With the launch of his new single ‘Tootey Khaab’, singer Armaan Malik talks about his journey as a singer, his evolution from a child artist and his upcoming projects
SINGER ARMAAN Malik, who is the grandson of the veteran music director and composer Sardar Malik, made his debut as a child singer with the song ‘‘Bum Bum Bole” from Taare Zameen Par. And since then he has never looked back. In a short span of time, Armaan has managed to establish himself as a leading playback singer in the country, having sung for films like Article 15, Kabir Singh, Badla, October, Mubarakan, Tumhari Sulu and Kapoor & Sons, among others.
In this interview, he talks about his single ‘Tootey Khaab’ while reflecting upon his journey as a singer, changing trends in the Indian music industry, and his upcoming projects.
How did ‘Tootey Khaab’ materialise? Who contributed to the song?
The song is written by Kunaal Vermaa with whom I have collaborated on many songs such as ‘Chale Aana’ from De De Pyaar De and the single title ‘Ghar Se Nikalte Hi’. The two of us really connect well. Kunaal and his partner Rangon have a group called ‘Songster Music’ that has done the music for ‘Tootey Khaab’. The duo played me this song roughly a year back. While listening to it, I got bowled over and within a few minutes I knew that it was going to be my next single. So that’s how the song’s journey began.
Initially T-Series had some plans of using it for a movie, but I requested them to let me do a non-film single instead. The song is out on YouTube. I had a hunch that I should do the song as a single. I am really glad that it is already getting so much love and appreciation from fans online.
Is ‘Tootey Khaab’ the first time that you have appeared extensively in a video of your own song?
Well, ‘Tootey Khaab’ really is the most comprehensive song I’ve done by far. However, I have done two other videos before this — ‘Ghar Se Nikalte Hi’ and ‘Aaja na Ferrari Mein’. But I consider ‘Tootey Khaab’ as my best music video in terms of the way I have been portrayed. It’s comprehensive and well thought out. This is really the first time that I was required to bring out a lot of emotions on the screen. So that’s what made it challenging for me.
How comfortable are you facing the camera? Are you open to acting?
To tell you the truth, I was really nervous during the song shoot. But Shabby, who has directed the video, gave me a lot of confidence. I am glad that it has come out well. After watching the song a lot of people are now telling me to take up acting assignments more frequently. But, frankly, I haven’t been open to acting in general. While I did act in the film Kaccha Limboo, but it was mostly for fun. I feel acting is a serious commitment.
Just like I have been committed to music and singing for so many years, there are other people who have been committed to acting for years and have learnt the art. I openly say that I am not an actor. However, I feel that I can express my emotions well through music. So, the only kind of acting assignment that I am open to are those which are related to music in some way.
For example, if a film is about a musician or if its central theme is music such as Aashiqui 2 or Rockstar, then it is something that will definitely attract me. But music will never take a second place in my life, and I really want to see musicians and singers becoming as big as actors in our country.
Nowadays we seldom get to see full-fledged albums. How do you look at the trend of singles?
I think the audiences today don’t have the patience for albums like they used to have in the older days. Perhaps, that’s why a lot of fast food joints are doing better than restaurants. People want quick service, quick food, and quick products, which is why I think the songs are also being churned out much faster.
Now, this has both advantages as well as disadvantages. The biggest plus point is that the trend of non-film songs that became quite popular in the ‘90s is coming back in a big way. Now we have good music being made that’s independent of movies, which is playing an important role in the establishment of a parallel music industry. So much like the West, we are now looking at the music industry as a separate entity. I feel this will also encourage a lot of independent artists to take up the challenge to make music the way they want to make.
You made your Bollywood debut as a child singer with the song ‘Bum Bum Bole’ from Taare Zameen Par. Over the last decade you have sung many popular numbers. How do you see your journey?
I have also seen many different phases of myself because when Taare Zameen Par came out I was 11 years old…My voice was very different at that time. Then at the age of 16 when I was working on my debut album, I had a different voice. At the age of 18 when I was launched in Jai Ho as an adult playback singer by Salman Khan, I again had a very different voice. And today again, my voice in ‘Tootey Khaab’ is completely different.
Over the years, I have experienced a metamorphosis in my singing. My voice has become deeper and my emotions and feelings as well as the manner in which I sing have all become richer. I think with age you experience a lot of things and what you experience in life starts showing in your work and music and that’s what is happening with me now. I have started to understand these emotions now, as opposed to earlier when I used to sing a lot of songs about love not knowing what I am singing about.
During your journey as a singer, who influenced you the most? Also, tell us about your upcoming projects.
While growing up, my biggest inspiration was definitely Sonu Nigam. He is one of my favourite singers. I have grown up listening to him and for me, till today, he is one of the finest singers that we have in our county. As far as my future projects are concerned, there is a lot lined up. Right now, I cannot reveal much but I like giving surprises. Apart from that I am also working on my next single which is a dance number and so it’s very different from ‘Tootey Khaab’. Also, I am working on a lot of other content like English music and stuff which are more targeted towards a global audience. ■