Arun Alat, the voice behind the famous song ‘Swapanam Oru Chaak…’, is on a musical high

Arun Alat believes in music. Not just the final product that reaches one’s ears, but the whole series of events that lead to its making. He remembers, how as a child, he has visited music studios to make sense of music production. He had no inkling then that years later, he would be singing in one of them.

A civil engineer, Arun says he stumbled into playback singing. Auditioning for a radio show a couple of years ago, music director Bijibal spotted his voice and offered him a chance in the Mammootty-starrer Best Actor. It came as a total surprise, but it was the defining moment, he says. ‘Swapnam Oru Chaak’, which he sang, stuck in people’s memory as a funky, hummable tune. From there, offers came in one by one. He sang again (‘Esho Parayunna’) for Bijibal in Punyalan Agarbathis, for Rahul Subramanyam (‘Vinnile Thaarakam’) in Philips and the Monkey Pen and for Rahul Raj (‘Thirayane’) in Mannar Mathai Speaking 2.

He has just finished recording for Jassie Gift’s Thakkali and Sejo John’s On the Way. Two more projects are on the anvil.

A promising cinematic career aside, Arun is also working on his single, titled ‘Bhoomi’, which he has written, composed and sung himself. “The idea is to make a video,” he says. He has even sketched the visuals for the number. The inspiration, he says, is from his hometown Pilicode in Kasaragod district. A tribute to Nature, the video would explore Arun’s relationship with the place he has grown up in. “I would like to see it played on TV. It is for the people from the villages, those who have no access to social media,” he says.

The singer who loves ‘soulful’ music grew up listening to Yesudas and for a long time, sang “like him”. “But my engineering college days changed me completely as a musician. I listened to stuff I had never listened to before. I was exposed to entirely new genres of music. I learnt that ‘acceptance’ was the biggest word in music,” he says.

Arun’s interest in independent music resulted in his collaboration with playback singer Sachin Warrier for a band they call ‘Six and Eight Sessions’. He met Sachin during the shoot of Thattathin Marayathu, in which Sachin debuted and since then the two have been friends. A year into its formation, the band has performed a couple of times and is involved in many a musical experimentation. “Our aim is to come up with originals—our own compositions, as we are brimming with ideas,” Arun says.

The 25-year-old, who also plays the guitar, hopes to be able to travel to the hinterlands of India, interact with street musicians and Sufi musicians, learn and collaborate with them to create his own idiom of music.