Tulsi Kumar: I have to live up to my own expectations

Debarati Palit Singh
Tuesday, 26 May 2020

While promoting Tere Naal, the first ever song collaboration between Tulsi and Darshan Raval, she also speaks about her late father and exploring indie music

Tulsi Kumar has been successfully carrying forward the musical legacy of her family. The singer has completed 15 years as a playback singer and she is ready to explore more. In times like these, when playback singers do not survive more than a few years, she has been consistently working for a decade and a half. Entertainment, movies, films

“Honestly, it feels amazing to work for such a long period and get appreciated for all my songs. People come and tell me that they found my song fresh. That’s the biggest compliment. With time, I have evolved. My experience of working with different music composers has helped. Now, I want to make use of those experiences and do more great music,” says the singer who has given hit tracks like Soch Na Sake, Tera Ban Jaunga, Enni Soni and Tum Jo Aaye, among others.

Not taking the easy route

But does her family name make things easier or harder for her? “Those who love my songs will know that I have never taken the easy route. I have always proved myself with my music. I love the fact when people tell me that they know me for the work I do. They know me as Tulsi Kumar and not as someone’s daughter or sister. Even though I try to be my father’s daughter, the music mogul Gulshan Kumar’s daughter, but I am proud of the fact that I have made it on my own and I am sure my father would be proud of me too.”

Tulsi says that her only focus is to do good music. “I come from a family which is very passionate about music, and my dad made it from scratch,” she says, adding, “When I am carrying my father’s name, I cannot take things lightly. I have to live up to my own expectations and what my father has done. I have to be honest and truthful about what I love to do.”    

Versatile artist

Tulsi has created a niche singing romantic and soothing tracks but lately, she did more peppy numbers like O Saki Saki and a remix of Sheher Ki Ladki.

“I remember during the recording of O Saki Saki. Tanishq Bagchi asked me to try the vocals and I did not mind. For Nora Fatehi, they needed two voices – one was Neha Kakkar and the other was me. When I send him my part, he was like, ‘I didn’t know you could sound like this!’. You have to understand the mood and I knew it’s Nora on screen and I had to do justice to all the oomph. At the same time, he was shooting for Sheher Ki Ladki and that too happened,” she says.

Tulsi is glad that people have accepted and loved her in different genres. “Acceptance for me was the best thing. That’s what makes me do different genres because in different keys, I can modulate my voice. I am trying to perfect my versatility,” she says.

More platforms for indie music

She wants to explore further independent music and has a couple of tracks lined up. “Doing Bollywood tracks, you can get into different characters, modulate your voice, follow the music director and deliver as per what s/he wants. As far as indie music is concerned, you have to have that kind of knowledge. If you are making a song for yourself, you need to know what’s going to work for you. The creative and involvement level is much higher,” she says. Indie music space has picked up in the last two-three years. “The platforms are supporting them. Earlier, we did not have these platforms. It’s great for artists to do indie music,” concludes Tulsi.

A lockdown gift for listeners

Recently, Tulsi sang Tere Naal — her first collaboration with Darshan Raval. Released by T-Series, the song about love and longing has been composed by Darshan and written by Gurpreet Saini and Gautam G Sharma.

Tere Naal has been recorded and shot by Tulsi and Darshan at their respective homes in Delhi and Mumbai. Says Tulsi, “I got to learn a lot of newer things, so now when I shoot another music video, I will know a little more about the technicalities because of this experience. Darshan and I collaborated for the first time. We had met very briefly in February and a conversation about collaborating happened then. After which the lockdown happened, we couldn’t really get together to jam and record in the studio because we live in two different cities. But we continued to interact on the phone.”

Because it’s an independent track, they had the creative freedom in every aspect. “We were very much involved in the making of the song. Darshan has composed it beautifully. I have a small little studio at home with professional equipment. I fixed the equipment myself and these are little things, I will never forget. It brought me closer to the song. We decided not to wait and released the song during the lockdown to spread a little bit of positivity to our listeners and fans. From sitting on the edit table, to shooting the song — every minute detail was a learning experience. I also got to learn that there is no stopping someone, we unnecessarily underestimate ourselves but we can do anything,” says the singer.

Sharing her experience of working with Darshan, she says, “He has done a lot of work in the independent music space, while I have done a lot of work in Bollywood, so I knew it would be a unique collaboration. Also, our voice and texture gels very well. We were always clear that our first song had to be a romantic or a sad number. He is a very involved artist, and because we were in two different cities, we connected more because we wanted everything in sync.”  

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