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Interviews |  09 Aug 2007 16:43 |  By RnMTeam

Karunya - The whole industry is my godfather

Karunya typifies the NextGen of vocalists in India. Trained in Carnatic music from age three, he picked up an impressive array of awards through his teenage years. But nationwide fame came his way overnight when he made it to the last three finalists of Indian Idol II.

At 21, he already has a Bollywood number in his portfolio (Aane Charane from Lage Raho Munnabhai), and has just cut his first album. More Bollywood offers are on their way, and Karunya now has his sights set on the international scene. In a chat with, the vocalist talks about his new album and his journey through the world of music.


Didn't you start out a bit early, at the age of three?

I agree it was quite early in my life, but singing is in my genes! Everyone is a trained classical singer in my family. Every evening, we would have a get together and everyone in my family would sing. In fact, we have 17 singers in my family!

Did you ever feel deprived of a normal childhood since you started recording at such an early age ? (Karunya released his first audio cassette at age seven)

Well yes, I did feel a little away from them. But they always treated me like a rock star. In fact at school, from standard one to ten, every Tuesday I would sing a song. My principal was just too fond of me. I used to sing devotional, light music songs but through this Tuesday activity, I covered almost all genres of music.

How was the Indian Idol experience?

It was just an extension of what I had been doing at Hyderabad. Before Indian Idol, I used to participate in competitions and other regional programmes on television. When I joined Indian Idol, I was already a state recognised singer. But even though I won these competitions, I wasn't getting a break, even in Telugu playback. Indian Idol 1 happened and I didn't participate, because of my academics. But when Indian Idol 2 came about, my parents, friends and guruji were keen that I participate. Indian Idol was definitely a big milestone in my career, it gave me all the exposure I wanted

Are you also following Indian Idol 3?

No, not really!

Who do you think is ruling the roost as of now in Bollywood playback singing?

I don't view playback singing as a rat race. The numbers of singers in Bollywood are increasing day by day but ultimately, what matters is who sings well and as long as I am doing a good job, I don't really bother about who's ruling!

How would you describe your new album?

My new album is me! The USP of the album is me, my voice. It is very peppy, lively, very much 'now'. It has my content and a lot of my contribution. It covers everything from the earthly to godly love. It's energetic and romantic I am very sure everyone will love it!

What kind of feedback do you think it will generate?

I am very positive about the feedback. In fact, when I did shows all over the world, people wanted an album from me and now that it is out, it feels good! Just yesterday, I went to a music store and I couldn't buy a copy for myself, because it was sold out. It was a very thrilling experience.

Apart from your voice of course, how does your album differ from the rest of the singers?

Well, my album has great music with nine original tracks. As of now, we don't have any lounge or club mix. Hence, it is unique.

And the video

I always had this good guy next door image, but for the video of my album, I have given myself a slight stubble so that I look a little more matured and it suits my look. It's very difficult to act, hence I will stick to singing and featuring myself only in my videos. I think I look decent enough to feature in the videos!

Doesn't playback singing generate more money than getting an album out?

Yes, it does! But then, money was never my concern. It never bothered me at any point of time. I have a passion for singing! And I wanted to get my album out because my fans wanted it.

What next?

I do have some serious offer from Bollywood, but I can talk about it in two months or so. But otherwise, I am busy with shows, singing down south and a couple of Bollywood movies too.

Wasn't your album delayed?

Yes, it was quite some time before the album came out. But then, I wanted this break of a year to mature too. People say the delay was quite long but this one year gap helped me immensely.


Do you think one requires a godfather to survive in Bollywood? And do you have one?

The whole industry is my godfather; I just need to sing well! For me, music is the beginning and the end, and I know I have my set of people supporting me all through.

Bollywood or Tollywood?

It doesn't bother me! Nor does the genre of music I wish to sing… for me, I need music... I need to sing every day, if not record, then at least practise! This is all that matters!

Finally, where do you see yourself ten years from now?

I see myself with a huge list of songs in my bag, a few released albums and I am sure, by then I will also get my international project!