A finalist on Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Champs, Armaan Malik comes from a family with a strong musical connection. He has sang for a number of commercials as well and has also performed as a playback singer for numerous movies. Malik has sung in Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali and Gujarati, apart from Hindi. His covers of Western songs are very popular amongst his fans.
What is your take on the trend of old songs being remade?
Recreations can be a dangerous space. They need to be treated the right way. You always run the risk of offending those who like the original. You can’t disappoint fans. There should also be a clear demarcation between the two versions yet you have retain the most striking tune for recall value. Listeners shouldn’t get the feeling that the new song is out of a different universe. You have to achieve the right mix of old and new for the recreation to fit right. I am totally for redoing old songs. Why shouldn’t you make the younger generation listen to hummable numbers from the past.
Do you feel that your brother Amaal Mallik brings out the best in you?
Amaal and I have some sort of magnetic connection. I am my brother’s first assistant. So I have sung the scratch versions of all his songs. We make music at home, jam every day. He always uses my voice when he presents my songs to people. That has worked in my favour because anyone who has heard the song has loved it as it is and has decided on retaining my voice. That is what happened with ‘Main hoon hero tera’ too. Amaal’s music is such that it demands a singer. If he feels that his tunes are asking for my voice, he will use it. Remaking songs is a great way to connect to old tunes.
Do you feel Salman Khan is your godfather?
Yes, he is our Bhai. He has guided us so much. We are always ready for him. Even if we are in the middle of a recording, when Bhai calls we dash. For Salman bhai, we work louder, faster, stronger. He is a taskmaster. And he is so inspirational. He made me work out, dance and lose weight. I wasn’t fat but my chubbiness had to go.
How do you perceive competition?
When you have your own identity as a singer, you don’t have competition. I am just starting. If you look at Arijit Singh, Divya Kumar and Benny Dayal, they aren’t competing with each other. They have their individual standing and distinct space of work. I want to create that kind of niche for myself.
What genres of music do you prefer?
My calling is pop and R&B (rhythm and blues) and I wish to incorporate more of these into Bollywood music. My training has been in Hindustani classical and I have done a six-week course in English vocals at Berklee. The holistic learning has helped me a lot.