Remembering KK! The man whose identity was his music

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Growing up, the name KK was a mystery to me. Believe it or not, for the first few of my growing up years, Internet wasn’t such a big thing that your first thought would be to just google someone and get to know about them. All I knew was that he is a singer, and not knowing many people going with such short names, the name itself was an enigma to me. My only source of music at that time were the music videos on the cable Tv channel called RTV where you could call from your landline and choose the next song to be played on national TV. And I knew that this singer named KK had crooned the heartbreak song of the century Tadap Tadap Ke from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. And without even understanding the meaning of it, just by loving the melody and voice, I requested it to play for days on loop, increasing my landline bill.

 

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A post shared by KK (@kk_live_now)

 

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What added to the mystery was that he wasn’t much present in the media nor was there any social media at that time to know him better. So, my connection initially with him was just through his songs, a connection that persists even today. What changed is that as I kept growing, that connection just kept getting stronger. He gave me my first heartbreak song and then my first friendship song as well with Yaaron Dosti which, let’s just agree, is still the friendship anthem.

After that came the love songs, especially the Emraan Hashmi era, and then KK taught me what love is through his voice. The combination of Emraan’s face on screen and KK’s voice was indeed a match made in heaven. Who can forget the iconic Zara Sa from Jannat that guys still use to propose their girls? So, a better part of my being and my understanding of human emotions was because of the voice of KK. Thus, automatically around the stroke of midnight last night when I got the news that KK has passed away, I was a little taken aback. I didn’t know him personally at all and this loss was the whole nation’s, but I don’t know why, it felt personal.

 

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I come from a time where for a few years growing up, I believed that by default there were only 3 singers in the country—Sonu nigam, Shaan and KK—and hearing anyone else’s voice on screen felt like cheating. I can go about listing all the achievements that the singer had in his cut short yet illustrious career, but I did not know him like that as an audience.

For me, what made him a little bit extra special was that there was this singer who worked in Bollywood, who just came, sang, ruled over my heart and then did that all over again countless times, without any fuss of the media coverage or PR stunt or anything. My growing up years were formed by him.

 

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In all these years that I have followed his work, I don’t remember reading any big interviews of him or him getting papped here and there. For me, KK’s identity was his music, and kudos for that as what an identity that is. He sang his first Hindi film song in the year I was born, so I guess his Hindi film career is equivalent to my age, and since 2000, the first time I remember hearing his voice, KK had a separate place of his own in my heart.

From songs ranging in human emotions that I already listed down, to feelings like fear with Aaja Gufaon Mein Aa or setting up a party vibe with Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe, he gave me everything under the sun just with his music. Even his ending part of ‘Dooola Re’ in Dola Re Dola, that is just there for a few seconds in the song, has stayed with me ever since .

 

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Last night we didn’t just lose a golden voice of India, a singing star or a gem from the Hindi film industry, I personally lost a piece of my growing up years, and that is a loss that will sting for a long time, leaving a void forever. I woke up today wanting to play ‘The Best of KK’ on my Alexa, but then I thought that it would be a disservice to his work because there is no ‘best of KK’. Everything he did was best, and that’s exactly how I will remember him.

Also read: KK passes away: Melodious voice of late singer will be heard for the last time in THIS Salman Khan starrer