Arnab Chakraborty won the coveted title in Sony Entertainment Television's reality music show, K For Kishore. He has won a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh and a contract to cut an album for HMV Saregama music.
He beat Chintan Bhakiwala and Chetan Rana, the other two finalists of the competition, which was a tribute to legendary singer Kishore Kumar. Chintan has not totally lost out though. Nagesh Kukunoor has roped in the singer for his forthcoming film, based on the life of Kishore Kumar.
Rajul Hegde asks Arnab how it feels to win.
Congratulations! How do you feel?
It is a special moment in my life. I have already sung for a film, Rajkumar Santoshi's Khakee, -- the song, Vada raha pyar. So, in a way I went the opposite way -- I sang for movies first, and then participated in a reality show.
When I heard about K for Kishore show, I was very excited. I took part in this show not because it was a competition but to give tribute to Kishore Kumar.
What was your family's reaction?
My parents were nervous and did not want to come for the finals from Kolkata. But when they came, they were very happy. My mother started crying. It was a great feeling.
How was it to be judged by the great Asha Bhosle, who was the mahaguru of the show?
It was like icing on cake when Ashaji (Bhosle) entered the competition as one of the judges in the semifinals. Her comments were precious.
She liked my performance so much that she gave me an old autographed photograph of her and Kishoreda singing in a studio. That was a wonderful moment. She has sung so many songs with Kishoreda and knew him closely. Getting a complement from her was a big thing for me.
My singing was consistent until she came. When I saw her for the first time, I felt that I should sing better. I was giving a 100 percent until then but I wanted to give my 500 percent. Her presence was a catalyst for me to perform better. And I did.
How did you feel to be compared to Kishore Kumar?
No one can reach where Kishoreda reached. If I am projected even near him, it is wrong. I have cherished his songs right from childhood and singing his songs is a tribute to him. I have tried my level best to do justice to his songs but no one can even be compared to him.
I have not achieved even an iota of what the great singers like Kishoreda and Ashaji have. I have a long way to go and am just happy that I was associated with all the great singers on the show.
Kishoreda could mould his voice to suit different actors. He has sung from Dev Anand to Mithun Chakraborty. He had a different style of singing from soft to loud...
Your favourite Kishore Kumar's song?
Musafir Ho Yaro from Parichay. It's the philosophy of my life. I am a traveller exploring different things in life searching for different destinations. Like the song, I am taking life as it comes too.
Other favourites are Hum Tumse Pyar Kitna from Kudrat and Pyar Magha Hai Tumhi Ke from College Girl.
What's the best complement you have received?
There was a special episode where we had to sing the award winning and nominated songs of Kishoreda. I was given a trophy, called the Filmfare Special Award Trophy for that.
And the worst?
There was no worst compliment as such. The judges were critical but that was for our good. That helped us sing better.
Who was your favourite judge on the show?
All of them were caring. I learnt a lot from them. Sudesh Bhosle used to give tips backstage to all of us. He has seen Kishoreda's work very closely. Bappida (Bappi Lahiri) is a living legend with more than 300 songs to his credit. Amit Kumar is a great man. He would guide us if we were wrong in a particular song.
What did you like about the show?
The format of the show is original. It is a show where a tribute is given to a successful and great Indian singer. There is no SMS voting like in other shows. The studio audience contributed to only 10 percent of the total votes. A lot of weightage was given to the judges' votes, and voting was transparent.
I will be going to different countries to promote the brand, K for Kishore. Also, I have signed a one-year contract with HMV Saregame music and will soon come out with a solo album.
I have also recorded some songs for Gaurav Das Gupta's next film. I have two-three projects in hand. I have also sung a song with Shreya Ghosal for Hansal Mehta's Raakh.