Kunal Ganjawala : Singer With A Difference

Kunal Ganjawala

Kunal Ganjawala

Kunal Ganjawala, is a prominent name among the current trending singers in Bollywood. After completing almost a decade in the industry, he is surely one of those singers who is always in demand for his accomplished voice.

Kunal Ganjawala initiated his singing career with jingles and soon became a noted name in the world of jingles. Apart from Hindi songs, he is a successful singer in regional music industries too. He sang songs in Bengali, Odhisi, Kannada and many more. He has a successful and accomplished career graph in the Bengali and Kannada music industry apart from the Hindi music industry.

Kunal also comes from a distinguished family who are into art and music since years. His father is a harmonica player whereas his sister is a Bharatnatyam expert. Kunal married the most gifted singer, Gayatri Iyer in the year of 2005.

Kunal Ganjawala with wife Gayatri Iyer

Kunal Ganjawala with wife Gayatri Iyer

Kunal Ganjawala started his career in Bollywood in the year of 2002. His first break was in the movie ‘Ab Ke Baras’. He sang the song ‘Deewane Aate Jaate’, composed by Anu Malik from the movie, along with Sonu Nigam and Alka Yagnik.

A Singer born out of Ragging:
Kunal was a restless kid at school. He didn’t like to go home early. After the end of his schooling, he took admission at the Elphinston College in Mumbai. As the classes in the college used to get over early by noon, he decided to enroll in an acting school too.

One day, he was whistling a tune while waiting for a workshop rehearsal. Some of his seniors at the institute took hold of him and ordered him to whistle and sing again. Being a decent junior, Kunal had to follow their orders. He sang the song and kept on singing until it got over and then his seniors dragged him to the cultural secretary of the college. He sang Mukesh’s ‘Ek Din Bik Jaayega Maati Ke Mol’.

Kunal Ganjawala

Kunal Ganjawala

Also, Kunal had a heavy crush on a popular girl at the college. He sang the songs dedicating them to her. With appreciations coming from the girl herself, Kunal gave a serious thought to singing. He started learning music from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan from his first ever mentor, Subhindra Bhawmick.

The Jingle Days and Late Success:
The first ever recording for which Kunal was approached was a jingle. Music director and arranger, Ranjit Barot, who recently won the Filmfare Award for the ‘Best Background Score’ in the film ‘Shaitan’ and also have been a long time associate of musical genius A. R. Rahman, had been a mentor to Kunal Ganjawala.

Kunal Ganjawala at recording studio

Kunal Ganjawala at recording studio

Kunal recorded several jingles with Ranjit Barot and almost all of them were successful and popular. However, inspite of popular jingles in his bag, success came late for Kunal, until he got his first hit track in Kannada language.

Kannada Music:
Kunal Ganjawala sang his first song for the Kannada language in 2005 for the movie ‘Aakash’. The music was composed by R. P. Patnaik and the track ‘Neene Neene’ became quite popular among the masses.

In 2006, he sang for the ‘All Time Blockbuster’ Kannada movie, ‘Mungaru Male’ that ran through the multiplexes of Bangalore for almost one year, creating the history of the lone movie in India to run for such a long time in the current era of multiplex business. His song, ‘Onde Ondu Sari’ was a superhit track that broke the records at the chart-busters and established him as an accomplished singer in the Kannada music industry. Till date, he sang more than 450 songs in Kannada language and is still one of the most demanded singers in the industry.

Breakthrough into the Hindi Music World:

Kunal Ganjawala with Lata Mangeshkar rehearsing for a function at BKC, Mumbai for a blood donation driven campaign(Image Courtsey: Indian Express)

Kunal Ganjawala with Lata Mangeshkar rehearsing for a function at BKC, Mumbai for a blood donation campaign(Image Courtesy: Indian Express)

In 2002, he sang for A. R. Rahman in the movie ‘Saathiya’. ‘Mangalyam’ and ‘O Humdum Suniyo Re’ are the two hit tracks from the movie.

He also sang ‘Uppar Waale’ for ‘Khakee’ and ‘Salaame Salaame’ from ‘Dhoom’ in 2004. But the major break that established him as a prolific singer was ‘Bheege Hoth’ from ‘Murder’ in 2004. The song was a record breaker at the chart-busters and was hugely grooved on by the audiences. He never had to look back after that.

