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“In music, he lived life, in music he met death”: KK’s college bandmate pens a heartfelt note after his demise

"Full of enthusiasm and creativity, KK was the energy of our band. Exceptionally talented, with a voice range unmatched, he was a natural singer," Gautam Chikermane notes.

The world is pained beyond words and has silently united in the demise of popular Singer KK aka Krishnakumar Kunnath, who died after suffering a heart attack after a concert in Kolkata yesterday. The singer will be remembered as one of the first voices that rocked this millennium and eventually became the voice of a generation. In his passing away, Economist and Author Gautam Chikermane has penned an emotional note, reminiscing his days with KK as a friend, a college bandmate and a performer par excellence.

“In music, he lived life, in music he met death. Sorrow is for the rest of us, for KK it’s possibly a Stairway to Heaven,” Chikermane, who is Vice President at ORF, writes recalling his young days with KK as a college friend. He was friends with KK while studying together at Kirori Mal College, Delhi. “KK was our lead singer and drummer,” notes Gautam Chikermane, who in his young days was also part of the college band at KMC called ‘Horizon’.

He recalls that while the other members of Horizon including Franz, Tom, Sandeep and himself chose different paths as careers, “among all of us, only KK and Julius had the grit and the courage to follow their dreams, KK as singer and Julius as a composer. The rest of us took day jobs,” he notes while writing a heartfelt Twitter thread.

In their college days, the band would go to all the college festivals and win prizes for their performances. Horizon made its mark at IIT Kanpur, IIT Delhi, SRCC and Hindu College and bagged the top prizes. “We even played professionally at the Siri Fort Auditorium. We earned Rs 5,000 for the night and felt like we were kings!” Chikermane, who now serves as the Vice-President at the Observer Research Foundation remembers.

“Full of enthusiasm and creativity, KK was the energy of our band. Exceptionally talented, with a voice range unmatched, he was a natural singer,” he notes. Chikermane has also talked about the struggles KK had to face as an aspiring music composer and a playback singer in Mumbai. When life hit him low, KK even started selling typewriters to meet his ends. Soon, he left his job and started singing in hotels. He always felt it was not a great experience to have people eating and drinking while the band sang. After ten minutes or so he would play for himself.

As a College student, KK only sang English songs, but when he came to Mumbai he effortlessly switched to singing in Hindi. When Chikermane met the boy-next-door KK in Mumbai after a long time, he remembers how he talked about his struggles to make it big in the music industry there. Chikermane remembers his meeting with KK in Mumbai – “We stood at the end of Marine Drive and he(KK) said, you know I came here and stood exactly here on this spot and looked at these lights and wondered if Bombay would give me space.”

Eventually, KK made it big in Bollywood and went on to become one of the most popular playback singers in the nation. From Tadap Tadap to Tu hai asmann mein, “In each song, each rendering, he gave his all—voice, heart and soul. He became the song,” Chikermane writes. “Souls don’t die. In KK’s case, voices don’t either,” the Economist remembered his friend in an emotional tribute.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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