Armaan Malik

One of the most loved artists of India in recent years, singer-songwriter Armaan Malik is well on his way to transcend all boundaries and take Indian music to the global stage! The 26-year old polyglot artist has explored various industries – Bollywood, Tollywood, International Pop and now has even worked his way to the most flourishing industry globally – K-Pop.

“I believe as an artist, my focus is fully on creating good tracks that leave a mark and bring back the audience to it no matter the time, year, or geography.”

With previous hit songs like ‘Sau Aasmaan’, ‘Butta Bomma’, ‘Bol Do Na Zaraand ‘Control’, “The Prince of Romance” as Armaan Malik is heralded by, tapped into the stream of K-Pop music and released a pan-genre collaborative single, ‘Echo’. The song is in English but the undeniable influences of the musical and cultural backgrounds of Armaan Malik, Korean-American artist Eric Nam, and EDM hitmaker, KSHMR is what makes it so unique!

With the dream of taking India global, Armaan’s explorations of the K-Pop music industry have just begun! Almost 3 months after the electrifying buzz of the K-Pop x I-Pop collaboration, KHIGH interacted with the Popstar to talk about the aftermath of the successful release and what future he envisions it will bring. Armaan Malik also spilled some really exciting propositions that every Armaanian and K-Pop listener would definitely love to see come true!

Armaan Malik

 

KHIGH: It has been more than two months since ‘Echo’ was released – the perfect time frame to assess the listeners’ response to the track which has hit 25 Million views! How would you say the song fared in regards to the goals you had in mind?

Armaan: To be honest, all of us (Eric, KSHMR, and I) worked on this project, for the thrill of combining our musical styles and seeing what came out of it. I know that we’ll have to eventually sit down and quantify the release, assess it numerically if it’s doing good but I feel the best response to the track falls in line with a fan commenting “This isn’t what I expected from the collab, but it is beyond my expectations”. I think all our respective fans were happy to see this collaboration retain its artists’ original sound, yet offer something so unique. 

“I recorded my parts at my home studio here in Mumbai, @ericnamofficial cut his vocals from Korea and @KSHMRmusic pieced it all together in LA! Truly a global collaboration 🇮🇳🇰🇷🇺🇸” – Armaan on creation of ‘Echo’ 

 

KHIGH: You bagged the title of being the first Indian singer to get featured on the Times Square Billboard for your debut single ‘Control’, with ‘Echo’ following it. How does receiving immense love from fans worldwide and making history feel?

Armaan: Now that you’ve summed it up in a statement, it sort of feels surreal. But I know a lot of late nights, a lot of thought has been put into what and how I make music. At some points, the end goal was blurred but keeping at it made me achieve this feat. And all the love & support from my Armaanians always gives me the push to go that extra mile, because I know they are always by my side, supporting me unconditionally.  

Source: @armaanmalik on Instagram

 

KHIGH: We know that K-Pop and global pop enthusiasts loved this pan-genre, inter-continental collaboration. Do you think it has made an equal impact on the Indian listeners who have been exposed to mainly quotidian Bollywood music?

Armaan: It’s untrue to say that it’s completely changed the Indian listener but I am sure it’s warmed up the audience! The fact that good music will always have an audience still stands true, irrespective of the geography or the previous consumption patterns. I believe as an artist, my focus is fully on creating good tracks that leave a mark and bring back the audience to it no matter the time, year, or geography. 

 

KHIGH: Quoting your own tweet, ‘When one door closes, another always opens.’ After the success of ‘Echo’, do you have plans to work on more experimental music aimed for a global stage? 

Armaan: Absolutely, I love the possibilities that an experimental collaboration opens up for every artist, including me. With ‘Echo’ out there doing its thing, I am much more confident about jumping to new sounds and working with new artists irrespective of language and that is quite exciting! 

 

KHIGH: You have always voiced your desire to alleviate the Indian pop culture to a global level alongside your own evolution from a playback singer to a global star. When did this dream commence and who were your inspirations as you strived for it?

Armaan: This dream of taking India global has always been there since the beginning of my career. I’ve always expressed the desire to do global pop music and I’m glad that I am able to work on it and put it out there into the musical universe. I do feel I’m blessed to be here, where I am in a position to redefine what I-Pop music means and it definitely means so much more than what it’s perceived. 

Who would have thought that a 9-year old unpolished diamond who had made his debut in the show, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Champs but got eliminated, would go on to become a global phenomenon!

 

KHIGH: Safe to say, the album and concert cultures have not quite prospered in India. As a seasoned artist who has successfully done Bollywood music and independent music, why do you think that’s the case? 

