After delivering hits like ‘Aaya Na Tu’ and ‘La La La’ last year, Arjun Kanungo is back with ‘Tu Na Mera’. The action-packed music video, also featuring actor Carla Dennis, released two weeks ago and already has 20 million views on YouTube. Speaking to Malini Raghu, Arjun talks about his latest song, future projects and more.
Tell us about the work behind ‘Tu Na Mera’.
We were looking for a song to do after collaborating with Momina Mustehsan for ‘Aaya Na Tu’. We had to come up with something original and different. We started working on ‘Tu Na Mera’ in July; it was a good six months of work. I wanted to do something in action for a long time. It is not a genre explored in the music world as it is a headache (laughs); a lot of work has to be put in.
Was it your idea to go with the action genre for the music video?
Yes, I love action movies, I grew up watching them. I love Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee. It is something I always wanted to do.
You play pop, rock and dance music. Any other genres that you want to tap?
I am very comfortable with the pop genre. A little bit of all three creates a sweet spot for me. However, I feel you can express more creatively with pop. I like to explore, and I am very particular about delivering something new.
Is it hard for independent artistes in India, given that most of us are into film music?
Today, the pop genre is huge. It is not true now that people only listen to film songs. If you look at last year’s biggest hits, they are all recreations of hit original pop numbers. Also, there is a difference between non-film and independent music; non-film music is funded by a music label, and independent music is where the artiste takes care of the production. When a company funds you, the song will have a minium guarantee.
Your thoughts on original music production in India.
It is sad that there is not much original content, there are just recreations. How many times can you recreate a song? I am happy that I am part of VYRL Originals, where they are into creating original numbers.
You have worked with Anirudh Ravichander. Do you intend to sing more South Indian songs?
I would love to do songs in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam. I have also sung a Telugu song; it should be out soon. I am a big fan of songs that come from the South. People like Anirudh and AR Rahman are all risk-takers. In fact, I think all the songs come to Bollywood after the Southern industries try it out. I would love to work with Anirudh again. I am hooked on to his ‘Marana Mass’ from Petta, currently.
Which songs top your playlist currently?
‘Challa’ from ‘Uri’. ‘Mere Gully Mein’ from Gully Boy is another one; I listened to the original one three years ago when Divine and Naezy dropped it. Also, I like the latest hit ‘Lamberghini’.
What is in the pipeline?
I am going to do a lot of collaborations in the future. I will be a part of MTV’s new show. I am also working on a web series.