Ed Sheeran dropped ‘2Step’ in April, and soon after that the four-time Grammy winner joined forces with several artists from different countries for new versions of the song. The latest version of the track features India’s pop star Armaan Malik.
It all started with the English singer-songwriter’s team reaching out to Warner Music India. They wanted an Indian artiste to work on the hit song. Soon, Malik came on board.
“I am on the same record as Ed Sheeran! It’s definitely a proud feeling as an Indian artist,” Malik tells Firstpost with excitement.
“I would say it was a surprise collaboration for me, and I am so glad that it came out so beautifully. When I got the opportunity, I thought that it was amazing. I couldn’t wait to do it,” he adds.
As soon as he got the offer, he got down to pen the Hindi lyrics with Kunaal Vermaa.
“The song came with a brief in terms of the tonality of why Ed wrote the song. Ed wrote the song when he was feeling very low as an artist. He expressed those feelings in the song. His team encouraged other artists who did a version of the song to put their feelings into it, to write what they went through in the industry,” he says about the song that has different versions by artists like Budjerah, Antytila and Ellinoora.
Malik loved that he was given creative space to do his own thing. “It also gave me a chance to talk about stuff that I haven’t been able to talk about on a song. I have never been this real, honest and truthful on any song about how I feel as an artist,” he says.
“Kunaal helped me to use my feelings and emotions to put it together in a nice poetic rap manner. My words specifically talk about what I have gone through then it ends with the fact that whatever I have gone through, it doesn’t matter because I have the love of my fans, the love of my family and friends. I have their support, so I don’t need anything else,” he adds.
Malik recorded the song in Mumbai at his home studio. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to have an in-person meeting with the ‘Shape of you’ hitmaker, but he hopes to meet the English singer in the future and possibly share the stage with him.
This marks Malik’s second international collaboration after ‘Echo’, which saw him team up with Korean-American singer Eric Nam and American producer KSHMR.
The ‘Bol Do Na Zara’ singer, who has had a string of English releases like ‘Control’ and ‘How Many’, would also like work with Charlie Puth and Justin Bieber. “I really love their work and I hope to do songs with them soon,” says Malik.
Malik, who has done voiceover and singing work for Hindi versions of Disney’s Aladdin and The Lion King, has been putting India on the global map through his work, but it hasn’t been easy.
“It’s challenging because there’s a huge ocean of artists from the world that are trying to do the same thing that I am trying to do. That is to crack a global fan base for their songs,” he says.
“I already have a fan base in India and in diaspora across the world. There are Indians across the globe who listen to my music, so the idea is to grow my fan base and listenership outside India. That’s something that I have constantly worked upon. I have seen a growth in my listenership outside India. I have my eyes set on becoming a global pop artist. Doing the things that I am doing, I feel that I am on the right path,” he adds.
The young singer hopes to continue doing this and making India proud. “I also want to do things that no other Indian artist has ever done before,” he says.
In fact, he wants to take Hindi pop music to the world in his own way, and his own music label Always Music is a step towards it.
“I am happy and grateful that at this age I have my own label to be as creative as I can get. With ‘Nakhrey Nakhrey’ (his new song under the label), I tried to do stuff that I hadn’t done before. I challenged myself and got out of my comfort zone. I want to introduce the true Armaan Malik pop sound. ‘Nakhrey Nakhrey’ is a great representation of the sound that I have been chasing,” he says.
He will do a lot of fresh production and sound on his label. Once it grows and becomes bigger, he will get more artists under his wing.
Natalia Ningthoujam is a Manipur-based journalist. She knows how to smoothly switch from being a fan to a writer whenever needed. She tweets at @nattynick.
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