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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Armaan Malik – ‘The Voice’ of Bollywood Today

Armaan Malik is the young singing sensation with a golden, velvety voice and a charismatic persona.

Hailing from a renowned musical family and despite being trained in Hindustani Classical, Malik’s versatility as a singer extends to other world genres like Pop/R&B, EDM and Big Band to name a few.

His first break as an adult playback singer was in Salman Khan’s Jai Ho in 2014.

The singing sensation has gone on to win several prestigious awards like Filmfare, Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Stardust, Big Star, Radio Mirchi and GiMA.

Recognised for popular tracks like ‘Main Hoon Hero Tera’, ‘Wajah Tum Ho’, ‘Bol Do Na Zara’ and ‘Sab Tera’, 23-year-old Armaan Malik is one of the finest talents in the Bollywood music industry today.

Within just a young age, Armaan’s incredible singing talent has led him to be sitting on the judge’s seat of reality show ‘The Voice India’ on Star Plus.

In a special interview, Armaan Malik talks about ‘The Voice’, his music career and more.

It’s great to see you as a judge on ‘The Voice’. How has this new challenge been for you so far?

More than a challenge it’s been a huge turn around for me. Quite literally!

From once being a contestant to now being a coach on an internationally acclaimed show like ‘The Voice’.

I can almost relate to the contestants on the show since I’ve been in their shoes and have felt every single emotion they feel on and off that stage.

All in all, I’m having a blast on the show and I’m honoured to be on the same platform as AR RAHMAN sir and Adnan Sami ji.

As you mentioned, you were also a contestant on a reality show. So what are you particularly looking out for in the contestants?

I’m on a very different reality show this time around.

It requires me to be a coach and not a judge hence for me it’s important to know my team in and out and gauge who I can mould into a better singer and performer.

Hence, the one quality I’m really looking out for is mould-ability.

AR Rahman is the super judge and you’ve even sung a song for him. Does he also give you some additional tips whilst working on the show?

Well, whenever any contestant comes to any coaches team, Rahman sir makes sure that he points out their weak points and what we should be working on with them for Future performances.

Your brother Amaal is also a judge on another reality show. Has he helped or guided you for your journey on ‘The Voice’?

He is in the same boat as I am! This is his first time too judging a reality show.

We have a full-on battle at home so we are both on our solo missions making sure our respective shows do well.

Let’s talk a bit more about your career. What has been your proudest moment so far and why?

The proudest moment for me was when I got that first Filmfare Award for ‘Main Hoon Hero Tera’ and I gave it to my parents.

It’s probably the biggest moment ever in my life.

Apart from that, being the youngest Indian singer to perform at SSE Arena Wembley – that made me feel on top of the world!

When starting out, did you feel afraid/apprehensive of joining an industry where you witnessed failure closely?

I don’t think I ever felt afraid.

I’ve always been confident of my talent and I knew that with the right kind of support and push I would be able to make a name for myself in the industry.

I am grateful and blessed to have received the push and support from my parents (Jyothi & Daboo Malik) and mentors. (Salim Merchant, Salman Khan)

There is an on-going trend of recreations and remixes. Some have claimed that the Indian music industry is losing its creativity. What’s your view on this?

I don’t think the industry is losing its creativity. It’s a phase.

It’ll die its own death and all we can do is ride it out.

The real creators will prevail and swim through the other side of the wave.

Amaal composed the new song ‘Kyun Rabba’ from Badla. How has your musical synergy with him developed over these years?

Amaal and I have struck a comfortable balance.

He knows what I can deliver and I know what he expects out of me.

Even though he’s a tough taskmaster, it’s always a pleasure to record something for him.

I get to learn something new about my own singing every time I dub for him, the song always turns out to be a true gem and a chartbuster.

You sang with Amitabh Bachchan in Bhoothnath and now, at this stage of your career, you’ve sung for his film. Was there ever a moment of nostalgia whilst working on Kyun Rabba?

For me, it gave me a flashback into the past and I saw how far I’ve come since then.

The best part is that not only me but even my voice has had its own journey.

It has changed from that of a child’s voice to an adults voice and that transition has truly been massive!

Your latest song from Badla is quite an emotional number. What challenges did you overcome as a singer to croon these style of songs?

I don’t think I had to overcome any challenge I just needed to get myself to a dark place inside of me.

I needed to tap those crevices in my heart and soul to get that hidden pain out in my singing.

All of us go through pain and keep a lot of stuff inside of us.

I had to get myself into a zone where I could access all that deep stuff and deliver it through the song.

For that purpose, I even switched off all the lights of the studio just to get me into a zone.

Finally, the music field is incredibly cut-throat. What do you do to continuously explore and reinvent yourself as a singer?

I listen. I hear and grasp as much as possible.

For me, that’s what keeps me at it. I want to to be a sponge all my life.

I soak in as knowledge much as possible and squeeze it out into everything I put my hands on.

Wishing Armaan all the best for his current and future projects.

Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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