Amit Kumar, a prominent name in the music industry, is known for contributing in Indian music since 4 decades. A singer, composer, actor and director, he is all that one can ask for!
Amit Kumar was born on 3rd of July 1952 to the evergreen singer, composer, actor, director Kishore Kumar and singer and actress Ruma Guha Thakurta.
Amit Kumar started off with singing in Kolkata at a very early age. He performed and sang at the stage shows arranged at popular Bengali actor Uttam Kumar’s locality in Kolkata. Later, he also joined Calcutta Youth Choir, set up by Ruma Guha Thakurta (his mother), Satyajit Ray and Salil Chowdhury.
With time, he started losing interest in studies and his focus shifted to music. Confused with her son’s lack of interest in studies, Ruma Thakurta got worried about his future. Soon after that, Kishore Kumar called him over to Mumbai and introduced him to the grand show of ‘Papa Kishore and Sunny Amit Together’. Legendary music director, S. D. Burman was the chief guest in the show. It is said that smitten by his performance at the event, S. D. Burman tossed a garland at the new evolving singer.
He also took part in Gautam Mukherjee’s grand stage show at Rabindra Sadan in Kolkata. Suprakash Gargari also arranged another show ‘Amit Kumar Presents Kishore Kumar’ in 1972 which was a major event by him.
His first recording was for his father’s movie ‘Dur Ka Rahi’ in 1965 at the Bombay Labs. Kishore Kumar himself composed the music for the film. Amit Kumar recorded the song ‘Main Ek Panchi Matwala Re’ under his father’s guidance. However, the track was never included in the film. Another track, ‘Beeti Jaaye Zindagaani’ was also recorded for the same movie but that was also scrapped off.
Later, his duet tracks with his father, ‘Sun Chache Bol’ in 1974, ‘Haseeno Ke Chakkar Mein’ in 1976 and ‘Nazar Na Lage Saathiyo’ in 1978 became famous.
With R. D. Burman:
R. D. Burman played a major role in Amit Kumar’s emergence as a singer. In 1976, the song ‘Bade Ache Lagte Hain’ from the movie ‘Balika Badhu’ earned him instant fame. The partnership of Amit Kumar and R. D. Burman produced more than 170 memorable tracks. ‘Aati Rahengi Bahaarein’ from ‘Kasme Vaade’ in 1978 is another hit track composed by R. D. Burman and sang by Amit Kumar.
Love Story was a notable film in Amit Kumar’s career. Produced by Rajendra Kumar, Love Story was the launchpad movie for actor Kumar Gaurav. The film released in 1981 and the tracks instantly topped the chartbusters. ‘Yaad Aa Rahi Hai, Teri Yaad Aa Rahi Hai’, ‘Dekho Maine Dekha Hai Ek Sapna, Phoolon Ke Shahar Mein Hai Ghar Apna’ were the nationwide popular tracks from the movie.
The song ‘Teri Yaad Aa Rahi Hai’ also got Amit Kumar the Filmfare Award for the ‘Best Male Playback Singer’ in1982. Co-incidentally, the award was presented to him by his father Kishore Kumar and he also won the award over the most strongest nominee in the category and that was again his father, Kishore Kumar.
He also sang for the movie ‘Jai Shiv Shankar’ produced by Rajesh Khanna. The music was again composed by R. D. Burman. During the era, it is said that, Amit Kumar was one of the most preferable singers for Rajesh Khanna. He sang many songs for the actor from 1980s to 1990s.
In 1984, the tracks of ‘Jawani’ composed by R. D. Burman again hit chartbusters. ‘Teri Kasam’ was another movie in 1982 that had hit compositions by R. D. Burman and rendered by Amit Kumar in its bag. The 1988 release ‘Rama O Rama’ is another super hit track by Burman and Kumar.
With Rajesh Roshan:
Rajesh Roshan and Amit Kumar too have memorable compositions in their track. ‘Dushman Na Kare Dost Ne Jo Kaam Kiya Hai’ from ‘Aakhir Kyun?’ in 1985 was among the popular tracks of the duo.
Another unforgettable track by Rajesh Roshan and Amit Kumar would be, ‘Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuch Kaha’ from Basu Chatterjee’s movie ‘Baaton Baaton Mein’. Amit Kumar after hearing the track, jokingly asked Rajesh Roshan about the origin of the tune. Rajesh Roshan cordially answered him that the tune was lifted from a background score in the popular movie ‘Bridge On The River Kwai’.
Kalyanji-Anandji and Amit Kumar too have many noted tracks in their bag. One of the most successful venture they had together was ‘Haadsa’ which released in 1983. ‘Yeh Bambai Shahar’, ‘Pyar Ka Haadsa’, ‘Y.O.G.A’ were superhit tracks from the movie.
‘Oye Oye Tirchi Topi Wale’, who doesn’t remember this song from ‘Tridev’? This was another noted song composed by Kalyanji-Anandji and sung by Amit Kumar. The original lyrics was ‘Tirchi Topi Waale…oye oye’ which was later changed into ‘Oye Oye…Tirchi Topi Waale’, to add up more spice to the track.
