (Kadambari; 1976) — a rendition of the popular Lata Mangeshkar number from Mahal (1949) — Kavita Krishnamurthy has completed over 40 years in the music industry. These days, she does not sing as many songs. However, she is all set to be back in the studio to reprise one of her iconic songs, ‘Hawa hawai’ (Mr. India; 1987). Excerpts from an interview:
You have sung some iconic songs over the years…
Sometimes, my close friends have to remind me that I have sung so and so song, and I feel God is kind because those songs were not even sung professionally. But they made me work with a different angle, they challenged me, and I thank God for giving me the opportunities that have made me work harder. I am glad I sang some difficult songs.
Your song ‘Hawa hawai’ is being remade for Vidya Balan’s next and you are to sing it…
Yes, I am so elated to hear that it’s being remade. Vidya told me that it’s going to be my voice and I am happy that I will be singing it.
What do you think of the trend of remixing songs?
It depends on how it’s being remixed. Even 20 years ago, they made remixes. Whenever I hear remixes of Pancham-da’s songs, I always feel I liked the originals more because he was very forward in his thinking while arranging or composing his songs. He had the world music influence. His songs were a fantastic combination of western music [with Indian].
Looking back at your journey, did you ever expect the kind of recognition that you have received?
Not really because I was not from a Bollywood family. I am technically from a musical family as my mother used to sing. I grew up in a joint family with two sets of parents. My Bengali aunt used to be a playback singer. Later on, when I graduated, I was just happy to take up music. I was getting to sing a lot of jingles and I continued my musical learning. I was a happy-go-lucky person and I enjoyed working with my masterji, so I didn’t worry about anything. I was making enough money through advertisements, so I had a cool life. I never really thought about success, I never thought that I am going to sing for three to four decades of my life. And now, it’s been 45 years. It’s insane. I never imagined that I would work with people like C Ramchandra, Bappi Lahiri and all the music directors of yesteryears. I sang for Laxmikant Pyarelal, RD Burman in that era and then Rahman in this era. I somehow feel God has been extra kind to me — even to find a husband (L Subramaniam, violinist) who is such a great musician. I found him at the peak of my career. When I had met him, I had done enough Bollywood. So, it was just the right time for me to meet him.
Watch the full video of ‘Tu hi re’ by Kavita Krishnamurthy here:
Did you ever feel a sense of competition or pressure of any sort?
Not really. And that’s probably because I come from a family where my brother sings as well and he never got into Bollywood. But he used to win the first prize and I used to win the second prize at every competition. He is a phenomenal singer but not one day has he felt jealous of me. There is no sense of jealousy in my family. My mother used to love music and she used to applaud anybody who sang well. So, I have a feeling that I got that trait from her. Whenever somebody sings well, I am the first one to appreciate it. I have never felt jealous when Alka [Yagnik] or Anuradha [Paudwal] got a better song at that time. They have recorded songs, which were offered to me too. But other colleagues recording for the same songs never put any pressure on me [as to whose version will eventually be featured in the film]. Because I always wanted to be happy doing music. Music is above all this.
Like you said, you have a great rapport with almost every music director. Is it because you are very easy to work with?
It is only because few hit songs of mine were heard by some music directors, and then they approached me. Like after ‘Hawa hawai’ (Mr India; 1987), everybody started calling me. When I met [AR] Rahman, he was in the city, with Mani Ratnam, working on the background score [for the Tamil version] of Bombay (1995) in Mumbai. I sang the alaap for the film’s original background score. Once I finished the alaap, he invited me to record a song for the Hindi version of the film. At the studio, he told me that he had heard a song of mine on the radio, which was a public service announcement for the illiteracy programme. He said ‘I really liked your voice in that and the way you have sung’. And then perhaps, when he heard me sing the alaap, he was convinced my voice was okay for what he had in mind. So, for me I have always felt that there is one song that I have sung and some music director noticed it and said ‘okay, I think she can sing for me’. On the basis of the work I did, I got work in the future.
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