Wednesday, May 22, 2024

‘I want people to be guided by my struggle in my musical journey’

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Rapper Arpan Kumar Chandel, popularly known as King Rocco or King, opens up in an exclusive interview with The Pioneer about the success of his recent romantic ballad Maan Meri Jaan, which topped the Billboard list on Sunday.

Tejal Sinha

For quite some time now, King’s recent romantic ballad Maan Meri Jaan from his recently released album Champagne Talk has not only ruled the Internet but also our hearts. The song’s dominance has made it not only one of the most trending songs but also the official video, which has over 36 million views. Along with Maan Meri Jaan, which currently holds the number one spot on Spotify’s Daily Top Songs India, every second or third reel on Instagram is of the #MaanMeriJaan dominance.

While Maan Meri Jaan is about a beautiful yet painful journey of love together, he brings a nostalgic dedication to the retro Bollywood melodies. On the overwhelming response to his romantic ballad, he says, “Maan Meri Jaan is all about love and emotion, and it’s great to see that people can connect to it as they can relate to every line. I feel humbled and grateful that it’s reaching out to the masses and that people are accepting pure emotions. It’s also now at the top of Spotify’s Weekly Top Songs India. I believe there are some emotions that cannot be expressed in words, such as when I wonder, “Aisa, ach main ho rha hai?” (Is this really happening?). I feel blessed.”

Today, getting to hear a genuine saga that you can relate to has become rare. And during such times, Maan Meri Jaan’s lyrics simply hit you hard, like a shoulder to lean on.
The Gumshuda singer says, “Specifically, with Maan Meri Jaan, I tried to keep lyrics very simple but at the same time very relatable too. I tried to keep the vibe quite fresh, but I also wanted it to be an evergreen love song.”

The music video shows us the two main pillars of any relationship: trust and love. But guess what? There’s a third one too! Hear it from the heartthrob himself: “I’d like to add one more thing out here: respect. For me, love, trust, and respect are the pillars of any relationship. If you lose any one of them, it’ll be difficult for you and your partner to keep it going in the long run. I feel that before getting into any relationship, you have to respect and trust that person; then and only will you be able to share pure emotions. But unfortunately, nowadays, it’s very rare to see these three pillars together in any relationship.”

While there is always some inspiration behind everything you do and something you enjoy, we were curious about his motivation for doing this. To this, he says, “The inspiration was quite clear; I wanted to make something to which every generation can relate. If you pick any line from Maan Meri Jaan, say, “Mai Saaya Ban Ke Saath Tere Rehna 24 Ghante,” Gen Z can also relate to it, as can Millennials, and people who are in their 50s and 60s can also relate to it. And see, I believe in spreading the love of Dil Se Dil Tak, so that’s the inspiration behind making this track.”

After his chartbuster Tu Aake Dekh Le went viral, King’s journey as a non-Bollywood hip-hop crusader climbing rapidly on the charts has been phenomenal. When you open Instagram and scroll through the feeds, you’ll either find Maan Meri Jaan supremacy or short inspiring clips of Pablo sharing his formative year’s struggles. When asked if he believes people have become more aware of his struggles, as well as his participation in Hustle season 1 following Maan Meri Jaan? He says, “Yes indeed, but I never spoke about my struggle; I always spoke about my music journey struggles, and I want people to take it as a lesson or as guidance, like how you can make your path, set your priorities, and stuff like that.”

From being a contestant in Hustle season 1 to being a squad boss in Hustle season 2, it eventually highlights the hard work he has put in on his journey so far. “It was quite emotional for me, but at the same time, I felt proud of myself.” Started as a contestant in 2019 and now sits as a squad boss in 2022, sharing the stage with Badshah bhaiya. It was like a full circle for me, a complete ride. There’s a line from Raftaar bhaiya’s track: “Jaha Haara Wahi Judge Ban Baitha Raa” (Haha), I feel blessed, and yes, hard work is there. I feel that to achieve something big in your life, you have to stay humble and true to yourself.”

The Ajay Devgn-starrer Drishyam 2 was one of the most-anticipated films of the year. The makers of the film had come out with a big surprise for the fans of the Ek Taraf singer, announcing his debut into the Bollywood music industry with the song Sahi Galat. Sharing his experience of being a part of something different from his single life, he says, “Sometimes I feel “sahi main ho ra hai ye!” (Is this actually happening?) (Haha). My first Bollywood debut with Ajay Sir, Tabu Ma’am, DSP Sir, and Amitabh Bhattacharya Sir was a goosebump moment for me. The method they use and how they make music are both novel experiences. Everyone was so focused on their part; there was so much to learn from them.”

On the work front, he hints at a few more Bollywood projects coming up and, in conclusion, he shares, “Let’s just keep it a surprise for now. We’re working on my singles, and we might drop a few music videos from my album too. Collaborations are coming in. So, a lot of things are going on.”

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