Kanu Roy composed music for only 9-10 films in his career but all of them are remembered for their songs and compositions. He spent his life in financial crisis, never got married and stayed alone.
He came to Bombay to become a playback singer. He tried his luck but could not become so. He joined IPTA and strated composing music as well. He tunes were very popular with the fellow members. He got a few chances to sing in the movies but all the songs were ensembles or chorus. He maintained a close relationship with music composer Salil Chowdhury. But that too could not help him to get a chance in films as a singer.
He in late 1960sm he came in contact with the director Basu Bhattacharya, who was then working with Bimal Roy as an assistant. Basu was planning his own direction venture, Uski Kahani. Basu, gave Kanu his much needed break for the film. After Uski Kahani, Basu again asked him to compose for his next film Anubhav. Kanu composed some of the very fine tunes for the film. The songs, 'Mera dil jomera hota..' and 'Koi chupke se aake..' still sound very modern and melodious. Kanu was a man of very few instruments. He never used unnecessary instrument for his tunes.
Basu's next film Aavishkar, again saw Kanu Roy as the music composer. His song, 'Hansne ki chah ne kitna mujhe rulaya hai..' sung by Manna Dey
is capable of bringing tears to ones eyes. This song is considered as one of the best renditions of Manna Dey
. For the same film, Anubhav, Asha Bhosle
sang a beautiful composition, 'Naina hain pyase mere..' which was beautifully imbibed in the film in the background. It not only gave a haunting feel but also sounded very melodious.
In 1979, Kanu composed music for Basu Bhattacharya's Griha Pravesh. This was themilestone of his career. He composed some of the very fine and mature tunes for the film. The songs are still considered as one of the best compositions. He used Raag Bihag for Bhupinder
, Sulakshna Pandit's duet, 'Boliye sureeli boliyaan..'. Another beautiful song written by Gulzar
was delicately composed by kanu and sung by Bhupinder
, 'Machal kar jab aankhon se chhalak jaate hain do aansoo..'. The songs of Griha Pravesh are a proof of his musical genius. Had he got more chances, he would have been in the list of top composers of the film industry.
He got another chance to compose or the 1979 film, Shyamala. He used the 40 peice orchestra for the first time for the song "Balma mera Balma..' sung by Mukesh
and Dilraj Kaur. It was again a beautiful composition but Kanu failed to get any recognition.
He was diagnosed with cancer and was devastated. He had no films in his hands and was struggling for the finances. Finally, on 20th December 1982 Kanu left this world. He will always be remembered for his compostions.