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Karunya - Speak Easy
As a contestant on Indian Idol NC Karunya entertained audiences with his versatile voice and a healthy dose of charm. Now, as he gets set to release his self-titled debut album, he talks to The Record about the new release, the voting system on Idol, the Indipop scene and how he feels about being compared to Abhishek Bachchan.

I’m very excited because it’s my first album. I have always dreamed of my first album coming out, meeting people and performing my own songs. Playback was also something I wanted to do, but this is different ~ here, you are not singing for a particular hero or a particular backdrop… this is just you. And being my first album, it is really just me ~ very romantic, very happy, very energetic. It’s a totally happy album and we have spent time on it, after me becoming known to people through the show. I think patience is a virtue and the album has come out really well.

When people ask me which kind of songs I like to sing, I can’t pinpoint a particular genre; I just love singing. Being trained in Carnatic and Hindustani classical and having sung for so many years… I started training at the age of five, under my gurus. I released two Telugu albums and now this is my first ever Hindi album. I have been exposed to a lot of languages because of my teachers at school ~ one was Bengali, one was Maharashtrian, one was Telugu ~ so we had South Indian and North Indian languages and that helped me a lot.

I have been touring extensively this year to places like the US, Dubai, Singapore, the Middle East, Africa and I met people in the remotest places which I didn’t even know existed and they liked me. I remember once I played to 40,000 people in the Dallas Texas stadium. Our plane was late and I had to go from the airport directly to the venue. I took a shower in the basketball dressing room and it is a really heavy shower that these players use and the temperature is freezing. I was shivering by the time I went on stage but I went out and the people were so warm! I was amazed; I thought, ‘I have just started my career, and this is the kind of encouragement I get… I’m truly blessed’.
It was a miracle that at the age of 19 I was exposed to so many people who liked me so much. This album is actually a tribute to those people and that is why it has been named after me. It is not named after a title track or something. It is my name and is a tribute to all those people that have been so supportive, that have showered me with so much love and affection. When they are taking the album home, they are taking a part of me with them.

When I went to the show, I just wanted people to listen to my voice, know how I sing and feel me out. I had the confidence though, that once they got a feel of what I did, they would like me, and that did happen. Even otherwise I think there is no need to be insecure or hassled if you only get to a particular level. It depends on your talent. I believe in my own voice and in my singing and I never sat down brooding about it. God has been kind, I have been touring extensively since the show, doing a lot of playback in the South, I have been hosting a reality show for kids there which is a rage and so I just have so much work. I love it! I love the excitement and it doesn’t tire me at all.

You can read the rest of our feature on Karunya in the September 2007 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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