'KK could have been much more successful than he was, but he preferred to concentrate on quality rather than quantity.'
Sanjay Leela Bhansali was jolted when he learnt that KK, who sang the beautiful Tadap Tadap Ke in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, had passed away.
"How could KK just collapse and die like this? Are you sure?" he asks Subhash K Jha.
"What a talent! What a singer! His voice had the throw of a pro. I remember when (composer) Ismail Durbar had come to me with the song Tadap Tadap Ke, it was in KK's voice. Normally, scratch recordings (sample recordings) are done in temporary voices. But when I heard the song, my first response was, 'Oh my God! What a voice! Who is this? Where did you find him?'
"Ismail said it was the voice of a singer named KK and that he had heard him sing a song Chhod Aaye Hum Woh Galiyan for Vishal Bhardwaj (in the film Maachis). I told Ismail I loved the song Tadap Tadap Ke, but the voice must remain. I couldn't imagine anyone else singing it."
Bhansali says Tadap Tadap Ke has acquired an anthemic resonance over the years.
"KK was a complete singer. His range and voice-throw were outstanding. He could have been much more successful than he was but he preferred to concentrate on quality rather than quantity. He was very particular about what he sang."
SLB's next experience with KK was Devdas.
"He sang some alaaps in Devdas, but in Guzaarish, when I became a full-fledged music composer, I wanted him to sing a number of songs. KK sang three of my most cherished compositions -- Daayen Baayen, Jaane Kisske Khwab and the title song Guzaarish. Jaane Kisske Khwab was a special composition for me, made even more special by KK's singing."
Bhansali shares an interesting observation from the recordings of Guzaarish.
"KK insisted on sitting on a chair to sing the songs of Guzaarish. Normally, singers stand and record their songs. But KK insisted on singing seated. His reason was simple: The hero (Hrithik Roshan) is a paraplegic, he will sing the songs from a seated position, so will I.' That was his level of his dedication. He shouldn't have gone so soon."