Tulsi Kumar, daughter of the late music mogul, Gulshan Kumar is recognised as a prominent voice in today’s Indian music industry.
Having been the voice for memorable numbers like Tum Jo Aaye, Soch Na Sake and Saiyaan Superstar to name a few, Tulsi has witnessed several trials and tribulations.
In an honest and up-close interview with Filme Shilmy’s Anuj Radia, Tulsi reflects on her music career and latest trends in the Indian music industry.
Tulsi, congratulations on your performance at the High Rated Gabru UK Tour with Guru Randhawa. It must have been exciting?
Since this is my first UK tour and it was amazing to get the kind of response and love from people who came to watch the show it.
The best part is when I sing one line of my song and the audience sings the other line.
That is the best feeling when you’re up on-stage.
This is because you realise that even globally your music is being appreciated and loved by the audience.
It really is a great feeling.
You have delivered some hit numbers – be it Tum Jo Aaye or Soch Na Sake. Looking back, how does it feel to be recognised and known for this?
It feels good when you’re a part of some big iconic track which people remember for years on years.
Tum Jo Aaye released back in 2010 and we are now in 2018, but still, people remember each and every word of the song.
Practically, all Indian weddings are incomplete without the song.
When a song becomes iconic, it definitely feels amazing.
Certain songs have set benchmarks, in themselves, even Soch Na Sake, for the romantic track it is.
I want to do even more good work and more iconic songs.
One nice song gives you greed for more great songs!
Was music the career path you always wanted to follow?
I didn’t have a plan as such but since a very young age, I was much drawn towards music.
As a child, I used to hum a lot of songs.
That’s where my father heard me and thought that I should be given proper training in music because having a good voice is one thing but training and getting into it professionally in the future is a different thing.
I’m thankful to my parents that they realised this when I was very young and they saw my love towards music and sent me to Suresh Wadekar ji’s academy where I started my learning of light classical music.
From there I was always very much drawn towards music.
Even in my school, I would participate in a lot of singing competitions.
Those things just followed and here I am, performing for the UK audience today.
Since you grew up in this industry, who has positively inspired you… Musically?
A lot of people have inspired in my journey so far, in one way or the other.
It’s not just the old generation of music and musicians, but it’s also every upcoming artist also inspires me.
There is something to learn from everyone as they all have a unique quality to learn something from.
If I has to name someone precisely then it would be Lata Mangeshkar ji. She in herself is an institution of music.
There are so much to learn from in the same song, even if you have heard it a couple of times.
There’s always a new thing to discover in Lata ji’s songs.
What has life been like for you growing up in the family behind India’s No.1 Music Company?
See there’s a certain pressure that stays with me because I have to live up to the kind of name that my father (Gulshan Kumar) has made for himself.
At the same time, I always tell myself that I can’t live under so much pressure and perform. I have to let go of certain things. Especially when I’m in this field.
I will make mistakes and I won’t be perfect all the time.
My father has set very high benchmarks with the kind of work he’s done in the industry.
Now my brother Bhushan is continuing his legacy, he’s making us proud.
That’s my constant effort is to do the kind of work that can continue to make my father and family proud.
I’m sure my father is blessing me every moment and it was his dream to see me reach heights in the field of music.
Today, as I work hard towards it, I’m sure he is blessing me which is why I’m climbing steps into the field.
What influence has nepotism had on you?
For star-kids or someone like myself – who belongs to a family of music – the initial chance can be given to you.
Eventually, it is your talent that will sustain you in the industry.
If the audience is not fond of what you’re doing, then you can’t sustain after the one project you’ve done.
At the end of the day, it’s all about talent.
It’s been almost 12 years since I started my career and I’m grateful that I have got a lot of love from my fans.
There have also been a few who have expressed dislike towards you. How do you respond to trolls or people who disapprove of your work?
This has come up in a big way, especially after the prominence of social media.
I’ll be honest, there are times when I feel bogged down because I am human.
However, a lot of the times I let it go because it is part and parcel of the game.
I cannot please each and every one. There are a lot of people who are in a mood and out there to put people down.
But I’m putting in a lot of effort to excel and improve my work. So all the negativity shouldn’t matter to me or to any artist.
Nonetheless, as much as I’d like to say that the negativity does not impact me, there are times when the negativity does get to me.
Ultimately, the love that I get when I’m up on stage or from my fans holds much more value than one condescending comment.
Listen to Tulsi Kumar sing right here!
In light of the on-going trend regarding recreations and remixes, some have even criticised saying that the Indian music industry is losing its creativity. What’s your take on this?
I think the industry itself does run a lot of trends. Recreating something old is the current trend.
Regardless of how much we say it is right or wrong, people are hearing and liking those songs.
That is why more tracks are being recreated since the last one or two years.
I, too, have been a part of a few recreated tracks.
Having said that, I would like to add that there are certain songs which are like gems and have to be recreated with a lot of care.
This is because every aspect of a legendary song makes it a gem. Hence, requires extra care when recreated.
But no, I don’t think there is anything wrong with recreating a song, as long as it is done properly and nicely.
Finally, what’s next on the music front for you?
I have a single which should be releasing soon – maybe in a month or two. There are a couple of film projects that I will be singing for.
I am also planning to take up my Tulsi Kumar YouTube channel seriously this year.
So I will be trying to work on a lot of content for YouTube. That’s the plan for the forthcoming months!
Here’s wishing Tulsi all the very best for her forthcoming ventures!