Kishore Kumar’s son, Sumeet Kumar, is being seen, heard and quizzed by Rachana Dubey.
Happy with the reactions to the
Bachna Ae Haseenotitle 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 artiste. 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 appeased.
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. I did the campaigns for Lead India, Aviva, the Coke ads in Pakistan, Tata AIG, Vatika, Barkley and Tata Tea.. phew! But I've never projected myself as a singer. What I did in
was no different from what Abhishek Bachchan did with the
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
. 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.
Apparently Shoojit Sarkar who was directing it, is no longer associated with the project?
Shoojit is a friend. We've worked on several ad films together. He was the one who approached me to make this film. He met the family too.
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?
(Sighs) We'll have to wait a very long for that. Singers are treated as vocal instruments. Music composers get paid huge amounts but singers are still underpaid.