62 Iconic songs of KK (Part 5/8)
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:
33. Yaaron- Pal (1999), Rockford (1999)
This used to be our go to friendship anthem while growing up. The one song which makes me and a lot of others who grew up in the late 90s and 2000s overly nostalgic. I guess KK’s simplistic singing, and Lesle Lewis’s simple composition make the magic work. Though the lyrics have some not so common Urdu words. For a long time I didn’t know what “Begaraz” meant. It meant Selfless, which again I got to know later on. I also like how the lyricist Mehboob self complimented himself while writing this song twice (pay attention to the lyrics, you’ll know).
For Nagesh Kukunoor’s movie Rockford this song was given a video with scenes from the movie and KK in different colourful backgrounds slowly sprinkling coloured powder from his hands. This seems like one of those timeless songs.
34. Aaya Re- Jashnn: The Music Within (2009)
This was a surprisingly peppy and groovy number from a not very well known movie. I remember downloading the mp3 version of this song as soon as I heard it on TV. This song designed as a live performed Pop number, is an out and out KK treat as he sings along with some heavy percussions and accompanied with instrumental portions consisting of electric guitars. The song is composed by Shaarib- Toshi and written by Kumaar.
35. O Meri Jaan- Life in a… Metro (2007)
A proper Rock song from KK which came after quite a while. When Pritam decided to go for a more Rock heavy approach for the movie Life in a… Metro it was understood KK would definitely sing a song or two. He ended up singing two very lovely songs from the movie. O Meri Jaan has this crazy romantic vibe to it that makes it click. KK acing his high notes is not new, but when he does it in such a heart touching composition it’s a treat to one’s ear. Though I must add, the composition though very heart touching is not original. Pritam has played the copy cat here once again, and borrowed heavily from Amr Diab’s Baed El Layali. This song is written by Sandeep Srivastava. There’s a reprise version of this track in the same movie by Band Metro. Though Suhail Kaul did a good job singing the reprise version of this track but he is nowhere close to the OG KK (Just my opinion!)
36. Chale Jaise Hawaien- Main Hoon Na (2004)
This album was a big chart buster at its release and almost all it’s songs were very famous, including this one. Composer Anu Malik has taken care to make the composition exactly as per the candy floss tone of the movie, Javed Akhtar has written the lyrics exactly the same way (Sorry, I am not really a fan of this movie, and by extension of the album). Though I admit the songs are quite well composed, well written and well sung, but I personally don’t like the tone most of them have.
Coming to this song, this is one of those few KK duets where he actually gets to do less singing compared to his female co singer. Vasundhara Das gets to sing two full stanza’s almost two thirds, while KK turns up only in the third stanza. Keeping everything aside, this is one of the many underrated dance numbers by KK.
37. O’ Mama- 7 Khoon Maaf (2011)
This is a very personal favourite song for me. When it came out in 2011, I remember listening to this track at least 5-6 times everyday. For a long time I thought this song was written by Gulzar, it sounds so much like his writing. I realised quite late that the actual lyricist is Ajinkya Iyer. The song is very well written nonetheless. When love becomes that liberator that makes someone free from all bondages of cautiousness towards the world; makes the person just experience every emotion from the heart, he is in a state of nirvana. The opening lines “Dil se hi ab sochta hai Dil mera, O’Mama” just makes me go in awe, also the line that follows “Dushman jeeye mera, woh bhi gair toh nahi” just demonstrates how much the nirvana has soaked the person singing this song. One more line which I can’t resist sharing here:
“Khwaab mein mil jaaye Lekin woh khwaab na ho,
Umeed toh nahi,
phir bhi umeed ho,
Koi toh iss tarah aashique shaheed ho
Koi gaya gaya
Can you trust KK to sound like this blissful love-struck maniac? Yes, you can. And he delivers beyond expectations. There’s also Clinton Cerejo who does this small rap whenever KK finishes his chorus. Vishal Bharadwaj has managed to construct a perfect Hard Rock track using Ajinkya Iyer’s terrific writing and KK’s remarkable vocals. Stalwarts at their best.
There’s also an acoustic scratch of this track composed for a specific situation in the movie.
38. Dil Ibaadat- Tum Mile (2009)
One of the more popular tracks of KK that year. Pritam composes a song on passionate love, KK sings up to full perfection. The song has some very articulate lyrics credited to both Sayeed Quadri and Kumaar. The song has strong youth appeal. It’s picturized on Emraan Hashmi. When so many things are going so right for a track, there’s no way it’s not going to be a Chart Buster. It turns out to exactly be one.
39. Dil Kyun Ye Mera- Kites (2010)
One of the most calm inducing tracks of last decade. Very contrastingly though the opening lines are “Dil kyun yeh mera shor kare”; the song fills you with only sukoon, no shor. The more songs of KK I list here, the more I realize just how versatile he has been. He’s sung almost every kind of song there is. Since the composer here is Rajesh Roshan the instrumental portions need to stand out, and they do. The opening music at the very beginning from a blowing instrument is one of the most distinct opening music I would have heard for a Hindi song. KK sings the song like he is meditating, and makes his listeners meditate too. The lyrics by Nasir Faraaz have a poetic quality to them.
40. Dus Bahane- Dus (2005)
The party number sung by Shaan and KK that got uber popular when it came out. Kept playing at Discotheques and Lounges for a year or two, it’s still popular today. This is definitely that Hindi song which would make people who grew up in the 2000s swing.
Back then having a Hindi song opening with English lyrics in a deep husky voice was very uncommon. So it was odd to hear Vishal Dadlani open the song with “Here Now, Here Now”.
They’ve blended KK and Shaan’s voice in such a way that both sound very energetic together, but you can’t make out which one of them is singing which line. They both individually sing each line of the stanzas and sing the chorus in unison. KK and Shaan as a male playback duo compliment each other so well, it was always a treat to listen to both of them. Vishal- Shekhar managed to use their voices and craft this gem of a song which will always be remembered. It’s an era defining track of the 2000s. The lyrics of the song are by Panchhi Jalonvi.