EXCLUSIVE | People hardly back independent artists in India: Armaan Malik

Written by Priyanka Sharma | Mumbai | Published: April 1, 2018 5:34 pm Singer Armaan Malik has created a space for himself in both film and independent music industry.Related News

Despite the availability of talent across the country, India will not have enough musical stars unless big labels invest in independent artists, says singer Armaan Malik.

Malik, who has created a space for himself in both film and independent music, in an interaction with indianexpress.com, said a large chunk of the money goes into making Bollywood music, which leaves non-film music with very less investment to bank upon.

He further said that while in the west, theres an effort to create artists, theres hardly anything done here to take a musician from scratch and make him or her a big name of the industry.

“People dont believe musicians can be stars. Thats the thought that restricts all of us to become big. Non-film music is a great way to branch out as an artist. But very rarely people invest in non-film music. Money in India all goes to making films so, people rarely back an artist who wants to do non-film music,” Armaan said.

“Creating an artist is a very different thing. There (in the west), people create artists from zero to 100. Here, people just give songs to artists, saying, You have to sing this. So, no one is creating our curating an artist.”

While labels and producers are to be blamed for the disparity between the stardom that Indian actors and musicians enjoy, Armaan said music artists should also be persistent about creating their individual identity, one thats independent of the film songs they record.

“Personally, I also believe that an artist needs to decide what he or she wants to do. Like I do so many covers. I have done non-film music and even featured in those videos. So, these things help create your separate identity. My fans also like me for my independent music.”

“So, this identity grows when more stars emerge from India. My dream is to be one of them and say, The only stars in India are not just actors, but also singers,” he said.

This talk of film versus non-film music has been going on for decades, especially since the late 90s, which saw an upsurge in the number of music bands and independent singers-musicians. While that trend slowly died by mid-2000s, an insurgence in independent artists, fuelled by redundancy in film music, has renewed the debate.

Many leading musicians in the country, who make sure they make something of their own besides the hit film score they create every month, have gone on record saying making independent music is far more satisfying than composing for movies.

When asked how he perceives the two platforms, Armaan said while the singles he record allow him to play around with the music, crooning film songs means he has to cater to the tastes of a lot of people, including the films producers, particularly big names, which can get tiresome at times.

“As singers, we have more creative liberty when we make our singles, its there in film music also but there you have to tune it according to other peoples tastes and film scripts. In Bollywood, you need to know that you are catering to different people and their tastes.”

On being asked if it can get frustrating to have a producer tell him how to sing a number for it suits the feel of the scene, the young singer replied, “But ultimately its their product. Its very important you know that. Of course, its your song but its also theirs. I know sometimes it can happen that a producer tells you something thats not justified and then you have a creative difference. Then you have discussions.”

Armaan admitted he has had such encounters where he had to seemingly bowed down to pressure from huge names from the industry but he has learnt the smart way of dealing with the situations.

“Yes, sometimes it could happen. When you work with big people, you have to bring your A game and yet add a little bit of what they want. It happens in every industry. In my case, if I have to take something (input) from them (producers), I twist it in my own way.”

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