Kumar Sanu : The Singer with an Intact Soul, a Man of Magic, Music and the Melody.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the prolific and one of the most influential composers of the Classical era had once opined that “Melody is the essence of music. I compare a good melodist to a fine racer, and counterpointists to hack post-horses; therefore be advised, let well alone and remember the old Italian proverb: Chi sa più, meno sa—Who knows most, knows least.” Similarly, the famous American-born Senegalese singer, rapper and songwriter Akon says, “Melody has a certain way that it projects back to you. It triggers certain nerves in your body and certain instincts that normally wouldn’t be triggered by a normal voice.”
In India, Kumar Sanu, the legendary singer who royally ruled the Bollywood’s Music industry in 90s and still does for every true music lover with his scintillating voice has an exceptional and ultimate love for melody and this is the reason he is popular among his lovers as ‘Melody King’. He loves melody so much so that he rejects multiple offers of singing songs deprived of melody and because of having bad lyrics. In one of his interviews Sanu says, “There were a lot of offers I had to reject because of bad lyrics. I have been a huge fan of Kishore Da and have always followed his path. Good lyrics are very important for a song to be popular. These days the lyrics have no meaning. It’s just the beats that they hammer in the minds of youth.” Further adding, he says “Hammering a song 20-30 times a day can only make a song work for the time being whereas the songs we sung will remain as a melody forever, whenever you listen to them, they will always sound fresh.” He says, “I may be singing less today but what I have already sung is huge. I never get frustrated.”
Kumar Sanu or as he is best known among his fans as King Sanu has left ineradicable footprints in the music industry. His melodious voice shall be long cherished by every generation. He says with great confidence that the melody shall rule the music industry ultimately. Not coming from a well to do family, he created his own independent identity in the music industry and established himself as a Star. Kumar Sanu, a name which he later adopted after joining the music industry was born on October 20, 1957 and was originally named Kedernath Bhattacharjee. His father, Pashupati Bhattacharjee was a renowned classical singer composer and a vocalist who first introduced him to the beauty of classical music and taught him to play on tabla. Kumar Sanu, completed his graduation in commerce from Calcutta University and then started public performances at small shows and restaurants in Calcutta itself. He was greatly influenced by the singing style of the ever-time hit singer Kishore Kumar and extensively copied him in his initial days of singing, which of course brought him a massive recognition but as the days passed by, he switched to his own style of singing and thus established his own independent image in the industry. He says, “Even, Lata ji used to copy Noorjehan. The point is that you should not stay at that level. After following the footsteps of the greats, each singer must carve out his own identity, else he will perish. Despite comparisons, I too was able to carve a niche for myself and create my unique identity and slowly, I am glad that I was able to get rid of that tag and be what I am today- Kumar Sanu.” He too like most of the Film world aspirants coming from no such background, had to see and witness the days of struggle before he established himself as a shining Star in the music industry. There is no doubt that whatever Kumar Sanu is today, is because of his own hard work, love, passion and dedication for music. He says, he still needs to improve as a singer by doing more Riyaaz (Practice).
If one starts counting his awards, it would require at least 2-3 extra piece of A4 size papers to mention those all. He has in his credit to be registered in the Guinness Book of World Record for singing as much as 28 songs in a single day in the year 1993, an everlasting evidence for his unparalleled potential to rule the Studio. He has in his record, the history of winning Filmfare Awards for five consecutive years during 1990-94 as the best male playback singer. He reportedly refused to receive the sixth one but he claims that he had been misunderstood in this regard. He says, he meant that he would be happy if someone else won it next time and didn’t mean that he didn’t have the intention to receive the same in future. He says, “Filmfare Award is the most prestigious award in our country after the awards conferred by the Government of India. How can I refuse them? I don’t have the audacity.” His popularity has no borders-barrier. He is the first Indian singer to be the recipient of an exceptional and peerless honour as Michael R.Turner, Mayor of Dayton, Ohio, USA, who got excessively impressed with the vocal chords of the melody king declared 31st March 2001 to be celebrated with pomp and splendour in the city of Dayton, Ohio as “Kumar Sanu Day”. Is it not a pride for the Country as a whole? Indeed it is. He is equally popular on the other side of the border in Pakistan. The Government of India awarded him with the fourth highest civilian honour ‘Padma Shri’ in 2009.
According to this ‘Melody King’, his song Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaaye (Jurm, 1990) has miraculously cured cancer patients in Hong Kong. He says that, “This song has a positive vibe; it tells you that life is not meant to be frittered away. It gives you ‘Haunsla- a boost that heals.” In one of his interviews, he goes on to narrate an interesting account about the life-giving impact of his melodious voice. He claims that his song Kuchh Na Kaho (1942, A Love Story) made the Zurich-based 22 year old Abhishek Mitra suffering from cerebral palsy respond. He says, “For someone who doesn’t bat an eyelid, Abhishek, cries, laughs, smiles, and screams….every time he listens to it. When you play another song, there’s no reaction. Doctors say that the frequency of my voice hits the brain and energises it. This is my biggest achievement.”
Some people having no slightest sense of music or the proponents of the modern vulgar, meaningless and rubbish lyrics, claim that Kumar Sanu’s era is gone but believe me that is far from any reality. He has recently secured 8th position in the Google’s list of most searched Indian Singer. The Celebrity/Personality Brand Trust Report 2016, places him in the category of the most trusted Indian Singer. In fact, a singer like Kumar Sanu’s era can never go. His songs are beyond the boundary of time. This is because his songs directly connect with a human’s soul, to one’s sentiments and emotions, giving solace to the hearts, minds and souls of the people. Therefore, as long as the humans have hearts and souls within them, Kumar Sanu’s songs shall keep dominating their minds and hearts in an as usual manner. This is why I believe that he is a singer with an intact soul, a man of magic, music and the melody, in a time when most of the singers are selling their souls for the material gains. He is a man of courage and conviction.
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