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Interview: Armaan Malik talks new single Control and taking on the global pop market

We caught up with the Indian star as he launches his debut English-language single.

Armaan Malik
Credit: Arista Records

A huge star in his native India, pop star Armaan Malik now has his eye on cracking the global pop market.

He recently made his English-language debut with Control, an urban-leaning pop track that fits neatly within today’s current streaming climate. It’s the first release under his deal with Arista Records and a taster of things to come.

I caught up with Armaan to talk about Control, discuss taking on the global pop market, and find out why he decided now was the time to record in English…

Hi Armaan. How are you and where does this Q&A find you?

Hi there! I am doing well. I am currently in Mumbai, India.

You recently released your new single Control. What’s the track all about?

Control is a song that describes the push and pull feeling of being trapped in a controlling relationship and how confusing it can be to want in but also want out. It’s inspired by the relationships I’ve seen around me. It’s got a slick pop sound and a super groovy bass-line.

This is your first single for Arista Records and your first English-language song. Why did you decide that now was the time to try and break the global pop market?

India has a huge and buzzing music industry, but it has never got its moment globally. We have a lot of talented artists here, and even though Bollywood music is hugely popular worldwide, the reach is limited only to the Indian diaspora. Today K-Pop artists and Latin artists are getting that global recognition, but India is missing out somehow. I believe that this was the perfect time to take the plunge and fill this gap. I’ve always had a dream to take India to the world and break the global pop market. I’m going to try my best to make it happen!

You have such a huge following already, did you have any reservations about recording music in English?

Not at all! I have been singing in English since I was a child. This has always been my trajectory, and I’ve been patiently waiting for a moment like this where I could make my own original English music and showcase it to the world. I am at ease singing in English. I strongly feel this music is a part of my DNA as an artist.

What kind of reaction have you been getting to Control from your fans?

My fans have been patiently waiting for my English tracks to come out for a long time. Ever since Control has been out, they haven’t stopped messaging me about how it’s been on loop. The song reached #1 on the iTunes top charts in Indian within just two days of its release. It’s doing very well on other platforms like Spotify and YouTube too. The love and support from my fans has been truly been heart-warming.

What’s your plan for more English-language music. Are you working on an EP or an album right now?

A lot of new music is ready to release as subsequent singles and I just cannot wait to bring those out for you all! As of now, I haven’t really planned a full-length album, but I definitely see myself releasing a few singles and then dropping an EP in the near future.

Armaan Malik

Credit: Arista Records

You come from a renowned musical family. What challenges has that presented for you in your career?

When you belong to a family steeped in musical excellence, everyone around you expects you to follow the same path and obviously have everything laid out for you along the way. But I knew I wanted to make it on my own mettle and not use my family name to further my career. At the age of 9, I even submitted my audition to a popular Indian singing reality show called SaReGaMaPa Lil’ Champs with only my first name – Armaan. I made it to the top 10 of that show too. I only did this because I wanted to know deep inside that yes, I can chart my own journey the way I want to and not looked at differently just because my family is a famous musical family. The biggest challenge I was faced with was how do I make a standalone identity, which I successfully accomplished by charting my journey on my own terms and in my own unique way.

Indian musicians are under-represented on the global stage. You’re really making great strides to change that. What has that journey been like for you?

Well, the journey has just begun and I’ve made the first move. It’s pretty exciting to be honest. To be representing my country on a global level is a very big deal. I am going to be consistent with this new journey and open the floodgates for my country.

When we’re able to travel again and the COVID-19 pandemic comes to an end, can your UK fans expect to see you playing some lives show over here?

I would love to play in the UK when the travel situation becomes better. My show at the SSE Arena Wembley in 2016 has been of my most memorable shows in my career, so I would definitely love to back in town and meet and perform for all my UK fans!

Are you planning to host any live shows on your social media while we’re all locked down to keep your fans entertained and connected to you?

I am planning to go live very often on my social pages. In fact I am going to be live on my Instagram on 29th March, stay locked and join in if you can!

India has officially announced a 21-day lockdown period to prevent the COVID-19 virus from spreading, so I’m definitely going to utilize this 3-week period to make new music and also connect with my fans on social media via these live sessions.

Armaan Malik’s new single Control is out now. Watch the video below:

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