Tulsi Kumar: Melody of Bollywood | Singer | Interview
Her sweet voice will entice you the moment you hear her songs. She has not only made a name for herself by singing soft & romantic numbers like ‘Soch Na Sake’, ‘Salamat’, ‘Ae Mere Humsafar’, ‘Tu Hai Ki Nahi’, ‘Tum Jo Aaye Zindagi Mein’, ‘Hum mar jayenge’; but even crooned for hit, peppy tracks like ‘Nachange Sari Raat’, ‘Saiyyan Superstar’, ‘Love mera hit hit’. The voice of Deepika Padukone, Sonakshi Sinha, Katrina Kaif, Asin, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Shraddha Kapoor , Kangana Ranaut to name a few– Tulsi Kumar is one of the voices for the leading ladies in Bollywood.
Excerpt from an interaction with Tulsi.
When did you first start singing?
Tulsi: As far as my memory goes, as I child I had a strong bend towards music. I continuously hummed songs while watching TV and had a sweet toned voice. My father (Shri Gulshan Kumar) was the one who spotted my sweet tone and my inclination towards music. I was all of 6 years old then, when he admitted me to Suresh Wadekar ji’s academy where I learnt light classical music for few years after which I started learning from Pt. Vinod Mishra ji. My dad bought me a harmonium and a piano when I was very young and there was always a musical atmosphere in the house. I started singing bhajans, remixes and then graduated to doing playback for films.
Who are your musical inspirations?
Tulsi: My father has been my inspiration. The love, passion and dedication he had towards his work was amazing. At a very early age he set up the Tseries Empire single handedly and also changed the face of the Music industry within no time. He also gained a lot of fame and name in a short span of time, all because of his hard work and focused nature. Who better than my father – to get inspired from. Another person from the music industry who is my biggest inspiration is Lata Mangeshkar ji – who we all call the Goddess of Music. I consider Lata Ji as an Institution of music.
Do you play any instruments?
Tulsi: I do play a little bit of Harmonium and would love to play a Guitar for which I’ve already started my training.
What hidden talents do you have?
Tulsi: I am a very good dancer and I also mimic people from the daily life not actors; their mannerism and their style. So mimicry is one of my hidden talents too 🙂
Do you enjoy writing music and/or lyrics?
Tulsi: Yes, I love writing lyrics and there was a point when I would catch hold of a melody and jot down different lyrics to the already existing songs. I don’t think I am yet at that level where I can release my own lyrics but would definitely polish my writing skills further and aim to produce it one day.
What do you think about when you’re performing?
Tulsi: I would admit that there are jitters that I get before stepping on the stage but once I am there, I feel I belong there and I am totally at ease with my audience. The best feeling is when the people sing along with me, I feel there is nothing that can match up to that feelings this boosts up my morale further notches higher.
Any loves, other than music?
Tulsi: Music is definitely my first love, but apart from that I love to dress up well. I am fashion conscious and love trying different varied looks on me. I am also a big foodie – love trying different cuisines, Italian and Japanese being my utmost favourite and love traveling to exotic locations.
What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
Tulsi: During my growing up days, I remember I bunked school in my 11th grade with a set of my friends and the principle got to know. He made calls to our parents and my mother was extremely worried as to where would I be. It was the first time I had done something notorious like this and was really scared.
What is inspiration behind T-Series Stage Works, Academy of film, music and performing arts?
Tulsi: My father always gave a platform to all those who wanted to make a career in Bollywood whether in the field of singing, music direction or acting. Be it Sonu Nigam, Anuradha Paudwal or Kumar Sanu, they all got their first breaks through him. He believed in making the superstars of tomorrow. Carrying his dream and legacy of producing great talent further, I have started the ‘T-Series Stage Works academy of film music and performing arts’ with my husband Hitesh Ralhan. This academy finds all the talented people who need to be further honed and give them that podium to showcase it. We offer courses in singing, acting, modelling and dance. We have brought together an amazing faculty team of experienced teachers and course directors from Bollywood industry itself and some of the heavy weight names are Sonu Nigam, Shaan who are the course directors in singing. Then we have Dino Morea for modeling courses, Ahmed Khan who is the director of the dance course and Sharman Joshi who is the course director of acting . With this we hope to give these people a great chance to hone themselves and all genuinely talented stand a chance to audition for various Bollywood projects .We wish to provide the industry with the best talent with this initiative.
