62 Iconic songs of KK (Part 7/8)
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:
49. Abhi Abhi- Jism 2 (2012)
A song on fulfilling wishes, on giving into inner desires, relishing them completely. This is a sensual track, but not an out and out sensual one. This also has a feeling of discovering newer aspects of life. It has a positive vibe to it. Composed by Arko, written by Manish Makhija and Arko, sung by KK.
I loved some of the pauses he’s taken throughout the song. It feels as though the singing is coming from a place of personal connect, doesn’t sound mechanical at all. The singing overall is as great as can be.
50. Zara Sa- Jannat: In Search of Heaven… (2008)
Emraan Hashmi is often considered to be among those presently working movie stars with maximum hit songs in his movies. There was a time there was a myth that any song picturized on Emraan Hashmi would be a blockbuster. This particular song is among the most iconic songs of his career. It’s no surprise that such a song is composed by a masterful composer like Pritam and sung by our man KK.
The opening tune of this song is so distinct, you can identify it by just listening to the opening music. This is basically a romantic song about a guy madly in love, whose also very ambitious. He can get the world to the feet of the person he loves if she asks for it. Sayeed Quadri has written the track exploring both the mind set of the character singing as well as the emotions he is experiencing.
One of the distinct features of KK’s songs is his singing “O.. O… O….” for a major part part of the song. In this song the entire chorus goes “Woh… O.. O … O.. Oh… O… Oh…” and KK doesn’t sound one bit awkward nor childish. He nails the track. This one sounds like one of those tailor made compositions for him.
51. Main Tera Dhadkan Teri- Ajab Prem ki Ghazab Kahani (2009)
A party track which was quite famous at it’s time. The late 2000s used to be a time when they’d throw in all sorts of sounds into a party track to make it work, this seems to me as one of those tracks. Much as I like Irshad Kamil’s lyrics, KK and Sunidhi Chauhan’s vocals, I am not a fan of whatever Hard Kaur has added to the track. I also find some of the sounds used in the background annoying. Rather than sounding wholesome they sound random.
Nonetheless, with it’s flaws, this still a feet tapping number with good repeat value. Sundhi Chauhan and KK have sung their parts really well. Irshad Kamil has penned some peppy lyrics.
52. Sajde- Khatta Meetha (2010)
This is a very pleasant, romantic track in a not so successful movie. A case where the movie didn’t do very well, and the music had to bear the brunt. There are total four versions of this track, the most popular one, the one we’re counting here is sung by KK and Sunidhi Chauhan, there’s a remix version (which I personally didn’t like at all, this kind of song doesn’t need a remix), sung by KK and Harshdeep Kaur, there’s another version sung by Roopkumar Rathod and Harshdeep Kaur, which is more of a desi version considering the choice of singers and the instrumental parts, and a solo female version sung by Tulsi Kumar.
With so many versions around you can clearly make out how well KK is able to ace his transition from high pitch to low pitch. Okay, I am not trying to put the other artists down, they are good singers too, it’s just the KK fanboy in me.
Sunidhi Chauhan compliments KK’s vocals pretty well. There’s also a Punjabi-ish scratch in the song by Shahid Mallya. Irshad Kamil has penned the lyrics and he has a way with demonstrating flare with simplicity, Pritam has composed the track very well.
53. Dola Re- Devdas (2002)
Well this may be a very unlikely addition, since KK doesn’t get to sing much in this track, but considering just how iconic and popular this track is, and how it explores a totally different aspect of KK, this totally deserves to be here.
Much like Chod Aaye hum, KK gets to only sing the chorus here at the beginning and at the end. The major bulk of singing is taken up by very talented playback singers Kavita Krishnamurthy and Shreya Ghoshal. But I am in awe of the whole rustic tone KK takes up when he opens this song with “Ae Dola Re”. He sounds very rustic, you can’t imagine he’d be the same guy who otherwise can sound so slick , so youthful in so many of his songs. Ismail Darbar has really made KK sing some very different and memorable tracks. The lyrics by Nusrat Badr convey a lot in very few lines. It’s just now while listening to this track that I discovered the instrumental portions are so elaborate and take up the major duration of the track.
54. Ding Dong- Kuch to Hai (2003)
Back in 2003 I never thought I would ever be listing this song in one of the good songs in any list, but here I am today actually hearing this song twice and talking about it. The reason why I decided to listen to this song to decide whether it needs to be included here is the multiple times I’ve seen KK talk about this song in his interviews. He seemed to hold the song close to him. After listening to it, I feel this song after all did suffer from the underperformance of the movie it was in. Also, considering the low fan base the actors of this movie had back then, this song was quite ignored. Had it been in a more successful movie, it would have been more successful.
Coming to the song itself, I like how both KK and Sunidhi Chauhan both sound so young and seem to be playfully enjoying themselves. Anu Malik has brought a sense of playfulness in the song that the listener can enjoy. The song is written by Sameer.
55. Tu hi Meri Shab Hai- Gangster: A Love Story (2006)
This was the track that established KK, Pritam and Sayeed Quadri as the three big hit vending collaborators for the coming three to four years. This track also made KK the voice of Emraan Hashmi (although KK had sung songs filmed on Emraan before this one came). This track gave KK his signature style of singing “O… O… O… O….” for a major part of his songs, which here was the chorus.
This track is so iconic for so many reasons, Wow. This track is also infamous for being very badly plagiarized. Pritam has stolen the entire tune of the song from Oliver Shanti and Friends’s Sacral Nirvana. The guy has indulged in a lot plagiarism in his prime.
Nonetheless Sayeed Quadri’s lyrics just spread the entire atmosphere with love, and KK’s singing… just no words. The guy just owns this track.
56. Maine Dil se Kaha- Rog (2005)
This song feels like the ultimate melancholic trip. It just induces that effect. It comes to the point where no joy, no happiness can touch you. The much more tragic thing about this song is just two years back we were listening to this mourning for Irrfan Khan on whom the song is picturized. And now we’re listening to this, mourning for KK. The Almighty indeed snatches away the best of artists too soon.
Coming back to this track it’s composed by M. M. Kreem/M. M. Keeravani. The arrangement of the song itself is so minimalistic. I particularly like the percussion effect they’ve given here, it sounds very different. KK sings this as brilliantly, just as per his usual standard. Neelesh Mishra has penned some very intricate lyrics. I just can’t help sharing my favourite stanza here:
“Kabhi hai ishq ka ujaala,
Kabhi hai maut ka andhera,
Batao kaun bhes hoga
Main jogi Banu ya Lootera
Kahin Chehre hai iss Dil ke
Na Jaane kaunsa mera
Maine Dil se kahaan dhone laana khushi,
Nasamajh laaya gham to Yeh Gham hi sahi.”