Kalyanji-Anandji has many more notable tracks with Amit Kumar during their tenure together.
With Anand- Milind:
In the 1990s, Amit Kumar had a considerable long partnership with Anand-Milind. He sang many hit tracks for the duo. ‘Baaghi- A Rebel For Love’, ‘Sangdil Sanam’, ‘Swarg’, ‘Maha Sangram’ are successful ventures by them in 1990s. ‘Kaisa Lagta Hai’ from ‘Baaghi’, ‘Do Dooni Chaar’ from ‘Maha Sangram, ‘Aankhon Mein Band’ from ‘Swarg’ are some of the hit tracks from the movies.
Anand-Milind also made him sing for Aamir Khan in films like ‘Deewana Mujh Sa Nahi’ and ‘Jawani Zindabad’. ‘Hum Tumse Mohabbat’ from ‘Deewana Mujh Sa Nahin’ was considerably a hit track back at that time.
With Bappi Lahiri:
His partnership with Bappi Lahiri trails back to the 1977 release ‘Haiwan’ . Till date they have worked together in almost 45 movies. ‘Toote Khilone’ (1978), ‘Bhula Na Dena’ (1983), ‘Pyas’ (1983), ‘Mohabbat’ (1985), ‘Ilzaam’ (1986), ‘Pyar Karke Dekho’ (1987), ‘Khoj’ (1989), ‘Ghar Ka Chirag’ (1989), ‘Naaka Bandi’ (1990), ‘Ghayal’ (1990), ‘Aaj Ka Arjun’ (1990), ‘Phool Bane Angarey’ (1991), ‘Shola Aur Shabnam’ (1992), ‘Himmatwaala’ (2013) are some of the noted films in which Amit Kumar sang for Bappi Lahiri.
Amit Kumar has worked with every composer in the last four decade. Starting from R. D. Burman to Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Jatin Lalit to Nadeem Sharavan, to the new age music directors like Pritam, he has worked with everyone and has lend his voice to varied form of music. However, after the late 1990s, he stopped singing often, claiming that the kind of music composed at the time wasn’t preferred by him.
As A Composer:
Amit Kumar is also a proficient composer. He composed many non-film music albums both in Hindi and in Bengali. His compositions dates back to the era of 1980s.
Amar Bhalobasha – A Bengali music album that was released in 1986, attained good response from the listeners. It had songs that had folk and classical touch along with the fusion of modern music.
Surer Raja & Dui Kishore – Both the albums were in Bengali but the songs were composed keeping the legendary singer Kishore Kumar in mind. The albums can be regarded as tributes paid to Kishore Kumar by Amit Kumar.
Tai Jodi Hoto – The album was released in 1997. However, the most notable fact about the album was that veteran singer Asha Bhosle sang for Amit Kumar’s composition for the first time in this album.
Cholun Beriye Ashi – Another Bengali music album that was released in the year 1998. It also had versatile combination of pop, classical and western music.
Parichay – The album had Amit Kumar’s wife, Reema Ganguly, sing duets with him. The album got released in the year of 2004.
Oh! Sweetheart – This was his first Hindi music album that got released in 1987. ‘Saamne Hai Tu’ is one of the notable tracks from the album.
MAD – Experimental and youthful music is what MAD comprised of. The album was launched by R. D. Burman, who once commented that the music of MAD was 25 years ahead of time. MAD was hugely appreciated by critics and it has been re-launched again on 23rd of February 2012.
Dum Dama Dum – Dum Dama Dum was another music album composed by Amit Kumar.
Compositions Through Technology:
Amit Kumar also recently launched his own official website from where his compositions can directly reach his admirers. As per the suggestions received from his brother Sumeet Kumar, the website was launched to provide information with regards to all his songs and compositions.
The website is also directly connected to Amit Kumar’s official Facebook Page which instantly updates any recent status from the noted singer. His website can be reached at www.amit-kumar.in
As an Actor:
Amit Kumar also did act in the movies made under his father’s home production. ‘Dur Ka Rahi’, ‘Dur Gagan Ki Chaon Mein’, ‘Badhti Ka Naam Dadhi’, and ‘Chalti Ka Naam Zindagi’ are his acting ventures. He also completed his father’s incomplete movie, ‘Mamta Ki Chaon Mein’ after his demise.
The Father-Son Combo:
There are many hit songs which are originally sung by Amit Kumar in Bengali first and later was again sung by Kishore Kumar in Hindi. ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’, ‘Kya Yehi Pyar Hai’, ‘Zubi Zubi’, ‘Chodo Sanam’ are some of the Hindi tracks that were chartbuster hits but were originally sung by Amit Kumar in Bengali before Kishore Kumar did lend his voice to them in Hindi.
Amit Kumar recently launched his new Bengali album ‘Phire Ele Shagorika’ in Kolkata on the 21st of September 2013. The album is released specially for the upcoming occasion of ‘Durga Puja’ in the state. The same day, he was also honoured for his outstanding contribution to the Bengali music industry by Amit Kumar Fan Club at Kolkata.