'Kishore Kumar was an institution'


By Hindustan Times

Mumbai, July 2 -- On July 3, Amit Kumar, son of legendary singer Kishore Kumar, celebrates his 60th birthday. To mark the occasion, his record label, has come up with a greatest hits compilation, titled A Musical Journey. It features a repertoire of songs in his 25-year-long singing career.

"Everybody copies the old singers these days. I feel nice, when I get to know that the present crop of musicians is inspired by my dad. Kishore Kumar was an institution. People may say that I sing like Kishore Kumar, but I feel these old artists cannot be surpassed. Though KL Saigal was my father's guru, he never copied him," he says.

Like his father, Amit too started singing at a young age. "I didn't have to learn singing. I grasped it. Anybody would have learned the art from a father like Kishore Kumar. I got tips about singing from him at a very early stage in my life," he says. Amit first started singing at stage shows in Kolkata, where his father would often come to watch him. "In the '70s, dad brought me down to Mumbai. My show at Shanmukhananda Hall called Papa Kishore and Sunny ran for one year," he recalls.

Over the years, Amit has lent his vocals to songs in Bangla, Bhojpuri, Oriya, Punjabi Asamese, Konkani and Marathi. "I sung in spite of not knowing all these languages. I have even done an album in Konkani, back in the '70s." So what would the musician rate as his best song so far. "How can I judge my own songs? The greatest songs compilation that has just come out is a present to me. I wasn't even aware of it. I got to know about it just two days back."

Though Amit Kumar is not seen on the concert circuit as regularly as he was at one point in time, he adds, "I sing when I am called to. I am no more in the rat race. Today's music is not my cup of tea. It's rubbish in one sentence."