62 Iconic songs of KK (Part 6/8)
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:
41. Sach Keh Raha Hai Deewana- Rehna Hai Terre Dil Mein (RHTDM) (2001)
Just two years after Tadap Tadap KK got to sing his next most iconic heartbreak song. The song was a rage when it came out. Guys still go back to it whenever duped in love. It has a very smooth, melodious feel to it, let’s all the pain and angst flow out.
Though personally I feel this song sounds too much like a South Indian song with Hindi lyrics just filled in, which it is. This song is a Hindi dubbed version of the track Venmathiye sung by Tippu from the movie Minnalae, of which RHTDM is a Hindi remake. So even with well written Hindi lyrics, KK’s clean pronunciations of words, it still sounds like a recycled Tamil song.
The composition is by Harris Jayaraj. I will admit KK has sung this song with a lot of feel.
42. Hai Junoon- New York (2009)
A bright hopeful and youthful song. The most ideal song to hear along a drive or while commuting. Though portions of this song are heavily plagiarized by Pritam, this song overall sounds very pleasant. KK has sung it really well. The lyrics by Sandeep Srivastava effectively convey the mood of a bright future.
In the movie, sadly the happiness, the aspirations of the characters singing this song is very short lived. They are very soon caught up in very miserable circumstances. Hope that doesn’t happen with the listeners of the song, hope their happy times stay very long with them.
43. Kya Mujhe Pyaar Hai- Woh Lamhe (2006)
2006 was the year KK had many great tracks to his credit, this was one of them. Though all was not great with this one. Not very late from it’s release the track was found to badly plagiarized. Pritam had completely plagiarized this one from Indonesian band Noah’s Tak Bisakah. The credit was later given to the original artists, however the stolen tag on the song remained.
The lyrics by Neelesh Misra were quite good. KK’s singing is what makes many of us forgive all the flaws regarding this song and still listen to it repeatedly. He’s squeezed his soul into it.
44. Ajab Si- Om Shanti Om (2007)
It wasn’t as if KK hadn’t sung for a song picturized on Shahrukh Khan before this one. He’d sung songs for Kal Ho Na Ho and Main Hoon Na, which had Shahrukh Khan in them. But yeah, this was his first out and out Full blown classical SRK styled song for sure. He sounds just as robustly romantic as he should. When the composition of such a song equally mindblowing, the song guarantees to be special.
The lyrics of the track is by Vishal Dadlani and the lyrics don’t sound any inferior to those rendered by any of the A- lister lyricists of the industry. They perfectly capture the feelings of a common guy whose fantasizing of a beauty way above him, also lamenting why he cannot express all that’s in his heart.
45. Teri Yaadon Mein- The Killer (2006)
Back in 2006, as most of KK’s songs were a hit, this song was no exception. Though most of the songs given to him were very funky and slick type, this had a typical 90’s Bollywood feel to it, which made it stand out. The composers Sajid- Wajid decided to take a different approach, gave more 90s element to the track. They’ve made KK sing in a heavy voice as well as his regular high pitch voice, and he sounds spot on in both of them. Shreya Ghoshal gets to sing one line each of the stanzas, doesn’t contribute much. This song rides completely on KK’s shoulder and he knocks it out of the park. The lyrics are by Jalees Sherwani.
46. O Humdum Suniyo Re- Saathiya (2002)
This was one massive Hit album from 2002. Almost all it’s songs were chart busters back then, are fondly remembered even today. This song was a hit too. It has a total of three male playback singers: Kunal Ganjawala, KK and Shaan. KK along with Shaan seem to be singing the part that begins with “Dheem Dheem tanana Dheem tananana Oh galliyon se aayega”.
The song is a Hindi recycled version of Endrendrum Punnagai from Alaipayuthey, the movie in which Saathiya is based. The original song is sung by four male playback singers. Though recycled, Gulzar’s signature lyrics make the song sound fresh in Hindi as well.
There’s a rap portion in the song too. This song has an infectious peppy vibe to it. This is the kind of song that can be heard while travelling, over coffee or can also be played at parties to dance along with.
47. Aashayein- Iqbal (2005)
Back in 2000s we got a lot of interesting inspirational songs from Bollywood; this was one of them. Composed by Salim- Suleiman before they became popular, written by Irfan Siddique, sung by KK and Salim Merchant this was initially less popular but later became one of the most frequently played tracks of the year. The instrumental portions of this song are very iconic. This was also one of the first songs that had KK singing “O… O…. O…” for a long duration to the song, a feature that later came to be associated with him. Salim Merhant just repeats the title of the Song
“Aashayein… Aashayein” throughout.
One of my favourite lines from the song:
“Udd jaaye leke Khushi apne sang tujhko wahaan,
Jannat se mulakaat ho, poori ho teri har Dua,
Aashayein mile Dil ki, umeedein khile Dil ki, ab mushkil nahi kuch bhi, nahi kuch bhi”
48. Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe- Dil Chahta Hai (2001)
The ultimate friendship cum party anthem of early 2000s. This album was the breakthrough album for composer trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and was immensely popular for about two years from it’s release.
This particular track was played across Discotheques, college festivals, picnics, parties, almost any gathering with buddies. This song is composed by a composer trio, is sung by a trio of singers, based on a trio of friend characters. I liked how each playback singer is specifically designated for a particular character; Shankar Mahadevan is Aakash’s ( played by Aamir Khan) voice, Shaan is Sameer’s (played by Saif Ali Khan) voice and KK is Sid’s (played by Akshaye Khanna) voice. All three have sung the song energetically with a feeling of bonding. The track with all its multiple beats, techno music is just groovy. It is one of those era defining tracks of an era defining album of an era defining movie. As iconic as it can get. For me, whenever I hear this track, I think of Dil Chahta Hai, and I think of Aakash, Sameer and Sid and all their experiences in the movie. I cannot detach any aspect of the movie from the whole.
I must also give credit to Javed Akhtar for being able to come up with such fresh and youthful lyrics, for not sounding like a dated lyricist at all.