The king of melodies and the most successful Bollywood singer of the 1990s – Kumar Sanu – is back in action to entertain us again! His voice sounds fresh and energetic in the foot-tapping number “Chhammak Chhallo, Chhail Chhabili” from Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Rowdy Rathore, starring Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha, slated for June 2012 release.
Listen to Kumar Sanu’s melodious duet with Shreya Ghosal written by Faiz Anwar and composed by Sajid-Wajid, and you’ll be immediately transported to those good old days of the melodious nineties!
Long ago, Sanu and Sanjay Leela Bhansali teamed up in hit films such as Khamoshi: the Musical (1996) in which he sang “Aankhon Mein Kya” and “Aaj Main Upar, Aasman Niche” with Jatin-Lalit and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) famous for the award-winning “Aankhon Ki Ghustaqian Maaf Hon” under the baton of Ismail Darbar. Sanu’s Rowdy Rathore reappearance comes shortly after Ejaz Ahmed’s Who’s There (2011) in which Sanu sang the solo “Sili Sili Sargoshi Mein” followed by Sunidhi Chauhan. He has also lent his voice to The Weekend and a few other Bollywood films awaiting release this year.
The most ubiquitous male voice of the 1990s, Kumar Sanu, was the busiest singer of his generation. After more than a decade, he is still quite busy recording multiple Hindi as well as regional songs every week, he tells me. In fact, according to him, there are over 50 Bollywood and regional films in the pipeline in which he has lent his voice that are yet to be released. Refuting all talks about his complete disappearance from the music scene, Sanu aks, “Who says, I’m not a busy artiste?” His live shows in Indian cities, towns and mofussils are still a rage, and he continues to be among the most popular singers among the South Asian diaspora around the world.
Sanu is easily one of the world’s most recorded vocal artistes with over 17,000 songs under his belt. He not only has a Guinness Book world record for recording the most number of songs in a single day, but also a number of Limca Book national records. After a long hiatus, music directors are willing to hear him out for the songs of this generation. After all, melody never dies. Sanu laments the loss of melody in contemporary Hindi film music, and says that even good singers of today are confused as they are not able to establish their own style unlike the stalwarts of yesteryears – Rafi-Mukesh-Kishore or Manna-Yesudas-Bhupinder et al. Sanu is proud that he was the trailblazer of a new style – coming out of the Kishore Kumar mould and giving the Bollywood music industry a singing superstar that still shines bright. Even to this day, his fan following never seems to cease, especially in small-town India. They are look forward to revival of the Kumar Sanu-style by none other than their favorite singer himself!
Kumar Sanu’s soulful singing ushered in an era of melody even as he produced innumerable songs that soothed our senses. No wonder some of his songs like “Jab Koyee Baat Bigad Jaye” are currently being used in music therapy sessions for cancer patients in Mumbai, as he himself recently discovered. Kumar Sanu hopes to come back often as he eagerly awaits the return of melody to the music of our movies.