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India needs its own independent music industry: Armaan Malik

The singer feels the pandemic is a great time for musicians to create a new wave
Last Updated : 17 August 2021, 07:06 IST
Last Updated : 17 August 2021, 07:06 IST
Last Updated : 17 August 2021, 07:06 IST
Last Updated : 17 August 2021, 07:06 IST

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Singer Armaan Malik has had a busy couple of months. He has released seven new songs, some recorded during the lockdown. He spoke to Showtime about staying busy since March and how India needs a music industry that is independent of Bollywood. What is produced now is mostly film music, he says.

Tell us what it has been like since lockdown.

I have been quite busy and have been releasing a lot of songs. They have been in different genres and languages. While most of them were decided before the lockdown, the song for ‘Khuda Hafiz’ and my song ‘Next To Me’ were recorded and released during the lockdown.

Working on music virtually isn’t new to you, is it?

Not at all. I have a mobile studio, so even if I have to send a song from a hotel room, I can get it done. So workflow has not changed for me, but promoting songs is different. I now have LED lights and stands to make my interviews look good (laughs).

What was it like working with Mithoon for ‘Khuda Hafiz’?

We’ve actually worked together many times before. ‘Mera Intezaar Karna’ (song I sang from the film) has a great melody and I’m glad I worked with him on this. He’s a music director who knows what he wants. However, having to work in the comfort of my own studio had its advantages. We did rehearse a lot via Facetime before the final recording.

How’s your dream of putting Indian music on the world map going?

I’ve always wanted to put out songs that I’ve done and composed. It gives me certain ownership of it — I can call it ‘my baby’. I’ve always wanted to do international music and this year has been a landmark for me in doing so. I want to put India on the global map and I’m glad my single ‘Control’ was displayed at Times Square and ‘Next To Me’ made it to the Billboard charts. I’ve been receiving lots of love and appreciation from different parts of the world and I am excited to see India go to a different stage.

How has the lockdown changed the way you view music?

For the longest time, we’ve always depended on Bollywood to produce music. But the pandemic has given us the chance to make our own music and put it out there as there aren’t many movies releasing. When you make your own music, you can do your own stuff and it’s not time-bound. The pandemic could be a boon or a bane but the silver lining is that you have the time to do what you want. I have utilised this period to the maximum and I want to create content for at least six months so that I have things to fall back on.

You once said that Bollywood is the only place for musicians to make their name. Do you still feel the same way?

In the West, there is a separate music industry. We don’t have that. In the 90s, non-film music became more popular than movies but that died down very soon because non-film musicians cannot promote or get the traction the way films do. But because of the pandemic and the debate that started after Sushant Singh Rajput’s demise, the audience is taking notice of other things. I feel the biggest problem is that there isn’t anything called the ‘Indian Music Industry’. It’s part of the film industry and that ends up having its restrictions. I’m thrilled to see that things have changed in that aspect but I hope it’s not just a lockdown phenomenon.

What’s your advice to artistes then?

Put out songs, be in front of the camera and make videos. This is the time you’ve all been waiting for. There’s a boundary you cannot cross when working in Bollywood but right now you have an open field. I’m hopeful for musicians and I believe this will give a new wave for musicians.

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Published 21 August 2020, 17:41 IST

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