Armaan: There is quite a big concert culture here in India, it’s just that it hasn’t quite been at the scale of stuff in the West. There are very few artists who put out a full-length album and then tour with the release. It’s just not been an Indian concept, but there are musicians in the country who are changing that and taking small but meaningful steps in that direction. Historically, we’ve just been a Bollywood/film music-consuming nation, but the last two years we’ve seen a huge chunk of Indian listeners shift to non-film music and explore other genres. In probably three to four years, everything will change. I promise you this.

 

KHIGH: Numerous K-Pop fans already know of your love for EXO’s Chen. Can you describe the soundscape you would like to create if a collaboration with him becomes possible?

Armaan: Oh! If a collaboration happens, I would love to do a K-Ballad with Chen. A Hindi meets Korean love/heartbreak song. I know for sure that it’ll be magical! 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KHIGH (@official_khigh)

 

KHIGH: Recently, yet another K-Pop fandom, STAY was thrilled to see you listening to Stray Kids’ music. What drew you towards them? What kind of music would you like to collaborate on with Stray Kids?

Armaan: Ever since I’ve started listening to K-pop, it’s been a journey. Every season I end up discovering a new artist and it blows my mind. Ever since Echo came out, I’ve had a surge of K-Pop enthusiasts tweet to me with their fav songs and artists, and I think that’s how I discovered Stray Kids too. ‘MIROH’ and ‘Back Door’ are my favorites from their discography, so if we ever collaborate something in that space would be super cool!

“Music is music. It’s that simple. No matter where the artist is from or what language he or she sings in. If it makes me feel something, I don’t shy away from showing it ☺️” – Armaan on Twitter

 

KHIGH: With the doors to the Korean music industry thrown open now, would you like to traverse through the other genres of Korean music like K-R&B, Indie, K-HipHop, etc. since you had expressed a desire to not be restricted to just romantic pop and ballads?

Armaan: Sure, the possibilities are endless. Not sure how and when but if I like a certain sound, or a certain melody and I feel like this could actually make into a great track, I’d straight up jump into making it happen. And if I feel a certain artist collaboration on the track will add another solid layer to it. I am really excited by the possibilities at this point, and it will be cool to work on a project like this. 

 

KHIGH: Since ‘Echo’ was manifested as a ‘K-Pop meets I-Pop track’, do you have any future projects planned where you explore this union further? 

Armaan: Well, nothing in the pipeline as of now, but you never know what’s in store. Always love how possibilities turn to opportunities!

Fun Fact: Armaan Malik is the Youngest Dada Saheb Phalke Award-Winner!

 

KHIGH: Did you ever think of starting your band or boy group? Given the choice of forming your own idol group, which idols or artists would you choose to be in it with you?  

Armaan: Oh boy! Let me think, if I could develop or be part of a boy group, I’d definitely structure it in a very different manner where every member has their own USP. I’d probably pull in Tiger Shroff & Kai to lead the dancing and choreography for the group, DJ/Producer Zedd to create our soundscape, and Charlie Puth, Chen and I could be the lead vocalists! Wow, just thinking about this line-up gives me goosies. This would be a Dream Team!

DREAM TEAM

 

KHIGH: After a long break of being off stage due to the pandemic, how was the experience of performing for 25th June’s #ArmaanMalikLive Virtual Concert? 

Armaan: I have no words to describe the rush that I feel on stage while performing live with my band. It’s an unparalleled experience! Since 2020 we’ve been away from the stage and the first live stage after this period of uncertainty really reinstated the faith in me that no matter how big the hurdle posed in front of us, we’ll always be back stronger. Right from the rehearsals to sound-checks, everything felt like it was happening for the very first time, all over again. 

Armaan Malik
Source: @armaanmalik on Instagram

 

KHIGH: You are always interacting with fans across the globe, through things like #FridaysWithArmaan. Any message you want to convey to Armaanians worldwide?

Armaan: Oh! I love the whole #FridaysWithArmaan schedule, it’s my genuine effort to connect with my fans, talk to them, listen, discover new music together, we just feel like one big wholesome family. Armaanians have been more than just supportive of my journey, from Bollywood to my global pop artist transition, they have been through it all. They’ve seen all the lows and have cheered me during all my wins, it’s this constant support that pushes me to be a better artist. It’s incomparable, my Armaanians are my whole world!

All I want to say to them is thank you for the love and I see you guys enjoying all the music, supporting my work, and being my one true support system. I’ll be back with new music very soon!

Have you heard Armaan Malik, Eric Nam, and KSHMR’s ‘ECHO’ yet? What did you think of the “Dream Team” Armaan Malik planned? What was your favorite part of the interview? Let us know in the comments below.
If you enjoyed reading, please do consider supporting independent journalism.