Memory of KK: with his death, the childhood of a whole generation is lost

There are artists whose death seems personal. On Tuesday night, when the Bollywood singer KK died of a heart attack, it looked like a long-lost friend had left without giving any notice.

A few years ago, India felt the same when quintessential actor Irrfan Khan breathed his last. In Irrfan’s case, the actor had been battling cancer for a year and some may have seen the inevitable end approaching, but when he was gone it was as if someone had torn out a part of his heart. and took it away.

In KK’s case, the pain seems more brutal because the news of his death came suddenly. He had performed in a crowded auditorium in Kolkata hours before his death.

Born Krishnakumar Kunnath, to Malayali parents in New Delhi in 1968, KK studied in Delhi. He started his music career singing jingles for many commercials. His first breakthrough came for Tamil cinema when he collaborated with AR Rahman for the film Kadhal Desam and then “Strawberry Kannae” for Minsara Kanavu. In Bollywood, he sang for Vishal Bhardwaj in Gulzar’s ‘Maachis’. The song ‘Chhod Aaye Hum’ had KK singing along with mainstays like Hariharan and Suresh Wadekar who were known for singing the classic Hindi cinema melodies in the 1990s.

KK, however, found success in 1999 when Sony Music came to India and launched KK’s solo album with the aim of promoting new artists in the music industry. ‘Pal’ – KK’s solo album became an instant hit among young people. Songs like ‘Aap Ki Duan’, ‘Pal’ and ‘Yaron’ became instant classics. So much so that the songs have become something of a hymn about friendships and love for an entire generation in India. Almost three decades later, “Yaaron” and “Pal” remain the go-to songs about friendship and love and are often played at farewells in college and school across India.

In the same year, KK also delivered a song for those who heal a grief. Composed by Ismail Merchant for “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam” by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the song “Tadap Tadap” pierced hearts for its music, lyrics and soulful rendition by KK. The song was revolutionary. It showed KK’s versatility, range and ability to take the song to a crescendo rarely heard in Bollywood tunes at that time. It also helped that it was shot beautifully on Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai who played tragic lovers dealing with terrible grief.

There was no turning back for the singer after that. KK took us all to the 2000s with the ultimate party song from that era, “Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe” from the now iconic movie “Dil Chahta Hai.” The film and the song defined the generation of that era – carefree and adventurous – and together with Shankar Mahadevan, KK took the song to a level unheard of at that time.

Much of KK’s success in the late 1990s and 2000s had to do with his clear vocals. He came at a time when Kumar Sanu and Udit Narayan dominated the Indian reading industry. While both singers enjoyed immense popularity, they were often compared to veterans Kishore Kumar and Mohammad Rafi and their styles. KK’s voice was young, powerful and unique – the songs he was forced to sing back then were more youth related than Sanu and Narayan who were loved by the older generation.

Everyone has a favorite KK song. Everyone has a personal memory attached to KK hits. If ‘Yaaron’ was a song celebrating friendship, ‘Sach Keh Raha Hai Dil’ was a song for heartbreak. To serenade your love was ‘Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai’, and for farewell there was the haunting ‘Alvida’ where the singer’s range was so brilliantly showcased. Composed by Pritam for the movie “Life In A Metro”, “Alvida” starts on the lower range with KK almost humming the opening lines, but eventually the notes take flight and the singer’s powerful voice peaks at higher notes, what makes the listener feel the pain of parting.

For every emotion, KK’s song was the perfect balm, the antidote. Maybe that’s why KK’s death left everyone feeling empty. It’s like a part of childhood that has been roughly ripped out.

His songs were for you when you needed motivation when you needed to cry alone when you wanted to be intimate with your love. His voice sounded so personal, like an extension of himself but perhaps more melodious and soulful.

It’s no small feat to remain relevant to the younger generation for more than two decades. At a time when reality shows produce singers by the dozens, KK has connected with his audience – especially young people – with his melodies – a fact which can be attested to by his performance in Kolkata on Tuesday night, hours before his dead. Videos circulating on social media show him singing his classic “Pal” in front of a large audience – made up mainly of millennials – before falling ill and dying of cardiac arrest.

Video: KK’s last performance before his untimely death leaves us in tears

It’s also perhaps the most fitting way to sing a song that made him a star among his fans and retire in style.

Go well KK, you will live in our memories with your voice.

#Memory #death #childhood #generation #lost

Post expires at 5:47am on Saturday June 11th, 2022

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