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Pradeep
From Screen India:

Life's suddenly become a whirlwind for Kunal Ganjawala. As a singer, he has been around since the late '90s, his voice heard in dozens of popular jingles and Hindi chartbusters through backing vocals and alaaps - besides the occasional song. In 2002, 'O humdum suniyo re...' from A.R.Rahman's Saathiya made the industry sit up and take note of that distinctive voice and singing style, and in 2003, Sandesh Shandilya's 'Chhodo na mujhe...'(Rules - Pyaar Ka Superhit Formula) followed. "I also sang 'Har taraf har jagaah...' from Saaya(Anu Malik) with Shreya Ghoshal,but it was wrongly credited to someone else. Of course, people noticed," says Kunal.

But there comes a tide in the affairs of men, as Shakespeare wrote, and for Kunal the flood of fortune came in 2004 with the chart-smashing hit 'Bheege honth tere...' (Murder/Anu Malik). "Though another song was initially promoted, my song became a massive craze across all ages and socio-economic barriers," says Kunal. "Thanks to it, my name is a household word." But Kunal is not disturbed by the fact that most people recognzie his voice but do not know what he looks like. "I prefer to be low-profile," he smiles.

Kunal has had a hit streak this year, with a list that also includes 'Shehzaadi...', 'Shukriya...' and 'Dost...' (Uuf Kya Jaadoo Mohabbat Hai..!/Sandesh), 'Ooparwale...' (Khakee/Ram Sampath), 'Janaab-e-aali...' (Bardaasht), 'Gonna fall in love/O Makhna...' (Taarzan) and 'Nahin hona...' (Run) all composed by Himesh Reshammiya, 'Gayab hoke...' (Gayab/Ajay-Atul), 'No no...' (Kyon? Ho Gaya Na.. /Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy) and 'Salaame...' (Dhoom/Pritam).

His latest releases are Bride And Prejudice(Anu Malik), Kis Kiski Kismat (D.Imaan), Wajahh (Anand Raaj Anand), Musafir (Vishal-Shekhar) and Aitraaz (Himesh Reshammiya) and when we met up, the latest song that he had recorded was for Mukesh Bhatt’s Zaher under Roop Kumar Rathod’s baton.

The general opinion is that Kunal Ganjawala is one of the most accomplished singers around, but his voice suits only new faces and not the established heroes. What does he have to say about that? "I do not think that is correct," he replies thoughtfully. "My voice has, just to give one example, matched perfectly with the voice of Abhishek Bachchan in Run. I have not had many songs so far that have been lip-synched by big names, and I also think that those who feel this way have not heard me enough. In any case, we are no longer in the era when a new singer made it only if he had a voice or style like one of our all-time great singers."

Born and brought up in Mumbai, Kunal wanted to be either a chartered accountant (or even an actor!) but found his calling in life under very unusual circumstances - the seniors in his new college where he wanted to join an acting workshop ragged him and forced him to sing because he could whistle tunefully!

"After this, I became a regular at musical activities and won most of the intra-college and inter-college competitions," says Kunal. "And after I sang at the 1992 Malhar (the St.Xavier’s College festival), one of the judges, singer Poornima, was so impressed that she took me to Anand-Milind the very next day."

Kunal admits that nothing would have been possible without the support of his parents. "Dad is a businessman but he plays the harmonica, and he and mom encouraged me like they encouraged my sister, who is a Bharat Natyam exponent. Rather than become a chartered accountant, they asked me why I should not try something at which I was good at, and after a year or so I finally began to believe what they said! So I began to learn music at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan under Sudhindra Bhaumick."

In this phase, from 1993 to 1998, Kunal kept doing the rounds of all the music directors as well as those who were making jingles. "Frankly, I was happier with the more professional world of jingles," says Kunal. "I was sick of hanging around the studios, though I did get to sing some songs under Nadeem-Shravan in Saajan Chale Sasural, Andolan and Saat Rang Ke Sapne. But the turning point came when Ranjit Barot met me, liked my voice and said, 'Where have you been, pal?' and I began to sing jingle recordings with him. Ranjit took out things from me that I did not know I had! My first jingle for him was the Doodh Doodh jingle for the Operation Flood ad, and after that he made me do everything in them from ghazals and alaaps to Western, Chinese and Japanese vocals!" says Kunal. "I am privileged to be one of the many singers to whom he is a mentor. Because I was working with him, music directors began to look at me seriously."

Adds Kunal ruminatively, "The letter 'R' has somehow been a major factor in my life. Rajat Dholakia gave me my break in jingles, Ranjit gave me the major push, Rachel Reuben shot my first video and Rahman’s "O humdum suniyo re" made people notice me in films!"

The millennium began on a better note for him. "Anu Malik was working with Ranjit in several films and I began to sing a lot of backing vocals and alaaps for him, and also for others. I also sang a few songs in films like Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai , Pritam's Fun2Shh-Dudes In The 10th Century, and Ismail Darbar's Baaz. And in 2002, Anu gave me his first song, the title-track of Ab Ke Baras with Alka-ji and Sonu Nigam."

And the rest is history. Today, Kunal does not even recall all the films for which he has recorded songs for composers like Anu Malik, Himesh Reshammiya, Ismail Darbar, Anand Raaj Anand, Daboo Malik, Sanjeev-Darshan and Roop Kumar Rathod. Apologetically, he lists a few films like Kisna, Dost, Hulchul, Ab Bas, Mandar and Zaher. On the personal front, he will soon celebrate his first wedding anniversary with singer wife Gayatri Iyer. As Kunal says conclusively, "I am happy that songs are now being written with me in mind. It’s quite a change from the time when I missed a song in a big film because the director overruled a top music director in the 90's."
Nimii
Thanks! He is another of my favourite singer after Shaan, KK(Krishna Kumar Menon) smile1.gif

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extenok
QUOTE
'Har taraf har jagaah...' from Saaya(Anu Malik) with Shreya Ghoshal,but it was wrongly credited to someone else. Of course, people noticed," says Kunal


That song was credited to KK. And I was thinking to myself all the time why does KK sound like an 80 year old man.

QUOTE
chart-smashing hit 'Bheege honth tere...' (Murder/Anu Malik)

I like Najam Sheraz's original song that ''Bheege honth tere..." is based upon. Not to mention, Najam is without a doubt, a better vocalist.
Nimii
QUOTE(extenok @ Oct 17 2004, 03:49 PM)


That song was credited to KK. And I was thinking to myself all the time why does KK sound like an 80 year old man.



Huh Extenok!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

did he!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *thud*

But KG is not a 80year old man !!

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extenok

Listen to the song. I recall also reading somewhere in a review that mentioned the old-man voice.
Talaikya
QUOTE(extenok @ Oct 17 2004, 06:19 AM)
I like Najam Sheraz's original song that ''Bheege honth tere..." is based upon. Not to mention, Najam is without a doubt, a better vocalist.
*



I am trying to find this one, as well as Amir Jamal's original plagiarisation of Tamally Ma'ak... can someone help? PM them? I guess they are too new to go on here.

T
extenok
Hope you got the P. M.
Nimii
Oh ok Imran! I guess I need to hear the song before I comment smile1.gif

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Jay
Great singer that Kunal!
shabbirkumar786
QUOTE(Nimii @ Oct 16 2004, 09:12 AM) *

Thanks! He is another of my favourite singer after Shaan, KK(Krishna Kumar Menon) smile1.gif

N smile1.gif



kunal gunjawalas range is simply fantastic & u havt to give him credit for all his hard work & determination.

the songs of today are tailor made for his style of singing.

good luck to him.
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