Singer and songwriter Arko Pravo Mukherjee has been receiving accolades from all corners for his latest song "Dariya" from the movie "Baar Baar Dekho." However, he feels he is not a very good singer and other young singers of the current lot like Armaan Malik and Arijit Singh are far better than him.
The slow romantic track "Dariya" has touched the hearts of fans and added to the film's popularity. After the songs "Kala Chasma" and "Sau Aasmaan" created a rage in the music industry, "Dariya" has also become a much loved track.
In an exclusive interview with International Business Times, India, Arko reveals why he does not sing too often, talks about competition in singing industry, his transformation from a doctor to a song-writer and a lot more.
Arko had made his debut in Bollywood as a music composer with the movie "Jism 2" in 2012. However, he sang his first song "Saathi Rey" from "Kapoor and Sons" in 2016 and "Dariya" from "Baar Baar Dekho" happens to be the second song in his voice. He had also earned appreciation recently for composing the music of "Tere Sang Yaara" from "Rustom." Check excerpts from the interview here:
International Business Times: "Dariya" is the second song in your voice to date. How was the experience being a playback singer for the second time?
Arko: It was a great experience. Karan sir (Karan Johar) really liked my voice and asked me to go ahead with it like the way I sang it. There are certain songs for which it's not about singing better but it's about expression. So sometimes some songs sound just perfect in the composer's voice.
IBT: Both the songs "Kala Chasma" and "Sau Aasman" from "Baar Baar Dekho" became big hits. Do you think "Dariya" could create the same craze?
Arko: These kinds of songs are not made for craze. Dance tracks are made completely for a different purpose. They are completely of different zone than "Dariya" or "Tere Sang Yaara." Of course, it won't be as much hit as the dance tracks but you can't compare the two.
IBT: First song in your voice was "Saathi Rey" and then came "Dariya." Which one is your personal favorite?
Arko: I like "Dariya" more. It's actually the first song I sang. "Saathi Rey" got released first but I had recorded "Dariya" much before. It is a very organic song and will always be very special to me.
IBT: The song "Tere Sang Yaara " from "Rustom" became very popular. Did you wish to compose more songs for the movie?
Arko: I don't really think like that. I make a song and if people like it then I give it to be used in films. I don't have too many songs. I have just about 35 songs till date. I cannot do too much bulk work. I prefer to work at my own pace and when I feel like naturally.
IBT: Most of the songs in "Rustom" have been liked by the masses. Do you think songs have played a big role in success of "Rustom" at the box office?
Arko: People say that music really helps in the opening of a film. But to sustain the run of the film, the content has to be good. Music might give a good opening but if the film is not good, it won't run for a long term.
IBT: You started your career in 2012 with the songs in "Jism 2" and you made your singing debut in 2016 with the song "Saathi Rey" in "Kapoor and Sons". Why did it take so long to lend your own voice to your song?
Arko: I don't think myself to be such a good singer that I should be singing too often. I have never learnt to sing in Hindi. I can sing my own songs, more or less, okay but I am more comfortable in singing in English. Whenever I make a song and send it to the makers of a movie, mostly I send it in my voice. Sometimes conversation happens as in who will sing the song but I never insist that I am going to sing it.
IBT: Whom do you think as a tough competitor among the current lot of singers in Bollywood?
Arko: I don't see anyone as a competitor. There are so many fantastic singers now. Armaan Malik is just 21 and he is brilliant. Arijit Singh is the most versatile and most evolved singers among the young lot. These guys are much better than me. Moreover, I am not here to compete with anyone. I am just trying to make music and build a career as an artiste.
IBT: It is often said that Bollywood has a lot of gender disparity in terms of pay. Is the situation same in singing domain as well?
Arko: No, there is no gender disparity in singing. The best female singers get as much money as the male singers.
IBT: What made you shift from being a doctor to a singer and how was the transformation?
Arko: People do silly things (laughs). Actually, music was always in my heart but I found the courage to pursue it at the age of 25. I had finished my MBBS but I never really practised.
IBT: Tell us something about your upcoming projects.
Arko: After "Dariya," I have a song in "Tum Bin 2". I will be singing for Ankit Tiwari in the film. I think the film will release in November this year. Also, I will make my English singing debut soon. It will be a single and will be out in October. There are some other projects lined up as well but I can't tell now.
IBT: Any suggestions for aspiring singers?
Arko: Identity is the most important thing for an artiste. What makes you stand out from the herd will take you ahead. If you try to imitate anyone, that will not be helpful. Rest is hard work and talent.