Kunal Ganjawala delivered us with numerous hits after that. Some of his famous tracks include, ‘Dil Na Diya’ from ‘Krissh’, ‘Kaal Dhamaal’ and ‘Tauba Tauba’ from ‘Kaal’, ‘Salaam-E-Ishq’ from ‘Salaam-E-Ishq’, ‘Masha-Allah’ from ‘Saawariya’, Salaam Namaste’ from ‘Salaam Namaste’, ‘Raat Ke Dhai Baje’ from ‘Kaminey’, ‘Maula’ from ‘Singham’, ‘So Jaaun Main’ from ‘Woh Lamhe’ and ‘Sau Gram Zindagi’ from ‘Guzaarish’

Kunal Ganjawala with Hrithik Roshan and Aditya Roy Kapoor at Yash Raj Studios for the musical event of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 'Guzaarish' in October 2010

Kunal Ganjawala with Hrithik Roshan and Aditya Roy Kapoor at Yash Raj Studios for the musical event of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Guzaarish’ in October 2010

The Making of ‘Bheege Hoth’:

Kunal Ganjawala with Anu Malik

Kunal Ganjawala with Anu Malik

‘Bheege Hoth’ from ‘Murder’ was composed by music director Anu Malik. During diwali in the year of 2003, Anu Malik gave an emergency call to Kunal in the morning, asking him to come up to the Krishna Studios in the evening to record the song. Kunal requested Anu Malik to delay the recording till the next day as some construction work were going on in his house. However, Anu Malik denied to do so and the song was recorded on the eve of Lakshmi Pooja.

It is said that Anu Malik did put a huge faith on Kunal for the song ‘Bheege Hoth’. Kunal gives complete credit to Anu Malik for recommending him to Mukesh Bhatt and also standing up in support of him to the producers. The song was recorded in the very first take and at the very first trial. Later, ‘Bheege Hoth’ turned out to be a turning point in Kunal’s life.

A Major Singer at the Bengali Film Industry:
Kunal Ganjawala got his major breakthrough in the Bengali music industry through the film ‘Prem Amaar’ in 2009. The title track of the movie became a musical sensation all over Bengal. The song was shot in the exotic locations of Ladaakh and the film was one of the highest grossers of the year!

Soon after the huge success of ‘Prem Amaar’, Kunal’s voice was in heavy demand in the region. He gave back to back super hit tracks in Bengali and some of them are, ‘Le Chakka’, ‘Shabba Reeba Ruba Ru’, ‘Akta Bindaas Paadha’ from the cricket based movie ‘Le Chakka’, ‘Oh My Love’ from ‘Amanush’, a superhit blockbuster movie that was also roughly inspired from the concept of the Hindi movie ‘Darr’, ‘It’s Only Pyar’ from ‘Dui Prithibi’, the title track from ‘Shey Din Dekha Hoe Chilo’, and ‘Mon Bebagi’ from ‘Paglu’, were again a record setters at the musical charts.

Kunal Ganjawala continues to be one of the topmost singers at the Bengali film industry.

Success at the Tamil & Telugu Industry:
He sang for Telugu songs as well and had his share of success in the region as well. Some of the noted tracks by Kunal in Telugu are, ”Spiderman’ from ‘Nani’, ‘Jagadame’ from ‘Pokiri’, ‘Karige Loga’ from ‘Arya 2′, which was a sequal to the blockbuster movie ‘Arya’, and ‘Neethone’ from ‘Adurs’.

Kunal Ganjawala

Kunal Ganjawala

His success is marked at the Tamil industry as well. He sang for A. R. Rahman in the movie ‘Boys’ which had famous tracks like ‘Please Sir’ and ‘Maaro Maaro’ from the movie. He also sang for the famous Tamil composer Ilaiyaraja for the movie ‘Naan Kadavul’.

Odhisa- A Strong Connection:
Kunal Ganjawala believes that he has a strong connection with the state of Orissa as his first composer with whom he worked in Kannada song, R. P. Patnaik, is an Odhisi originally. Kunal did appear for many concerts and shows in Orissa through the years. He also sang for the popular Oriya movie ‘Tumaku Paruni Ta Bhuli’. It had two popular tracks ‘Aare Aare Mo Geetare Mitare Aare’ and ‘E Jibana Emiti Suna Geetatiere’ composed by Malay Mishra. He has sung five to seven songs in the language until now.

Kunal also prefers to visit the Lingaraj Temple whenever he is in Orissa.

He also sang many songs in Marathi, Punjabi, and Malayalam.

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