Delhi boy Krishna Kumar Kunnath, popularly known as KK, made it big in Bollywood with the song Tadap tadap in hit film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam; he says he sang 3,500 jingles before getting his big break.
He has crooned various chartbusters like Awarapan (Jism) and Ajab si (Om Shanti Om), but he didn't want to be a playback singer initially.
"I used to sing since childhood but initially I wanted to become a doctor. I had never decided to be a playback singer, but I eventually landed up doing just that. I sang around 3,500 jingles in 11 Indian languages before I got my first break," KK told IANS over phone.
The singer's first Bollywood song was Chhod aye hum from the film Maachis, but it was Tadap tadap that brought him into limelight.
Later he made his presence felt with songs like Tu aashiqui hai (Jhankaar Beats), for which he received a National Award, It's the time to disco (Kal Ho Naa Ho), Tu hi meri shab hai (Gangster - A Love Story), and Khuda jaane (Bachna Ae Haseeno) among others.
Unlike many composers and singers, who feel reality shows have made it easier for budding artists to enter Bollywood, KK feels every one still has to struggle to mark one's presence in the film world.
"I don't think it is easier even now for budding singers to get a chance in the industry. They too have to struggle a great deal. Definitely different sounds and diverse voices are being recognised nowadays, so if someone's got a unique voice there are more chances for him or her to get a chance in Bollywood," said KK, who has been a part of Hindi filmdom for 13 years now.
The singer feels that Bollywood music today appeals to all but is majorly "youth-centric".
"The major chunk of music churned out today is youth-centric. But it is not that melodies that appeal to other age groups are not being created at all. Today music in Bollywood has become diverse," he said.
An alumni of Delhi's Mount St Mary school, KK was recently in the capital for a musical evening in the school and was more than happy to be back there.
"I was feeling on top of the world. It's so nice to be back here to perform. I sang for the students, my teachers and everyone there. I have no words to explain how I felt," he said.
So what is the best part of performing live? "Interacting with the audience, to know how they feel and the instant gratification that you receive when you perform live, is just great. The feeling of connecting with the audience gives a singer an all-time high," he said.
KK has his hands full at the moment with songs in John Abraham-starrer New York, Mukhesh Bhatt's Jashn and Sanjay Leela Bhansali's next movie, among others.