Talking about her fascination for songs and trains, singer Tulsi Kumar shares how she is longing to sing a train song
Singer Tulsi Kumar, who crooned the song, Mera Highway Star with rapper Raftaar that featured her sister, designer-turned-actor, Khushali Kumar and herself, is longing to sing a train song. Kumar wants the song to be similar to her favourite Bollywood number from the 80s, Hoga Tumse Pyara Kaun, from Nasir Hussain’s film, Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai. “Hoga Tumse Pyara Kaun is a romantic number and was the original on-top-of-a-train song sequence that has stayed on with me since I first watched it as a child. RD Burman’s music, Majrooh Sultanpuri’s lyrics and Shailendra Singh’s voice made the song so memorable,” quips the singer, talking about her fascination for songs and trains. “I almost re-lived those memories while watching the Chaiyya Chaiyya song from Dil Se, which also showcased actors Malaika Arora Khan and Shah Rukh Khan singing and dancing atop a moving train. Another memorable old track, Hum Dono Do Premi from the movie Ajnabee, had actors Rajesh Khanna and Zeenat Aman singing atop a train,” she adds.
According to Kumar, who made her singing debut with music composer-singer-actor Himesh Reshammiya in 2006, “Songs filmed on a train tend to stay longer in public memory because they have an instant connect with the audience.” In her musical career until now, Kumar has sung a variety of songs that suit different moods and moments. She shares, “I don’t want to be typecast as someone who wants to sing only soft numbers or peppy tracks, but want to keep experimenting with my voice, modulating it further and adding to the musical range, making it diverse. I want to be remembered as a versatile singer.”
HER FATHER’S VOICE
Tulsi’s father, the music baron late Gulshan Kumar, wanted her to take up singing as a career. He enrolled her in Suresh Wadkar’s music class in Mumbai and Tulsi started receiving training from
him when she was barely seven. After Gulshan’s untimely demise in 1997, the family moved to Delhi, and it was her mother who then ensured that she got the best training in music. “I am grateful to my mother who enrolled me in a music class and I received formal training in light classical music as my primary focus was on playback singing,” says Tulsi. Talking about her singing skills, she says, “My next rendition has to be better than the last one, and I keep working on my voice to hit that perfect note. Learning is a continuous process.”
Tulsi has doled out three singles – Mere Papa, Mainu Ishq Da Lagya Rog and Mera Highway Star – in collaboration with sister Khushali. “The three songs are different from each other. Mere Papa was a tribute to my father, Mainu Ishq was a recreated version from Mahesh Bhatt’s Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin, and Mera Highway Star is a funky and peppy song that celebrates girl power,” she informs
Tulsi recently featured in ‘The MixTape’, a music-based show that was launched on T-Series’ YouTube channel. Apart from that, she is collaborating with Guru Randhawa and Jashn Singh for singles in Hindi and Punjabi, respectively. She has sung a peppy number, Goggles, in Anil Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor starrer Mubarakan with Sonu Nigam, Arman Malik and Neeti Mohan. She has also won the Best Female Playback Singer award for Soch Na Sake from Airlift at IIFA 2017.
Text: Shillpi A Singh