What have you enjoyed most about working in here?
Tulsi: Well I am the director at the T-Series Stage Works academy and look into the administrative side of the academy. I have a one-on-one interactions with the students of the academy and it gives me great pleasure to be a part of this. I really enjoy knowing all the students personally and it also helps me widen my knowledge parameters with their view points. I am glad that we have managed to get the best faculty members, and veterans from the Bollywood industry and apart from these celebrities we also do have professionals counseling and teaching the students like Swaroopa Ghosh, Kshitij Mathur ,Tarun Saagar and Prasun Mukherjee to name a few in their respective fields.
Who are the founders and key team members?
Tulsi: Well this academy is an extension of my father Shri Gulshan Kumar’s dream that is being taken forward by me and I have full support of my husband Hitesh Ralhan who actively takes part in the various decisions of the academy. Along with blessings of my mother Sudesh Kumariji.
What is unique about the T-Series Stage Works?
Tulsi: I have grown up learning music from various institutes and various tutors but what I wanted to offer through this academy to the students was a complete experience of the field they are getting training in. We at T-Series Stage Works academy see to it that these students get one-on-one interaction with the course directors provided by us. With this the students get the right exposure, practical knowledge and an additional touch to their learning. So with these interactions and workshops held with renowned Bollywood celebrities that are held, we wish to help them to understand their field more. For eg. We give the students an opportunity to record music live within the studio on a minus one track with the guidance of the singers we have on board just like the way how it’s done in playback singing. They also get a chance to visit recording studios in Mumbai and interact with renowned music directors and depending on how capable they are they do stand a chance to audition for certain projects.
What are the five things you can’t live without?
Tulsi: My Iphone which has various apps that I totally depend on, Tanpura which is with me all the time on my phone through an app, hand moisturizer, Vaseline lip balm and house keys.
What is your favorite song to belt out at the bar/in the car/for karaoke?
Tulsi: For karaoke- I can’t help following in love with you- Elvis Presley.
For car- I prefer soft romantic numbers. Recently I’ve been hearing this song kuch is tarah by Atif Aslam.
Ten years from now you will be….
Tulsi: Be associated with music in a deeper way to take my project of this academy nationwide and then worldwide.
For our readers who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words:
Tulsi: Well at first I would request the people who haven’t heard my music to please hear it. My audience is the best judge for me. But if I had to describe my voice, then it would be of a girl with a soft, sweet, melodious and a chirpy tone.
What’s your favourite place on earth?
Tulsi: Bora Bora in Tahiti.
What’s your favourite meal?
Tulsi: At the moment I love Japanese and gorge on veg Sushi.
What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
Tulsi: Can’t mention a thing but for people I would say My Family
Who do you dream about?
Tulsi: Well I dream about different things at different points of life. Some have been fulfilled while some are still in the process. By mostly I dream about a happy personal life and a successful career.
What does love sound like?
Tulsi: Love has no sound it only has feelings. And I love the feeling of being in Love.
Who runs the world?
Tulsi: We women run the world for sure!
What’s your favourite song?
Tulsi: I breathe Music.. so it’s very difficult to choose one favourite song. As I am a big Lataji fan I love most of her songs. Lag ja gale se, tujse naraz nahi zindage, yara sili sili are my all-time favourite.
Who’s your favourite actor?
Tulsi: Aamir khan , Salman khan and Vidya Balan.
If you could time warp yourself to any point in history when would it be, who would you hang out with?
Tulsi: If I could time warp, I’d love to go back to the era of 50’s 60’s70’s where all the lovely music was created. I’ve heard stories like where lataji, Ashaji would rehearse with legends like Naushad saab, Shankar Jaikishan ji. And Ive’ heard that they used to rehearse one song with all the harkats, murkis for one month straight before actually recording it and all recordings used to happen Live. Wow that would be such an amazing learning experience. Would have loved to be physically present to witness those precious and great learning moments.
What is the most precious thing in your wardrobe?
Tulsi: Well I am a complete shopaholic and love buying things for myself often. But anything that is gifted to me by my loved ones with all the love and warmth, is treasured and is the most precious thing for me.
How long does it take you to decide what to wear?
Tulsi: I need to decide in my head first as to what to wear. So once I am clear with that it doesn’t take me too long. I feel I can style myself decently well.