Feb 202018

Singer Kumar Sanu and his UK-based daughter Shannon talk about teaming up for their first duet, and their mutual admiration

Singer Kumar Sanu and his daughter Shannon
Kumar Sanu with daughter Shannon

It isn’t easy to match up to Kumar Sanu‘s finesse behind the mic. But his daughter, Shannon K, 16, proved that music is in the genes as she matched him beat for beat, spark for spark in the recently released track, It’s Magical. In an interview with mid-day, the father-daughter duo talks about collaborating by chance and their admiration for each other’s musical skills.

This is your first professional collaboration with your daughter. How does it feel?
Sanu: I wasn’t sure if she would complement my voice, but I am happy with the result. I am proud of her sense of music. She has a sweet, yet powerful voice, and is versatile. Be it opera, pop or romantic numbers – she is comfortable with every genre.

Was she your first choice for the song?
Sanu: No, I was supposed to record the track with someone else, but it didn’t work out. When I was discussing about the project getting delayed because I didn’t have a female voice, Shannon requested me to allow her to compose and sing the female portions. If I had thought of working with her, it would have been a father-daughter track [instead of a romantic one].
Shannon: That’s why the song is special to me. It was not originally meant for me. He thought I won’t be able to justify the feel of the song, but when I penned the lyrics, he was happy.

Did you record together?
Sanu: My portions were composed by Daniel George [Norwegian composer] and written by Sameer. Shannon wrote the English lyrics for her part. I recorded in Mumbai and she did it in Los Angeles.

What do you like the most about your father’s singing?
Shannon: The texture of his voice is different; it’s deep and mysterious. When he sings a romantic song, he sounds sweet; when he records a cheeky number, he sounds cheeky, and when it’s a sad song, his voice tugs at my heart. Everything about his singing inspires me – he is passionate about his work and is a quick learner. He doesn’t take more than 15 minutes to understand a song.

Do you want Shannon to try Bollywood playback?
Sanu: She grew up in the UK and can’t speak Hindi properly. So, I’m not sure if she can sing for films.

How is your father as a mentor?
Shannon: Dad is strict about riyaaz and insists that I practise every morning. I don’t consume cold drinks or spicy food, because he says they ruin the voice.

Are you working on any other project with him?
Shannon: Nothing at the moment. I am lucky to be part of this song. Singing with dad was a dream.

Did you know? Veteran singers Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik turned down the songs of AR Rahman’s National Award-winning 1992 hit, Roja.

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