Having donned the cop’s hat in Singam 3, he has yet again proved that he can be the master of all the fields he steps into. Singer, dancer, composer, lyricist and an actor - the popular, well renowned and award-winning singer Krish has had people spellbound with his immense talent in all fields. His witty, humorous yet honest answers along with his good looks leave you spellbound and wanting more. As we caught up with him backstage before the concert, we asked him about his acting career, Harris Jayaraj, Ilayathalapthy Vijay and much more. Excerpts from the interview:
Why didn’t you take up singing before given your great voice?
I’ve always wanted to be an actor and that’s why I moved from New York to Chennai. Acting has been my passion for a very long time. Fortunately or unfortunately, singing worked for me and it’s been my breadwinner since then. Singing was like an extra qualification. It was more of an interest or a hobby rather than a qualification.
Tell us about the acting class you took up in New York.
I did my associate degree in acting from New York Film Academy. You don’t just study acting, you go through many phases. You study different departments.
How did this help you in shaping your acting career?
Well the entirety of Kollywood or Bollywood works in a different platform. They have their own doctrine. It was in no way connected to what I studied. But I feel it’s a good thing. You get to learn different techniques and easy ways of dealing with things. It actually was quite nice.
Starring in a Broadway musical is something phenomenal to most of us back here. Tell us about your experience.
Well, as I was doing my associate degree in acting and we had a campus interview. They were looking for a person who can sing, act, weighs about 140 pounds and who looks a little Middle Eastern. I think I was just there and I qualified for the particular part. The part I got selected for was Aladdin. It’s indeed a great feeling. I did about 6 months on Broadway and 6 months off Broadway. It was great fun.
Tell us about the cinematography course you undertook.
I did my cinematography course and I worked for John Schwartzman. He is one of the biggest cinematographers in Hollywood who shot Transformers. I worked with him for two films. I did National Treasure: Book of Secrets. I was just one of the assistants but I learned a lot from the technical aspects.
Singing, acting, cinematography and the lyricist feather has also been added to the versatility cap of yours. Tell us about this multi-talented Krish.
When you live abroad you have to learn everything by yourself. You may want try out every possibility since you’re alone and there’s no one to help you. You have to get up in the morning, get your alarm as no one’s going to wake you up, wash and iron your own clothes and do your chores. I learnt everything the hard way so that’s how I ended up learning a lot of stuff.
Were your parents supportive of your decision?
My parents loved whatever I did and were absolutely fine.
So the clichéd question - which do you prefer, singing or acting?
If someone asks you which eye is important - your left or your right - what would you say? I am thankful to my singing profession as well but at the same time, I have to accept I enjoy acting.
When you moved to Chennai you were looking to become an actor. So how did the accident of becoming a singer happen?
One of Harris Jayaraj’s very close friend had come to watch my show Aladdin back in New York. I came down to Chennai and met him. He’s a composer so he happened to record my voice for some song and he happened to recommend me to Harris. Then Harris took my number and called me.
Tell us about your rapport with Harris Jayaraj sir.
He is my brother, godfather - he is everything to me. I owe him everything. My fame, my good family, my fortune and all glory goes to him. I did nothing. I was just an instrument but for the past decade starting from Vettaiyadu Vilayadu in 2006 till Singam 3 now, he’s literally dragged me into all his albums. In the past ten years he did about 34 albums and I have worked in almost 30 films. In today’s world which music director would do so much and encourage another?
What is your opinion on independent music?
I love independent music and independent music producers as well. It’s a great thing but unfortunately it’s not been living up to the expectations here in India. But it’s a great platform and I would like to say keep fighting! It will definitely happen one day.
What is your take on music training given the fact that you’re a self-taught musician?
I think it’s very important despite the fact that I haven’t been trained musically. According to me everyone should know the basics, at least the theory part. They should know what they are doing and saying. But I haven’t learnt music myself. It’s just a listening thing. If someone says Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, it would be like an alien language for me.
Did you face any difficulty because you weren’t musically trained?
No. Although I never had a problem I think it is a must. As an advice to the future generation I would ask them to learn.
Tell us about your role as the lead actor in a movie. It didn’t do that well. So will we be seeing you don the role again?
I don’t know! You wouldn’t even know the first movie that I did. Forget about that movie! In the second one I just came as myself in a small song because KV Anand sir asked me to be a part of it. The third movie I did as a lead and the movie was super hit and it ran for two days! (smiles sarcastically). But I may act as the lead again in the future. Everyone learns from their mistakes so the next time I do something I will make sure everything is perfect.
Why do you think the previous films didn’t work?
Maybe because I rushed. Perhaps I was desperate. It could have been my fault. I should have waited for the right project. But when the director approached me and narrated the script it sounded pretty good and it was a family drama. It sounded neat but they didn’t shoot the way they said they would. But no regrets!
Tell us about your relationship with you and Ilayathalapthy Vijay sir.
Vijay anna has been there for me always for the good phase and the bad phase of life. Whenever I have a problem I just pick up the phone and call him. He’ll simply ask what’s happening. He is very fond of Sangeetha as well because they’ve been friends right from the Nadigar Sangam dance class. They go way back, maybe even beyond the Stone Age (laughs). I have sung a lot of songs for him and he appreciates the way I move on stage. Even before I got married, he would come and appreciate me. That’s a very nice gesture for an actor of his stature and calibre.
So what else is in the pipeline?
I might turn into a music director soon. I have just signed a film which will be announced very soon. I have also signed two big films as an actor which I won’t be revealing to you quite yet.