Cover: Ahead of his Kolkata tour, Armaan Malik talks about music and experimental collabs
27-year-old Armaan Malik is one of the most popular names with Gen Y and is all set to embark upon his first-ever multi-city tour, Next 2 You. We catch up with the singer to talk about music and more.
It has been a whirlwind of a year for young singer-composer Armaan Malik. After creating news for his global collaboration with pop icon Ed Sheeran for 2Step, the young sensation was recently nominated at the 2022 MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs) for his English single, You, earning him a place on the global music map among such icons as Harry Styles, Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift and others. And now, 27-year-old Armaan, who commands a huge army of hysteric Armaanians, is all set for his first-ever multi-city concert, Next 2 You Tour. Presented by Swiggy SteppinOut in association with Envision, this multi-city tour will kick off in Bengaluru this Saturday and take Armaan to Kolkata, Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Hyderabad. Before the tour, we caught up with the singer to talk about the upcoming performance and his plans ahead.
You are one of those singers who started at a very young age. What was your journey like?
It has been exciting at every step. I have literally grown up in the industry. From being a child artiste in a TV show to now singing and performing as an adult playback singer, people have heard and seen different versions of me over the years. They have seen me fall and rise and rise and shine, which I think has been a great learning experience for me too. I am thankful that people have always been there with me. Just like any other profession, it hasn’t been a cakewalk for me and I have had to deal with my own set of struggles; but I am grateful for all the opportunities. After being a playback singer for almost 15 years, I finally felt that I needed to express myself more through my music. That is when I realised that I needed to hit the pause button and just concentrate on making music. So, in 2020, I released my first English single Control followed by several other tracks. More are in the pipeline and I can’t wait to release them!
What made you plan this multi-city tour?
I have been touring and performing around the world since the age of 18 but a multi-city concert tour in India had always been on my wish list since day one. That dream is coming to fruition with Next 2 You Tour which is kick-starting this month from 19 and will continue till December 3. I will be performing in five cities including Bengaluru, Kolkata, Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Hyderabad. It has been planned in sync with my vision for live shows. Each show is curated with the utmost care, keeping the fan experience at the forefront while delivering an Armaan Malik Live Show unlike ever before. The response to the tour, so far, has been insane — I can’t wait to get on tour and sing along with my fans!
Music has become more experimental. What kind of music do you create?
For me, being able to express myself through the music I create is important. And today’s music is a lot more direct and realistic. It doesn’t only depend on good singing or a great voice, nowadays, but there are also a lot of technicalities involved. I try to keep my music very relatable for my audience.
Please tell us something about your global and national music collaborations.
This year, I had the privilege to collaborate with several global and national artistes on various projects. Among the international collaborations executed, being on the same project as Ed Sheeran, one of my long-time inspirations, was a dream come true and meant so much to me! There are a few more surprises in store for you all, stay tuned!
It seems that Instagram reels are playing a major role in popularising songs. What’s your take on that?
Social media is always imperative for an artiste to promote their songs. With the introduction of Instagram reels, it is a bonus for artistes to help their music reach the masses. Owing to the massive reach and engagement that reels see today, I feel it is good in a way to popularise one’s song. But having said that, I also feel that one shouldn’t just focus on making music that is reel-friendly and hinder creativity.
Indie music is making a comeback big time. What do you feel about the same?
I think, it’s beautiful that people are finally beginning to appreciate Indie music in the country. For the most part, people used to indulge in listening to Bollywood music or film music primarily, but I think it was a long time coming for Indie musicians to also be recognised for their music and take India to the global stage beyond just the Bollywood industry.
What type of music do you listen to?
I listen to a variety of music from across languages and genres — Hindi to English, pop to rap. I love listening to songs by Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran and Charlie Puth among other global pop artists.
What do you want to achieve as an artiste?
I want to represent Indian music on the global map and my hope is to open that door so that hundreds of us can create a legacy and make people, especially abroad, understand that Indian music has so much more to give. I have so much more to give.
You have been a singer; songwriter and composer; which do you enjoy the most?
Everything — I enjoy the process of creating a song from all angles. Now, with the new label Always Music Global it feels good to be a music entrepreneur as well!