62 Iconic songs of KK (Part 3/8)
Ever since the tragic news of K.K’s untimely demise broke out on the 31st May of 2022, the world was shocked. The Hindi cinema music industry lost one of its veterans. A lot of memoirs, obituaries went around describing just how good an artist and a person he was. Considering the remarkable body of work the man left behind for all of us, all this love pouring out was definitely expected; in fact he deserves much more. For me, K.K. was that secret friend with whom I grew up, through my childhood and adolescence.
His melodies, his voice, his emotions have spoken so much to me. I really don’t think any other playback singer from Hindi movie industry or even from Indie pop would have spoken so much. So in this article, I would like to describe all those songs of KK that have touched my heart. Some of these songs are very popular and some are relatively unknown. Also, this list mostly includes KK’s Hindi movie songs and Hindi pop songs. You may get songs of other languages, but that’s only if they were very popular among listeners who mainly follow Hindi music. So here are 62 Iconic songs of KK:
17. Touch me- Dhoom 2 (2006)
As I had expressed earlier, KK’s party numbers have generally been underrated. This is one such party number. In the album itself this track was overshadowed by the excess popularity of other tracks like Dhoom Again and Crazy Kiya Re. This one itself is quite a decent Party number. Both KK and Alisha Chinai sound slick. The composer being Pritam the song sounds very wholesome due to excellent arrangement. The lyrics by Sameer sound just as per the trend of mid 2000s.
18. Chod Aaye Hum- Maachis (1996)
Yes, this was KK’s first proper Hindi song, prior to this he had sung Hindi dubbed versions of South Indian songs. This song is just epic. When you have a composer like Vishal Bharadwaj and a lyricist like Gulzar collaborating, both in beast mode, you will get a masterpiece of a song and this that one. As I had mentioned about another song earlier, when the makers take trouble to have the song suit a given circumstance in the movie to the core, it always shows. Here the background music mainly consists of plural whistles, only those instruments one would expect to be playing in a snow clad mountain area of North India. The genius of the composition lies in keeping all these authenticity intact, and using them to the optimum.
Gulzar is the lyricist here, his signature style of writing is often termed Gulzariyat. The lyrics here are Gulzariyat through and through. The situation of the song, depicts a group of revolutionary youths who are reminiscing about their simple village life, and Gulzar takes this emotion several folds up with his lyrics. I really can’t imagine anyone else to write stuff like:
“Jahaan tere pairon ke, kamal giraa karte the, Hanse toh do gaalon main, bhavar padaa karte the, Teri kamar ke bal pe, nadi muda karti thi, Hassi teri sun sun ke, fasal pakaa karti thi.”
“ Ek chota sa lamha hai, Jo khatam nahi hota, Main laakh jalaata hoon, Yeh bhasam nahi hota..” Coming to the Singers, our man of the hour KK gets to only sing the chorus. In fact, his voice is heard clearly only when the chorus is first sung at the beginning. The majority of the singing is done by more senior singers such as Hari Haran, Suresh Wadkar and Vinod Sehgal.
Though KK gets very little singing here, it’s no less an honour to be a part of such an epic song.
19. Aasmaan Ke- Humsafar (2008)
Back in 2008, KK had come up with a pop album Humsafar. This was subsequent album after Pal. This track Aasman Ke was one of the popular tracks of the album. It sounds quite soothing, it has all the elements that by the time of it’s release, one would expect from a typical KK romantic song. It’s composed and sung by KK himself, written by Mehboob. It is basically about a guy looking for love. The video if the song features KK along with Suhasi Goradia Dhami, who later gained popularity in some soap operas.
20. Le Chale- Popcorn Khao Mast Ho Jao (2004)
Vishal- Shekhar in their older funky form put KK’s vocals to the best use here. This track has a lot of youthfulness to it, projects the fresh zeal of young blood in facing the world and realizing their dreams. I really loved the transition in the song between slow pace and fast pace. Both Mahalxmi Iyer and KK’s voices compliment each other pretty well. The lyrics are by Vishal Dadlani himself.
21. Le Chale- My Brother… Nikhil (2004)
From one Le Chale song we move on to another Le Chale song which came just a year later. Though by it’s mood This one is totally different. This is a very soft, emotional song about carrying different life experiences. There are actually three versions of this song in the movie, one sung by Shaan, the other by KK and the third by Sunidhi Chauhan. The three differ in the lyrics of their stanzas conveying different moods. This particular version of KK is more of a protective one, about being there for a loved one through thick and thins. The song is composed by Vivek Phillip and written by Amitabh Verma.
22. Main Khuda- Paanch (2003)
This a Heavy Rock track by KK which was supposed to come out much before he’d sung other rock tracks such as Alvida and O’ Mama. The movie never released and subsequently the audio never officially released, it leaked online. The movie directed by Anurag Kashyap is about a group of rock music band members who go from stray to more stray. This particular song represents their ideology of defying the totalitarian authority and acting on free thinking and free will… The track is totally anarchic. There’s also a bit of narcissism as the singer calls himself The Almighty. The lyrics by Abbas Tyrewala totally nails the thoughts of the movie’s lead character Luke (played by Kay Kay Menon) and his dysfunctional music band Parasite.
Vishal Bharadwaj has composed the track in the typical Hard Rock genre with aggressive vocals, even more aggresive Electric guitar portions. As far as KK’s singing goes if you’re wondering just how smoothly he can nail his high notes, you should listen to this song. One of Bollywood’s pure Heavy Rock tracks.
Trivia: This song is sung by singer KK, is picturized on actor Kay Kay Menon. Since both their popular names are pronounced the same, the spellings of their names are often confused with each other. Both, exceptionally talented individuals in their fields.
23. Pyaar ke Pal- Pal (1999)
KK’s very special title track from his debut album. The song which made him famous the very first time. Back in 1999 this was probably one of the most hit pop songs. This song is kind of an anthem on cherishing those sweet moments, those valuable memories while going through life. This used to also be a routine song to be played at school and college farewell parties back in late 90s-2000s. For me, this song most effectively conveys how important it is to live in the moment. The lyrics are written by KK’s long time collaborator Mehboob, the composition is by Lesle Lewis. He’s also the producer of the album. He’s one of the first people who trusted our man.
The video of this song features a very young Abhay Deol. His face is not very well exposed in the video, but when you can see him, you know it’s him. As per IMDb the female actor is Mia Evonne Uyeda, also as per IMDb, Abhishek Bachchan is supposed to be in the video; but I couldn’t trace him. Do let me know if you guys managed to trace him.
24. Khuda Jaane- Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008)
This song is one romantic fantasy. Vishal- Shekhar have very skillfully used KK’s ability to effortlessly transition from low pitch to high pitch by having the stanzas in lower pitch and the chorus at a much higher pitch. And though it’s a duet, only KK sings the chorus in the song. KK is accompanied by Shilpa Rao as the female vocalist. The contrast between Shilpa Rao’s more controlled and rigid vocals with KK’s more free and flexible vocals is used brilliantly. It was interesting to note how the song opens with Individual scratches sung by both the singers.
Even the instrumental parts of the song sound so unique.
The song is picturized very beautifully too, at so many exotic locations. This song actually made Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor’s on screen chemistry sizzle much more.