‘With Alo Chhaya, it’s me, yet not me’, says Armaan Malik
By Bryan Durham - August 1, 2018
The singer on the challenges of recording his latest Bengali film song
Armaan Malik has been a force on the rise in the Bengali music industry since 2016’s Dhitang Dhitang. And that’s showing no signs of stopping.
The popular young singer has notched up as many as three hit songs (Tor Neshate, Tor Hata Chola and now, Alo Chhaya) in quick succession in the span of a month.
We caught up with him to discuss his latest track Alo Chhaya (composed by JAM8’s Shubham Shirule) from the film Crisscross, a far cry from his usual romantic numbers.
Excerpts from our conversation…
Plans on taking over the Bengali music industry? Tor Neshate and Alo Chhaya came in quick succession.
I sang my very first hit Bengali song Dhitang Dhitang with Jeet Gannguli in 2016. That’s when the Bengali industry started calling me for songs. In a way, Jeet Da launched my career in that industry. After the release of Bangla songs like Dhitang and Ami Je Ke Tomar became big hits, I got a lot of offers to sing in Bengali.
Tor Neshate, Tor Hata Chola and Alo Chhaya released back-to-back and I couldn’t be happier. My aim has always been to sing great songs and to showcase my abilities as a singer and I am glad that through these releases, I’m getting to do that. I don’t know about a takeover (laughs), but I love singing in Bangla and more the merrier.
Tor Neshate has a happy-go-lucky vibe, while Alo Chhaya is a grungy and dark introduction song. Which one was more satisfying to work on?
I can’t decide to be honest. Both showcase a different side of my musicality and I’m super excited for both of them. With Alo, I think people discovered a new Armaan. They only thought I could do the romantic, in-love kinda songs but they didn’t know I have this dark side to me and I’m glad to know I’ve caught my fans and music listeners in general, off-guard. They were not ready for this kind of a track from me. I’m glad I’m getting to do such varied work.
How did you get cast for singing Alo?
It was Pritam Sir’s idea to get me on board for this. He personally cast me for this. As you know, JAM8 is his A&R platform and Shubham works with JAM8.
One memory from recording for Alo Chhaya?
Well, it was a very intense recording. It took me two hours to get into a different zone. I went in thinking it must be another romantic song, but when I heard it, I was like ‘I need to shake up my headspace’.
It’s very easy for some people to get into dark and different zones when they smoke or drink, etc., but here I was, trying to get into a gritty and trippy headspace with nothing, but just my mind and vocal techniques.
More than vocally, this was a mentally challenging song. It was not me during the recording for sure. It felt like method singing and I’m glad I could pull it off.
If you had to explain what Alo means to you, how would you do so?
I kinda felt that I don’t know the Armaan who sang Alo. As I said, it had me in a different headspace. It’s me, yet not me. It’s very challenging to get into the skin of the song and then get back to being you, safe and secure. There was insane activity happening within my head to bring that kind of a vibe to the song and be able to switch back. People everywhere are surprised with the way I sang it. I’m super happy!
Watch the ‘Alo Chhaya’ video here: