'Every role that I play in life is to make my father proud': Tulsi Kumar

Tulsi Kumar, one of the cardinal names in the music arena, who has blossomed with tantalizing singles and groovy remixes has now added another feather to her hat. The songstress has now turned host for the very first time for season 2 of Indie Hain Hum.

Tulsi’s journey in the music industry has been nothing less than inspiring. After losing her father Gulshan Kumar at a very young age, she has evolved into a successful independent artist, shouldering the brand T-Series, all this while being a loving wife and a mother. She is undeniably a real-life superwoman.

Tulsi ventured as a professional playback singer in the mid-2000s. Her popular tracks include "Mujhe Teri" from the movie Paathshaala and "Tum Jo Aaye" from Once Upon a Time in Mumbai to name a few.

The 34-year-old is a true millennial at heart who is elated that the 90s trend of Indie pop is back in trend. She said, “The 90s gave us a lot of pop icons to look at like Alisha Chinai, Lucky Ali, there were a lot new bands coming up in the 90s, there was Palash Sen and his band Euphoria. The 90’s era was amazing, and yes the trend has come back and this time it’s a lot of singles.”

She asserted that the boost to singles promote independent artists who earlier required association with Bollywood. However, now it is quite evident that independent music is getting its due recognition. “Indie music is the future. I am trying to support real talent. I have always been a strong believer of hard work paying off, and I am blessed to have a platform through which, I can help others further their career, and I am all for it,” she added.

The entertainment industry was one of the major sectors that took a hit during the pandemic. However, Tulsi was among the few artists who continued to work. Like any other organisation that began “work from home”, the singer also set up a studio in her house and made music.

She said, “I started with “Tere Naal” which was shot during extreme lock down. We filmed it with a single camera in my house and then it continued with “Naam”, “Tanhaai”, “Zara Thehro” and more. I think it’s very good when you keep yourself occupied because during that that many were falling prey to depression. My work helped me sail through that period.”

In the past couple of years Bollywood films have been bringing back iconic songs from the past and remixing them. The trend has invited backlash on several occasions with a section that slams composers and singers who re-work on these tracks.

Weighing in on the same, Tulsi said, “I think to each its own. It is impossible for everyone to like every form of a given artform, and while criticism is welcome, I think that in a way, it’s just celebrating the work of people who were a part of the original. While I understand that a handful of people don't like remixes, I also stand by my work, so no hard feelings about that.”

Tulsi married Hitesh Ralhan in 2015. The couple have a son Shivaay who was born in 2017.

When asked what her little one thinks about his mother’s music, she said, “Shivaay is very much inclined towards music. He loves to dance on my track “O Saki”. My son is humming my songs and I just keep laughing, looking at him because he’s running around and humming all the songs that I am recording so it feels good.”

“It feels good to hear this song in his voice because he is very young so he can hardly speak but he keeps singing and that brings a lot of joy to me,” she added.

Tulsi lost her father and founder of T-Series Gulshan Kumar when she was only 11. Despite not having him around for years to see her successful journey so far, the songstress admits that she does miss him, and works passionately to make him proud.

She said, “I have been taking the learnings from my father along with me. While I have had my highs and lows, I have always found a kind of peace in the music I create. What keeps me strong is being able to carry forward the vision he had for music, for the company, and for me. I feel blessed to have the responsibility to carry forward a legacy that I've been bestowed with, and while I do all those things, I also continue the path that I have taken on. I will always be grateful to my father, and while I miss him on some days, I know he is watching me. It was my father who saw it in me at a very young age, he recognised my sweet tone voice and he asked me whether I would like to train under music and that’s when my journey in music began when I started learning music at the age of 6.”

Sharing one of her fondest memories, Tulsi added, “When I turned 7, he took me to a store on my birthday and made me buy a grand piano, which still remains with me. Every role that I play in life is to make my father proud so I make sure that I take my work very seriously and I love and have a lot of passion for my work. Because I know my father loved music and he is definitely very happy seeing me grow and he is happy to see my progress in work. So, everything I do is to make my Papa proud.”

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