Friday, February 23, 2024

Armaan Malik: I’ve always felt India should also have its own musical Avengers

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Armaan Malik, the songster whose music has fetched him global acclaim, speaks to The Pioneer over an exclusive chat about acing various aspects of the music industry, being a global popstar, his inspiration to create music, and more.

Tejal Sinha

Armaan Malik, the global heartthrob musical icon’s music tunes out way louder about him and his work. Little could anyone ever think of seeing a jingle singer and voiceover artist who started at the age of eight, become a global icon, and the first internationally known global popstar from the country.

The crooner has several melodies mainly Chale Aana, Jab Se Mera Dil, Pehla Pyaar, Main Rahoon ya Na Rahoon, You/Tu and De Taali, to name a few to his credits. All through his journey, he has been a part of different aspects of the music industry, be it a reality show contestant, singing for children’s movies, releasing a non-film album to making his debut in Bollywood as an adult playback singer. Not to forget, he is not just one of the most loved vocalists in Bollywood but also South. Why not! For Instance, his voice with the moves of Allu Arjun in Butta Bomma made us all grove, in fact to date (wink).

It was a dream of the Sun Maahi singer, just like anyone of us to have our very own pop star, and so he becomes one. “Today I’m very happy and proud to say that I’m able to put out music in any language that I feel like putting out and representing my country on a global stage. It’s always been a dream of mine that while there’s Justin Bieber from Canada, Beyonce and Lady Gaga from the US, why doesn’t India have a pop star of its own. I’ve always chased that dream. I’ve always felt India should also have its own musical Avengers. And hopefully, the pop space is led by me. That’s my dream. And I’ve taken a few steps in that direction. I’ve released a lot of English music. And that music has fetched me a lot of global acclaim and awards as well. Not saying that it is the main thing but it does give me the confidence that yes, this journey is leading somewhere. And hopefully, I can make that difference for Indian artists that we have not seen in the last few years. I’m very hopeful for my future and the Indian music future, and can’t wait to take Indian music globally.”

Armaan not only pulls on the hat of just a singer but a songwriter and composer too. Oh and how can we miss out, he’d also lend his voice to Aladdin and Lion King Simba in Lion King. Wondered what he enjoys the most. Let’s hear what he’s got to say, “Well, I learned quite a few hacks. I am also a voiceover artist, which I enjoy. So for me, doing all these different things is what excites me. But yeah, singing live on stage is something that brings me a lot of joy. This is why I’m super excited to be part of the Royal stag Boombox because I’m going to be able to put out a concert for all my fans in Jalandhar, who haven’t seen my performance before. And being able to present a very fresh pop concert is something that I’m looking forward to. And yeah, I think singing live is something that I really, really look forward to.”

As he mentions the Royal Stag Boombox, how could we not ask him about his association? “Royal Stag Boombox is a very unique IP. I feel like the whole concept is getting Bollywood and hip-hop together. These are two genres that people wouldn’t think would fit together. But, they have made it happen. And there are a lot of eclectic genres that are going to be mixed in this IP. A lot of exciting artists and performers are going to come together to make very interesting and unique music for the audience. And while you know, there’s a studio aspect to the IP, there’s also a life on the ground aspect to the IP, which I’m very excited to be part of. And I can’t wait to bring my mindset to the Royal Stag Boombox and have a fun time with all the audiences in Jalandhar,” says the songster, who believes that every time you say, Armaan Malik, the two songs that pop up in anyone’s head are Main Rahoon ya Na Rahoon, and Bol Do Na Zara. And, why not? These were also the songs that took us to a whole new world. “If I have to mark out two songs in my discography, these will be the songs that I feel gave me that big push as an artist.”

Music has lately become more experimental and in fact, 90 percent of his music is non-film. So when a song is in the making, what kind of music does he wish to create? He enthused, “Sometimes I get inspired by what I’m hearing and listening to because there are a lot of exciting artists right now in the Indian scene. I listen to them. And I’m like, “Wow, this music exists in India, I didn’t know”. So I’m glad that through the advent of all these different streaming platforms, I’m able to hear these different new artists. So sometimes it’s getting inspired by these artists and coming up with something of your own. Or it’s something that you’ve always known for. I’m always known for my romantic ballads and my romantic pop songs. So that is something I know my fans are eagerly waiting for. But at the same time, I also want to give them something fresh, which makes them feel that okay, our man normally does romantic stuff, and Nakhrey Nakhrey (2022) was one of my songs, which was a pop electro-dance song, and I was dancing in the video for the very first time. So my fans got to see a very new and different side of me, rather than me just sitting with a guitar and singing love songs. That’s something everyone has seen me do. So for me, as an artist, I try to push the envelope, I try to break new boundaries, try to experiment, and try new genres. I want to do as many things as possible to express my artistic versatility.”

It was once that popular American actor Val Kilmer said, “It’s important to be yourself. What art does for everyone, helps you understand yourself and in a distilled way. It distills something about everyday life that can be important to you.” And we’re sure many of us believe this too, and so does Armaan. Having given some marvelous hits down the south like Kalisunte, Memu Agamu, Butta Bomma, Ninne Ninne, Yedo, and Yemainado, to name a few, we were super eager to know what’s something that he enjoys the most when singing a South language song. He blisfully said, “I think the fact that I’m able to be myself, a lot of times we sing songs for movies, and get the brief that Oh, can you factor that in your voice, or make your voice a little thinner, husky or bold? Obviously, because we have to sing for an actor on screen. But somehow in the south whenever I’ve sung, the only thing that the composer or the people who directed me in the recording have said is, “Please be you, we want Armaan Malik, we don’t want anything else”. And I think that’s the most beautiful thing. For me as an artist, it makes me feel liberated. It makes me feel okay, I can just be myself and still deliver a hit song.”

Being a secretive person, he’s always loved putting out cryptic messages for all of us to decode his next song or projects. And, so without letting out many secrets or hints of his projects, he said, “There’s a lot in store; film songs, non-film songs, international collaborations are in the works. Hopefully, they come out this year. I’ve been working on them for quite some time now. It’s all about timing and whenever it comes out, it’s going to be the right time.”

Well! We cannot wait for it just like you’ll, but for now, just get ready for a new playlist on the loop (wink).

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