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Melody king of yesteryear


Kumar Sanu seems to have taken his ‘low tide’ of diminishing demand in his stride, says DVL Padma Priya


--PHOTO: NAGARA GOPAL.

Making a point: Hindi film playback singer Kumar Sanu who was in city for a concert


HYDERABAD: Kedarnath Bhattacharjee. Does it ring a bell? Kumar Sanu? Yes, the ‘King of Melody’ as he was once called, ruled the Hindi playback singing and even has Guinness World Record for singing 28 songs in a day! Currently in the city for a concert, Sanu seems to have taken his ‘low tide’ of diminishing demand in his stride now that the younger crop has taken over.

“Every singer goes through a lean patch. From R.D. Burman to Lata (Mangeshkar), everybody has his or her lean patch,” smiles the 51-year old. If he was not a singer, he would have been a painter or a tabla player, he says but music runs in his genes. For his father, Pashupati Bhattacharjee, was an established classical singer and initiated him into music. After singing in restaurants, he graduated to small concerts in Kolkata and later to fame and money in playback singing. Over the years, he sung in over 22 Indian languages.

Though he finds southern languages tough, “Telugu is much easier compared to Kannada and Malayalam,” he says.

However, he is sad and angry with the recent trends. “If a song is on the people’s lips for 15 days it is considered a hit these days,” he bemoans and feels listeners hardly bother about the singer or a lyricist.

It is not like, say his favourite song ‘Jab Koi Baath Bigad Jaye’, which he claims is part of music therapy to treat patients in Hong Kong and the song was also played for two years on London’s Sunrise Radio. Sanu has some strong words for talent shows too.“They are nothing but money-hunts where contestants are mere commodities and judges are salesmen. Judges have no say in selecting the winner and often singers with real talent are left behind,” he remarks. Regional feelings too hamper the public perception while voting for a contestant. He loves cricket, likes to gamble in Casinos across the world and is passionate about cars claiming to be the only owner of Toyota Alphard in the country.

Sanu is also busy these days with his new album ‘Fusion’ promising it to be a melodious one.

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