Interview of the month    

He is often considered as one of the most underrated playback singers of the country. Success, to him, has come in bits and pieces. At 63, the undying urge to produce better music is still the same as it was several decades back. In a candid chat with RBN, Amit Kumar speaks about his latest creations, launching his daughter and his music label.

RBN: You are probably the first musician in Bollywood to launch an online music label.

Amit Kumar:  Yes, I can’t remember any previous artiste who had launched an online music company.

RBN: What prompted you to set up such a company?

Amit Kumar: It’s all came from passion. I won’t have to run to music labels to record my songs. I can sing to my heart’s content. There’s a business angle as well. I have already spent ₹8-9 lakhs on promotion and branding. At the same time, I know I can’t do business like most of the established giants. But I have to get the return on my investment. The internet has opened up immense possibilities. My ‘Kumar Brothers Music’ company will carry out its business mostly on the internet. We have also released a limited number of CDs in the market. They are available both in stores and can be ordered online as well.

RBN: Your album Baba Meye is already out now.

Amit Kumar: Yes, the songs can be downloaded from the internet at a nominal price. One can also buy the CD from stores.

RBN: How has been the response?

Amit Kumar: Overwhelming. I never expected anything like this. I had kept 30 CDs for sale in an old music shop at Mumbai’s posh Kala Ghoda neighbourhood. These days, when CD sales are almost down to zero, the stock there is already exhausted. The album has attracted over 50 thousand hits on YouTube. That’s the actual number. I could have easily manipulated and inflated the numbers.

RBN: Who are the persons involved with Baba Meye?

Amit Kumar: There are eight songs in the album. All are composed and sung by me. My younger daughter, Muktika, has lent her voice in one song. My brother Sumit Kumar has arranged the music. Lyrics are by Leenaji (Chandravarkar). As of now, it’s an entirely family affair.

RBN: Any plans for recording albums of artistes outside your family?

Amit Kumar: Not as of now. Sumit, my wife Reema, and I will sing. My elder daughter Brinda may sing. I already have over 1,500 songs ready. We have to put them to use. The second album of Kumar Brothers is also ready. It’ll release in November.

RBN: Is Muktika learning music?

Amit Kumar: Not yet. But I’ll put her to some good teacher soon.

RBN: And your elder daughter?

Amit Kumar: Brinda is Reema’s daughter from her first marriage. She is studying now. I’m not sure whether she’ll take to music. Reema is a good singer though.

RBN: Heard that she was a singer in RD Burman’s troupe? Did you meet her there?

Amit Kumar: I joined RD Burman’s troupe much later. I met her first at a stage show in Lumding, sometime in 1987. She was outstanding in that show. I later met her several times in Mumbai and came closer. We married in 2002. Muktika was born in 2005.

RBN: Do you have any puja releases?

Amit Kumar: It’s too late this year. I’ll try to release a puja album from my company next year.

RBN: Any album plans from any other company?

Amit Kumar: No company offers me to sing these days (laughs). But if an offer comes and I like the songs, I’ll definitely sing.

RBN: There are several unreleased Kishore Kumar compositions. Any plans to release them?

Amit Kumar:  Well, there are three actually. We’ll use them. Besides, there are several of my unreleased songs in RD Burman’s music. We’re trying to get their copyright.


-- Prabuudha Neogi

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