After belting out some successful tunes for Salman Khan’s latest hit ‘Jai Ho’, newbie music director Amal Malik arrives with aplomb. Shilpi Kakkar talks to the young composer about his foray into film music.
For 22-year-old Amal Malik, modesty is an ingrained virtue. His latest song “Tumko To Aana Hi Tha”, from Salman Khan’s blockbuster Jai Ho, clawed its way up the popularity charts — quite a coup. As he says simply, “Salman Khan has given me a million reasons to smile!” He has, as Amal has composed three vital tracks, including the title song, for the superstar’s blockbuster.
Blame it on the genes. Amal’s grandfather was the renowned music composer Sardar Malik. His father is the highly-sought-after musical genius Daboo Malik, and his uncle, the fabulous tune spinner Anu Malik. “I always had a liking towards music from an early age and was encouraged to pursue my passion,” he says. The diligence paid off and by 16, Amal was composing his own tunes. Followed by jingles for Vodafone, Boro Plus, Sunfeast, Amul, Toyota and scores of other brands.
“Ad filmmaker Kailash Surendranath then took me under his wing. He has been my mentor,” Amal confesses. Under his guidance and encouragement, Amal worked on 30 TV commercials, and he gradually got involved in music and developed his own signature style. At 19, he composed for the theatrical trailers of the Adlabs film production Tere Bin Laden. His renditions won instant acclaim and turned into a hummable craze soon enough.
“Then I got an opportunity to compose racy music for the two most famous rides, Ali Baba, and Mr India, at filmmaker Manmohan Shetty’s massive entertainment park, Adlabs Imagica, near Mumbai. That has virtually been my ride to musical success,” admits Amal. He is equally candid about giving credit to his seniors.
“Assisting my father and artistes like Salim-Sulaiman, Amar Mohile and Sandeep Chowta has seriously helped me in my formative years. It gave me valuable experience and made me learn the ropes of the music industry. But music is what I was born to live with.”
Of course, hard work has taken him places on the digital platform and on the telly as well. Remember the title song of Honge Juda Na Hum — on Sony TV? That was young Amal’s composition as well and netted a whopping 2.5 lakh views on YouTube! However, nothing offers you a bigger platform than Bollywood. Amal’s collaboration with senior talent from the industry like Amar Mohile, Sandeep Chowta and Salim-Sulaiman brought in work in the form of Sarkar, Shootout at Lokhandwala, Paan Singh Tomar, Rowdy Rathore, Son of Sardar, Ab Tak Chappan 2 and Cocktail.
Luck by chance
“I have been lucky as well that my songs have been appreciated,” he concedes rather modestly, speaking of his hit tunes. “I have received an incredible number of tweets, calls and messages supporting my work,” adds Amal. “It is simply unbelievable.” Does that prod him, together with his good looks, to act? “I can’t act to save my life! Though I may feature in my music videos if I ever do an album in the future,” he retorts. “I want to concentrate on film music first, as I feel the canvas just does not get any bigger than this. Once I establish myself here and I am happy with where I am, then I will begin work on an album.”
Clearly, Amal Malik is here as a game changer. How different is his style as compared to his father’s? “I give melody importance, just as my father and uncle do, but my sound production, and my treatment of a song is completely different from their style.” Yet, life has come full circle now. With Jai Ho, Amal has arrived in style. Just as over 10 years ago, it was Sohail Khan (Salman Khan’s brother) who worked with Amal’s father, Daboo Malik, on Maine Dil Tujhko Diya and churned out a huge blockbuster, Amal has now taken the jodi forward with his collaboration with the Khans. Lucky sign for bigger things to come? Probably.
Prod him further about the best part about being a composer in Bollywood, and he retorts simply, “I don’t know. I just feel it is great that songs are given so much importance in commercial Hindi cinema. The grandness with which songs are shot in Bollywood — that in itself is a big high for any composer.”