Interview Music

'Butta Bomma' singer Armaan Malik: Every city I visit, I want to be able to sing in the local language

Armaan Malik

Armaan Malik   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

The addictive number from 'Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo' is the latest hit to his credit, and the singer is keen to expand his reach in non-film music as well

The songs of the Telugu film Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo have been topping the charts for the last few weeks. Among them, ‘Samajavaragamana’ by Sid Sriram, ‘Ramulo Ramula’ by Anurag Kulkarni and Mangli, and ‘Butta Bomma’ by Armaan Malik have become quite a rage. Twenty four-year-old Armaan is beaming at the overwhelming response: “The song has a happy vibe to it and makes you want to dance. I’ve been getting such good response even from those who don’t understand Telugu.”

Armaan remembers the mood in the studio while recording the song: “Thaman (the composer of the album) told me to have as much fun as possible while singing so that the joyous mood reflects in the song.” Most of the song was recorded in a Mumbai studio and Armaan recorded a few lines again, in his hotel suite while on a visit to Hyderabad. “Thaman and me have busy schedules and travel often, so we carry our recording equipment to do these small recording sessions,” he adds.

Thaman and Armaan have collaborated earlier for songs like ‘Ninnila’ (Tholi Prema) and ‘Anaganaganaga’ (Aravinda Sametha). “Thaman makes me take my singing to a slightly higher level with each song. I’ve been able to put out a different version of me with each of these songs,” shares Armaan.

Following ‘Butta Bomma’, Armaan has also sung ‘Ninne Ninne’ in Aswathama, composed by Sricharan Pakala.

Allu Arjun and Pooja Hegde in the ‘Butta Bomma’ song

Allu Arjun and Pooja Hegde in the ‘Butta Bomma’ song  

Singing with ease in different languages — Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Bengali, Malayalam, Urdu, Marathi and Gujarati — Armaan has consciously groomed himself into a pan-Indian space and is aware that there’s a huge audience out there for non-Bollywood films. Hindi cinema might be his mainstay and he has several hits to his credit, but he’s also been eager to build a large fan base outside of it. “Every city I visit, I want to be able to sing in the local language to have a better connect with listeners. When I perform in cities like Kolkata or Hyderabad, I sing Hindi songs and there’s a lot of demand to sing in Bengali and Telugu, and I am happy I can do that,” he says.

Armaan’s mother is Telugu, so singing in the language isn’t tough for him. He admits he cannot speak Telugu fluently and is working towards changing that. “But there’s steady improvement. When I am asked to record a song in a language I don’t know too well, I write down the lyrics in English and jot down my own code notes — dots and hyphens — to know where to stress. Earlier I would take an hour to learn Telugu pronunciation before I start recording. Nowadays I need only half an hour of preparation,” he explains.

Recently, he collaborated with composer Anirudh Ravichander for the first time for the Hindi version of Rajinikanth-starrer Darbar. Talking about the process, he says with a laugh that he didn’t have to modulate his voice to suit the older superstar: “He exudes so much energy on screen and it feels like he’s much younger than his age.”

Straddling film music in different languages and performing live often, Armaan is among the busiest singers today. Yet, he’s aware that he needs to think ahead and work towards staying ahead of the curve by not getting stagnated. Occasionally, he’s been releasing his independent music singles as well, the latest one titled ‘Jaane Na Dunga Kahin’. “It’s high time we have a vibrant non-film music industry in India,” he says. The music he listens to is largely international: “I listen to international music, mostly in English, to stay up to date with the sounds and beats in the global arena,” he says, signing off.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 9:47:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/armaan-malik-talks-about-the-ala-vaikunthapurramuloo-and-darbar-experience-and-why-hes-keen-to-sing-in-many-languages/article30711469.ece

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