Amit Kumar – Music director of the youthNov 27
Now that Shri Amit Kumar is about to release some of his compositions on his newly launched WEBSITE , Dec 2011 onwards, let me take this opportunity to post this particular article here. This post is more about Amit Kumar and less about Kishoreda. It is quite significant for a very fact that a very rare information was published by Madhuri, which is overlooked by many Kishore fans. Madhuri had published around 10 days before Kishoreda’s death, that Amit Kumar was to get married with a well to do family of Kolkata. Marriage was to happen on 9th Feb 1988, in Kolkata. Both father-son had decided to have a big party after marriage and call everybody. ‘This bungalow will not see another party like this. This time it will be a big celebration where everybody would eat, drink , be happy and then go. The gates would be open for everybody’. That was Kishore Kumar saying. Just a week before 13th Oct, Madhuri took this interview of Amit Kumar. They wanted to print with a congratulations note in the magazine, for the marriage being fixed. But alas…13th Oct came ! Similar incident happened at the time of the first heavy-duty heart attack of Kishore Kumar in 1981, but that is for some other time.
Translation from Hindi to English ( to be understood by all ) : Kaustubh Pingle\
Amit Kumar – Music director of the youth ( Madhuri 6th Nov 1987 )
“Sweet Heart” has broken all shackles and has brought about a new thinking in the youth of every house, that Amit Kumar is their singer-composer who can give this fast generation , the tempo and rhythm that they want. “Sweet Heart” is that cassette which is produced by Music India and Amit Kumar has composed 8 songs in which he has lent his voice too. Speciality of (most of) the songs in the album is its disco style. For the youth of India, Amit has tried for the first time, to present Desi beats in the colours of disco music. And everybody has appreciated it.
Q: So is it true that Amit Kumar is not happy with his present singing career? Or is he afraid of not sustaining within the rising competition of singers? Why suddenly he has turned from a singer, to a composer?
“Nothing has happened suddenly,” Amit Kumar told in a special interview to Madhuri magazine, “I have this habit for many years to keep on composing tunes in my spare time. I have quite a good collection of the tunes created by me! Music India has a scheme of Indian Gazal, geet, etc., to be presented in the form of ‘Western Fast Beats’. I spoke with them , they liked my tunes and they gave me the responsibility to do this album.
“As far as my combining of singing and composing is concerned, I wish to state that any famous or talented singer it may be, afterall he has to sing under the direction of a Composer only. There are times that he does not like a few things here and there in such compositions. Even then the singer cannot change them. But being a composer-singer, you get tremendous freedom. He can wish and do as it pleases to him, but at the same time responsibility increases. It is a different kind of fun by doing as you like, but the challenge is that public must also like it. I have undertaken this kind of work, only to experience this kind of fun, not to change my career. I will keep on making such kind of albums in the future too.
Q: Now many new contestant singers have entered the field, some of them have come after you and yet have gone ahead of you. Are you troubled by this increasing competition?
“I am not at all worried because I have full confidence in my abilities. I can sing difficult songs with ease. I am ready to work with every music director and give my full cooperation to him. But I hate the very nature of people trying to pull each others legs, unnecessarily, in this singing field. I cannot stoop to the dirty levels of certain singers, who want to do anything to get to the mic and sing. Maye I am falling behind for this very reason, or maybe in future I will continue to remain behind such singers, but I will not try and go on the path which is downright filthy. “
Q: Is your own father’s voice-impression on you, detriment to your growth ?
“This is absolutely wrong. Those who have heard “Sweet Heart”, all of them have agreed that the voice and singing style is completely different. Being a son, it is natural to have a voice like him, but even then the way of my singing is different. Hearing the Television Serial ‘Chunauti’ title song, nobody even thought that the voice is like Kishore Kumar. Yes, initially there could have been an influence, for I was new that time and my father is such an artist that there are thousands of newbies imitating him”
Q: Does he teach you singing?
“Absolutely not. He wishes that whatever I learn, whatever I do, I do it on my own merit. But yes, whenever I sing in front of him at home, and become out of tune, then he looks at me in such a harsh manner that I become afraid of him! Times like these, he definitely tells me what is right and what is wrong.”
Q: Now that you have become a composer, would you make him sing under your music direction?
“Why not?,” Amit tweeted in a reply, “He is a superb singer and everybody would want him to sing for them, and I too wish the same. But let me tell you one thing – He has already sung under my direction. I might have composed Hindi songs for the first time in ‘Sweet Heart’, but I have made some Bengali songs earlier. He sings Puja songs every year. For the Puja songs only I had made him sing under my music direction”.
Amit had started his career in a very small age, in both forms of an actor and a singer. He kept on working for his father’s films and his Mother’s “Calcutta Youth Choir” in Calcutta. But his first major break was given by R D Burman in the 1976 film “Balika Vadhu”, where Amit recorded his first song (for RD) ‘Bade Achhe lagte hain…ye dharti ye nadiya.’ Year 1981 saw the film ‘Love Story’ becoming a rage and Amit settled as a Singer in the industry.
Q: But for acting he did not get any outside banner films, why so?
“That is because I do not go and ask for work anywhere. Everybody knows that I can act well and have acted decently in my father’s films. So if somebody has liked my acting and has a suitable role for me in his film, he will call me for sure. And if the work is not liked, then no matter how many times I keep on running to the studio doors, he cannot make me an actor. Thats the reason I don’t go and ask for work, else I do not have intention to say no to anybody. Those who struggle, they are treated very badly in this industry. They are insulted time and again. Sometimes I feel that the person who is struggling is selling his soul to the people out here. Then I think, why it should be like that? Why somebody should look down at any artist in this fashion? Why should he go round and round looking for work? Thats why I do not roam around and gather work for myself.”
Amit Kumar answers : Why is Saigal afterall Saigal ?
Kishore Kumar used to consider Saigal as his teacher, especially in film songs. But Amit did not give so much importance to Saigal. Amit liked him less for he thought that Saigal , for a fair amount of time, sang from his nose.
One day Kishore Kumar challenged Amit, “Ok. You wonder what was so special about Saigal, then you sing his song “Main kya jaanu kya jaadu hai’ in Saigal’s style, attitude and technical finnesse. If you can sing that, then I would consider that Saigal is not a great singer.”
Amit accepted the challenge. Leaving all work aside, he practiced this song for two full days, but he could not bring out the same feeling, that of the original. That was the first time Amit realized how correct his father was in assessing Saigal and why they say that Saigal is afterall Saigal?