Tulsi Kumar’s claim to fame have been hit numbers like “Humko Deewana Kar Gaye” the title song of the same film, “Tum Jo Aaye” from Once Upon A Time In Mumbai, "Meri Ada Bhi (Ishq Ne Mere)"," Humko Pyar Hua" from Ready, "Tu hi rab tu hi dua" from Dangerous Ishq and "Saanson Se " from Dabangg 2. Daughter of the late Music Baron Gulshan Kumar, and sister of Bhushan Kumar, Tulsi Kumar had a platform to enter Bollywood, Yet it has not been an easy path to success. Like every newcomer she had her share of struggles. She agrees that she did get a platform to showcase her talents easily but sustaining it has not been a cake walk she says. Today with numerous tracks in Bollywood movies, The singer has finally been accepted by the audience. The singer in a candid Chat talks about how she has had to work hard to carve a niche for herself with Shama Bhagat.
How does success feel now?
It feels very good when your songs are received well and people appreciate you by listening to your songs.
Was it easy since you already had a big name to back you and also a platform to enter the Bollywood industry?
Initially yes I felt everything was easy as my dreams were realized easily. But then I realized that life is not a bed of roses. I realized that one has to keep working hard to be heard. I have been working hard for the last six years from 2006 to 2013 but I had to really strive. The backing was there but it took time for the audience to accept a new voice and make myself heard. Now I have great acceptance and it gives me a high to perform better with each song. It kind of shows that a good platform is necessary and a strong surname helps but if you have no talents it will not last long. One should have talent to sustain oneself.
A lot of talent has entered the industry how do you look at the competition?
It’s great that so many new singers are coming into Hindi Cinema. I don’t consider it as competition. In fact I am happy that we are getting to hear so much variety and new range and style of voices. The industry there is so much work and enough space for everyone. I think this competition is healthy. The reason people are taking up singing as a career seriously is because of the whole lot of talent shows. New singers are coming with a range of voices. Even the audience wants new sounds and voices.
Which are the films that you are doing now?
I have sung for Rohan Sippy’s Nautanki Sala and there’s I Love New York where I have two songs ‘Aaona’ and ‘Halki Halki’ which have been received very well. I have sung three songs for Aashiqui 2. One song is with Dr. Palash Sen of Euphoria. This film holds a special place in my heart as my dad had worked hard on the music of the film and he entered the business with this film.
Speaking about your dad’s involvement Aashiqui must be holding many memories for you?
Definitely, I was only seven when the film was made. Dad used to bring the records home and I got attached to music and singing at that time. He had a great ear for music. It meant a lot to me as the project was made by dad. When Aashiqui 2 was announced it brought a lot of memories. I was already being trained in music and dad was very passionate about it. He always wanted his daughters to take up singing. Now the film is important to me. Now my brother Bhushan Kumar is involved in the film and he’s taking a lot of pain to recreate another hit. There is a lot hope and expectation attached to it. He has tried out his best to give good songs. It’s romantically based Indian melody.
Did you always want to be a singer?
Initially it was my dad’s dream to make me a singer but later I got passionately involved in it and went on to train my self. My elder sister was also into singing but later gave it up for fashion designing. I carried on and went on to train at Suresh Wadkar’s academy. I also trained under Vinod Mishra.
What is your brother’s opinion, does he appreciate your talents?
He has been encouraging. He also criticizes me as an older bother and wants me to work hard. He and my mom point out other singers and how they sing. Their expectations are always higher. They tell me to better myself. I take their criticism seriously and work hard and do my riyaz everyday. I know that It’s the family which can keep you grounded as they say it for my betterment.
Who are the singers you look up to?
Kavita Krishnamurthy and Sonu Nigam are my favourites and they are the singers I look up to. Lata Mangeshkar is of course a school and institution by herself. I have so much to learn and go miles before I can achieve something to come to their level.
Speaking of your career where does it leave time for love and romance?
(Laughs) I am single as of now and I am looking out for my Mr Perfect. Hope someone reads my interview out there and knows that I am looking for my Mr. Perfect. Yes I have been busy with my career and work but I think I have to make time for love as well. I am interested in marriage. I would want a partner who may not necessarily be a singer but has to be a lover of music.