Roop Kumar Rathod
- Birth Date: 31 Dec 1969
- Birth Place:
He wanted to be different! He wanted to carry on his father's legacy! He wanted to make a difference! He has done all that and more. That's Roop Kumar Rathod for you, who has carved his own special niche in the world of music, be it ghazals or playback singing.His is a voice that stands out amongst the rest, a voice that stirs your heart. The unforgettable award winning song 'Sandese aate hain' from the film 'Border', is just an example.
Roopkumar is the son of the late Pandit Chaturbhuj Rathod, the classical luminary who in his time also groomed Kalyanji – Anandji and singer Manhar.Roop Kumar choose to continue his father's legacy and learnt the tabla and began to play with Pankaj Udhas and Anup Jalota unlike elder brother Shravan Rathod (of the Nadeem-Shravan duo) who took up music composing or younger brother Vinod Rathod who took to playback singing. He played the tabla for Shyam Benegal's 'Discovery of India', for ghazals, Qawaalis, Bhajans sung by Lata Mangeshkar, performed on stage.
He was even called for select songs like those of Laxmikant – Pyarelal’s Sur Sangam.His first love still remains playing the tabla, a passion he gave up in 1984 to start a new career in the field of singing.
Before long he realized that this was not his goal, so he entered the world of ghazals. Soon after carving his niche in ghazals, he established himself as a good playback singer to reckon with, while experimenting with fusion music and giving music concerts with Gurtu and others. Constantly donning different roles, he believes that learning is a never-ending process, which is why he still learns the nuances of ghazal singing from his guru Ustad Niyaz Ahmed Khan.
Roopkumar Rathod was introduced as a playback singer by Laxmikant – Pyarelal in Angaar (1992), though his brother (Nadeem -) Shravan was already an established music director. Filmmaker Shashilal Nair, who had heard Roop at a concert, told Laxmikant that he would like him to sing. They were sufficiently impressed by the youngster to make him the prime singer later in films like Bhairavi (‘Om Namah Shivaye’ and ‘Moh Maaya Ko’), Gumraah (‘Duniya Kismat Aur Khuda’ and ‘Main Tera Aashiq Hoon’), Mohabbat Ki Arzoo (‘Raha Jo Dil Mein’) and Tejaswini. Anu Malik used his voice in ‘Barsaat Ke Mausam Mein’ (Naajayaz) while Nadeem – Shravan gave him a few lines in Raja and an insignificant song in Andolan and some other forgettable films.
But Roopkumar was finally established with his 1997 hit Border (Anu Malik) in which he sang ‘To Chalun’ and the chartbuster – 6c4 cum – award winner ‘Sandesein Aate Hain’. He has subsequently sung under various top composers in films as varied as Anu Malik’s Hero ,Hindustani and Kareeb (‘Tum Juda Hokar Hamein’), Anand – Milind’s Dahek and Hogi Pyar Ki Jeet, Vishal’s Hu Tu Tu (all songs for Nana Patekar) and Godmother, Raamlaxman’s Hum Saath Saath Hain.Roopkumar Rathod has sung in Champion (Anu Malik), Censor (a qawwali) for Jatin – Lalit and Sanjeev Darshan in Aashiq.
His best songs include ‘Kho Diye Jitne Lamhe’ (Vinashak), Jatin – Lalit’s ‘Zindagi Maut Na Ban Jaye’ (Sarfarosh) and ‘Yeh Zameen Hai Rehguzar’ (Dillagi) and ‘Khamosh Raat’ under A. R. Rahman for Thakshak. His Aashirwaad title song ‘Nanhi Si Muskaan’ and those of other television series like Discovery of India, Badaltey Rishtey and Rishtey are among his other accomplishments.
Roop is happliy married to Sonali. She hails from a business family and is the daughter Leena Jhaveri, a classical dancer. A dedicated student of Indian classical music, her basic grounding came from Purshottam Upadhyay and Hridaynath Mangeshkar, under whom she still trains. In 1978, she lost her singing voice, and the condition remained for 6 years, defying medical treatment. Wanting to remain in music, even if not vocal, she began to learn the sitar. And her voice slowly ‘came back’ and she honed it with her riyaaz. Ustad Niyaz Ahmed Khan also groomed her.
Sonalee came out with an album Aaghaaz (she won the Best ghazal singer award the same year) in 1986. Her other albums include Bhajan Kalash, Bhajan Yatra and Khazana (all live), Mogra Nu Phool in Gujrati, Shabnam and Dilkash.
While Roop continues to be a leading composer – singer outside films and is open for films after the success of Mohabbat Ho Gayee. Sonali continues in her traditional vein with increasing popularity.