‘My goal with an independent album is to supplement what I have already achieved with something new, something that pushes the boundaries of what people already know about me,’ says Arjun Kanungo.
Popular singer Arjun Kanungo, who has enjoyed success with his singles, especially on YouTube, has announced his debut album titled ‘INDUSTRY’. With this, the musician is seen embracing experimental and intense soundscapes.
“After a plethora of singles, this is the first time I’m dropping an album. A large body of work like this took a lot of time and effort. Albums show you what artists are truly capable of and I want to show people what I’m truly capable of. I don’t think people know that,” he told Firstpost.
The ‘Go Goa Gone’ singer, whose last song titled La La La in collaboration with Neha Kakkar has hit 36 million views on YouTube, is also known for giving breakout hit ‘Baaki Baatein Peene Baad’ in 2015 with Rapper Badshah.
It is said that with his debut album, he attempted to navigate from his mainstream pop signature style. However, the pop star has a different story to say.
“My singles with music labels will continue. My goal with an independent album is to supplement what I have already achieved with something new, something that pushes the boundaries of what people already know about me. I feel this is the next step for me,” he said.
Featuring a slew of electrifying collaborators from Mumbai-based rapper King, and budding Indian producer-songwriter Yash Vaid, the album also features global production support from UK-based producer/mixer/songwriter Martin Hollis (Martin has worked on multiple diamonds and platinum-selling records for the likes of Adele, Ed Sheeran, Mumford & Sons) including Kanungo’s in-house producers Nemo and Vole.
“King and I wrote Ilzaam in the pandemic. We were hanging out at my house and I showed him the beat and the melody and he thought it was pretty cool. So he wrote some lyrics and I wrote some lyrics and the song happened. As with most good collaborations, it was an instant connection. I loved the hook line he wrote for the song and wrote my parts around it, lyrically.
“With Yash, it was a little less organic. He had a song which I liked and he wanted me to sing. So I just restructured the music and sang the song. Martin’s become my go-to producer for the album. He’s produced more than half the songs. I feel that he gets my vibe,” said Kanungo.
So are we going to see more international collaborations in days to come?
“Absolutely and there is so much in the pipeline. The only artist I can talk about right now is Vault boy, who is US-based,” he said.
Talking about the independent music scene, the singer says that he has its liking and disliking.
“It’s not so much about what I love but what I dislike. I dislike boundaries and purely commercial ventures, sometimes. I like the freedom to take risks and do what I want to do. That being said I do enjoy working with labels from time to time and I’ve been managing those different hats for a while now. I have a single coming out with almost every major label this year,” he said and added that “It is difficult to make a mark in any field. If you want to make a mark, you have to put in 100 percent every day.”
Apart from his new hits, Arjun is also a trained method actor from Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York City and a trained Indian classical singer as well as a great Piano/Guitar player.
The singer likes to do both- acting and singing.
“I don’t think I have to choose so early. I think if my acting career makes me busier in the future I might have to reevaluate, but as of now, I seem to be able to manage both,” he said and added that he is also working on a film, shooting of which will start in October.
Arjun, who credits ‘Baaki Baatein Peene Baad’ and ‘Fursat’ for changing his life, is also liking the competition in today’s time.
“It’s so awesome to see other amazing people do amazing things and go like “Hey I didn’t think of that” or “hey I can learn from that”. I’m always watching what my peers are doing because there is innovation around me everywhere. I love that,” he said.
Arjun, who opened his studio at the age of 18, credits his parents for believing and trusting him.
“My family wasn’t obsessed with me being a doctor or anything but they were apprehensive about the music thing especially because I didn’t know anything about music at the time. It was a fun time, 2008, because we didn’t have social media the same way we have it today. And so my mother was worried about how I would make a career in music, especially when you had to know someone to step into the music industry in those days.
“But I did things systematically and with their support, I achieved things slowly and their confidence in me grew enough for me to also feel confident,” he said.
In the end, Arjun says that the future of music is data and tech-driven and that there should be more education for artists to understand that.
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