Singer, songwriter, record producer, performer and actor, the multifaceted personality Armaan Malik has always believed in keeping his surname aside and working on his own craft in creating a name for himself keeping aside his surname. And now after six to seven years in the industry, Armaan has finally paved his way in the heart s of millions of people through his soulful voice and hard work.
In an exclusive conversation with International Business Times, India, Armaan Malik spoke at length about his struggles as a budding singer, what made him keeps him grounded, why he has eliminated from the show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Lil champs, his relationship with Sonu Nigam and more.
Excerpts from the conversation.
How did you keep yourself occupied during the lockdown?
To be honest with you I never got so much time in my life with myself. These last few years have been busy for me as I was so occupied with singing, shows and many other things. So, lockdown time was quite productive for me as it was quite productive. I spend time in cooking, painting and reconnected with my friends. I made songs. I made use of my quarantine time. Initially, I felt disillusioned seeing what's happening and seeing only negative news everywhere. However, I channelised my positivity by doing music.
Journey before T-Series
Ever since I was 5 or 6 years old I wanted to be a singer and started working towards achieving my goal at a very early age. When I was 9 or 10 years old I participated in at Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Lil Champs. From there I got my first break in a film and started singing for children movies, then I took a break for studies and came back to music again. Finally when I was18 I got my first break in Bollywood as a singer in 'Jai Ho'.
Struggle/criticism that you faced in your career
I remember participating in Sa Re Ga Ma Pa and I registered my name as Armaan and not as Armaan 'Malik'.I didn't want anyone to know that I belong to a filmi family. I always wanted to achieve things on my merit. So one fine day it so happened that I got eliminated as the judges got to know that I am Armaan Malik (Daboo Malik's son) and the reason told to me during the elimination process was, aapko aage kaam mil hi jayega, (I will get work). I felt quite unfair. I didn't make use of my surname as I have always wanted to prove my own mettle and do things on my own. In fact, my dad didn't want me to participate in the reality show, but I wanted to participate because as I wanted to show that my talent speaks louder than my surname. I didn't want to be under the shadow of my family. When I was 10 years old Vishal-Shekar (renowned singer-composer) gave me an oppournity to sing for the film Bhootnath. Since my childhood, till now I have always sung songs outside my family.
Favourite genre as a listener and a singer
As a listener, I listen to a lot of pop and R N D stuff. Although in Bollywood I sing a lot of romantic numbers because I have been singing soft numbers from quite some time and people have started offering me more and more romantic songs. It is not that I can't sing songs in other genres it is just that I am suited for soft and romantic numbers. Having said that, I have sung English and upbeat songs as well.
Competition from social media, either YouTube or IGTV.
Back in the day, there were only four to five singers in every era namely, Mohammad Rafi Saab, Asha Bhosle Ji, Lata Mangeshkarji, Kishore Kumarji or Udit Narayan, Kumar Sanu, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Sonu Nigam, Alka Yagnik, Shaan, Sunidhi Chauhan, Shreya Ghosal. Nowadays, we see a lot of talented singers singing in various genres. They upload a song and become a star overnight, but what matters is how people carve a career and create longevity out of those songs.I was also part of social media and used social media to my advantage and used it as a tool to promote my songs, I am glad that social media has given access to people to put out the song which can reach to a wider audience and listeners. I have encouraged budding singers to put out a song. I don't feel threatened by anyone as I know my space and I am comfortable. Therefore there is no competition whatsoever for my side.
Any singer that you simply adore?
Sonu Nigam has been an epitome of singing, he is my mentor and guide. He is one of my favourite singers and I have had the fortune of collaborating with him for a song. I collaborated with him for a dance number. But I would like to do a romantic soft song with him. I think we both will do wonders together.
Are you in cordial terms with Sonu Nigam, considering the video he shared on his social media against a popular label T- Series?
I didn't speak to him about what happened and have never spoken to him about those issues. He had wished me on my birthday and otherwise also we keep texting each other. I have a very cordial relationship with him and have nothing against Sonu Nigam.
Remixes that you would like to croon in future
I haven't given a thought to it so much because these days a lot of original tracks are being composed and released. I guess from the last two years the audiences have heard a lot of remixes and now it is overdone. People want more of original music and everyone is focussing on that. In the coming days, I have few original filmy and non-filmy tracks coming in.
An actor you would like to lend your voice to?
I would love to sing for Shah Rukh Khan sir. He is known as the king of romance and I am known for singing a romantic song, it would be really amazing this way.