JioSaavn Podcasts has launched the third season of ‘Talking Music’, an engaging chat show where singers, music directors, composers and artists from the Indian music industry candidly share unheard stories. From first-hand experiences to personal journeys and what it took to create some of their biggest hits, season three of ‘Talking Music’ has 30-minute episodes every Thursday, which began on 28th November 2019. Kicking off with Kanika Kapoor, this season will have a host of names on the podcast, including Armaan Malik, Shalmali Kholgade, Badshah and many more. In a candid conversation, he spoke about him being bullied and a lot more. Read to find out –
Armaan, what’s your take on bullying? Have you ever faced it? Share a bit about it.
I have gone through a lot of bullying in my school days. Not many people know that but now through all these activities that I’m doing (on his social media), I want to let people know that there is a side of Armaan Malik which is very human, which is very relatable to everyone. I’m the same like any other kid out there. I was bullied a lot in 7th and 8th grade and that kind of scarred me a lot in life. Till date if you actually ask me I don’t really have very close friends and the reason for that is also bullying, because a lot of the people who bullied me in school were my friends and I kind of distanced myself from all of that and concentrated on my music and that gave me some kind of hope to go on. I remember one day I came back home after I was bullied and I told my mom I don’t want to do this singing thing anymore, I was just so demotivated. And she was like that’s the only one thing that those guys want, they want you not to do what you’re good at because that’s what they are not good at! So for me, I realised, what made me ‘Me’ was my singing and my music, that’s what made me Armaan. After that day I just caught on music and didn’t ever let it go. And I think that’s been my best friend ever since and that has helped me get through a lot of the bullying that happened in school. Music got me out of it! I also feel because of it I became over mature before my age. I mean I’m 23, I should just be chilling and partying, enjoying life but I’m here on the road, I’m doing tours, concerts, recordings and everything is about my music, my passion for it and my career. I rarely have time for myself, for my friends- my musical friends from the industry. Somewhere i grew up too fast and that reflects in my music. I’ve experienced a lot and that kind of changed my perspective in life.
And what about cyberbullying? How do you like at it?
So when it comes to cyberbullying, the problem that occurs is that the person behind the bullying is anonymous. So, anyone can assume any user name and bring you down. Even I get a lot of these trolls but I have this one thing that I follow called ‘scroll the troll.’ So if I see a troll on my timeline, I simply scroll down, I don’t pay attention. Ultimately they want attention so when you react to them that’s when the problem begins and they start feeling that this is something that will grab their attention so I’m gonna do more of this. That’s how cyberbullying goes forward in circles. So all of us celebrities really need to be strong.
Tell us the role of your family in your childhood days when it came to singing and the music industry.
My dad had clearly told me that this industry is a very evil industry, so before entering it, you all need to do your education completely, you need to be men of the world first and then decide what you want to do. But things didn’t go as planned. I participated in Sa Re Ga Ma Pa without my dad’s permission, he didn’t want me to go there. I don’t think there has been anyone from the film/music family who went to compete on a reality show. I’m the only one who went from a renowned music family on a television reality show competing with so many people from all over India. It was actually because of my Mom. She was the driving force behind my career and me becoming the singer who I am today. My dad disapproved of me going on a TV show but my mom said if you don’t learn to compete with the world right now, you won’t be able to compete later. So, she wanted me to learn competitive sprit right from then. I was 9 years old then. I didn’t use my full name there, I was just Armaan from Mumbai. I didn’t want to use my surname in any way because people have this notion oh he is from this family. I wanted to compete basis my merit, I should be able to sing well and if the people choose me basis my talent, it’s more than enough. Later on,on the show everyone did get to know of my musical family background, I had made it to the top 10 by then but was eliminated on the 7th position on the pretext that ‘Aapko toh kaam mil hi jayega’ (You will get work easily) That kind of bummed me out and I was like that’s not something that you tell a 10-year-old kid, like crushing his dreams right there, making him feel like ‘you’re the privileged one and you don’t deserve to be here on this stage and you already have bigger plans set out for you. So my mom on that stage said that ‘you are eliminating him today but he will become the biggest singer of this country, that’s my dream and i will make that happen.
You look upto Sonu Nigam as your role model. Tell us a bit about his influence in your life.
Sonu Nigam has been a huge influence in my singing. A lot of my approach in singing is very much like him. He follows this clarity of words, he follows this you be top in your sur, the pitching needs to be perfect. These are the things that I inculcated very early on in my singing style and a lot of singers nowadays do not pay attention to these things. There is a mumble singing that is working today, more like singing inside your mouth and somewhere the clarity of words is going away, people aren’t understanding what the singer is saying.
What are the kind of requests that gets you really angry?
When someone tells you to sing like some other singer, that’s a really pissing off moment for any singer. That happens quite often. Actually, if you notice when Arijit Singh came into the industry he had a way of singing, there was a laidback, lazy tone to his voice and he used to do this vibrato and that became a rage and he did quite a few songs like that. So sometimes there are demands like- can you do this like Arijit or can you do this like Atif and then it feels like you’ve called me but you want their stuff. That becomes a little challenging and a little bit frustrating as a singer because as a singer you would want to project your own tone. This actually happened to me in the song ‘wajha tum ho’ where the request had come from the producers and the directors that they wanted this lazy-laidback kind of a tone, somewhere it needed to have that tinge that Arijit brings to a song. And at that time I was a young singer coming into the industry and you can’t say that I will only sing in my way. That is something that comes of as rude and unprofessional.
What about Salman Khan? Tell us a bit about his influence in your life?
My personality development has come from Salman Khan. Much of my way of looking at how I should be presenting myself, how I should be looking, dancing, all those things kind of came from him. It’s not like he is doing a class with you, it just comes very naturally to him. He loves giving advice to people and coming from him anyone would love to take that advice.