By Kruti Joshi:
“Albums don’t get promoted in the right manner in India. They don’t get the right exposure that they need,” singer Armaan Malik said during an interview.
The 20-year-old singer hails from a musical family who’ve had their feet cemented in Bollywood for about 50 years. Malik is the nephew of well-known music director Anu Malik and the son of music producer Daboo Malik. The next-gen of the Malik family is no stranger to the industry as well. Armaan’s brother Amaal Malik is the mastermind behind recent hits including, Jai Ho’s title track, Khoobsurat’s Naina, and Hero’s ‘Main Hoon Hero Tera‘.
But having a sibling in the same line means they are more susceptible to being stereotyped, Malik revealed.
“My dad always felt that we both have a talent in something else apart from each other. My brother is really great at composing and I am good at singing. So he wanted us to have an artistic liberty to work with everyone that we want to – because if you are a duo there are many avenues that get closed for Amaal and me.”
“As a duo, I won’t be able to sing with other composers because I am attached with Amaal. My dad’s ideology from the very beginning was that we should be two separate artists, but of course, collaborate on tracks.”
Despite coming from a well-established musical family, Malik started off his career via a reality show.
“I did Sa Re Ga Ma Pa at the age of 10 and post that I started getting a lot of offers for films like Bhoothnath, Taare Zameen Par. I did that with the intention to dismiss the belief that people from the film industry usually don’t participate in reality shows because they are too scared to compete with the rest of the country.”
A breeze of western music flavour has swept the local music scene in the last two decades. Inarguably, rap music has been one of the fastest to gain momentum in India, evident by the popularity of artists such as Yo Yo Honey Singh and Hard Kaur. After a phase of bad music, the industry has bounced back “for the better,” according to Malik.
“In between there was a very bad phase where we were just hearing a lot of item songs and dance songs, which didn’t make sense at all. But now is a good time because 2012-onwards there was Aashiqui . The album had brilliant music. After that, I think, many people focused on getting great music out – because that would pull in the audiences to see the movie. Music has become such an integral part of the movie business or the film line.”
The aim is to create music that is still heard by generations to come. “If you pick up a Mohammad Rafi or Kishore Kumar song from 60s or 70s you still hum them or sing them. That’s what should happen with today’s music down the line. That’s the effort we all are making to make music even more melodious and yet have a new sound, that contemporary sound that everyone is looking for.”
On where he thinks the Bollywood music is headed, Malik replied, “A lot of EDM is coming in. I think it’s going to change because right now there is saturation happening. The same club hits are coming again and again, the same beat, the same voices, same lyrics, nothing new. There are a lot of western influences in Indian music. That’s what’s widening the audiences because Bollywood music can then be heard everywhere outside India.”