By Natalia Ningthoujam
New Delhi, July 17 (IANS) Arjun Kanungo is one of the most successful non-film singers right now. It took him a few years to get noticed and he says there is no survival trick.
Arjun has been in the music industry for over a decade, but it was the 2015 song “Baaki baatein peene baad (Shots)” that changed his fortunes. The song became a party essential. He followed it up with romantic numbers, peppy tracks and more.
It wasn’t easy for him to break into the industry but he believes that it’s not impossible for outsiders to make it big.
“I came from outside, I made it on my own, I feel that you have to keep on trying, keep working, and you need to have a positive attitude about it. If you feel like you are not going to make it, you are not going to make it. You have to keep trying and one day somebody will give you a shot, and you have to be ready. So you have to keep working towards that and hope for the best because there is no plan B in this industry. For me, I wake up in the morning, I breathe music,” Arjun told IANS.
He said he didn’t have anybody creating roadblocks in his career.
“I don’t have any enemies as such. I feel if you are nice to people, they are nice to you. As an outsider, yes it was hard, I worked very hard to be where I am right now. I have been in the music industry for a little more than 10 years. It took me about five or six years to just get noticed. That’s the kind of timeline that you have to come to the industry with, like you have to have that passion, ‘Okay I want to do this so badly that I am willing to work for five years or seven years to be there. There are no shortcuts,” said the “Gallan tipsiyaan” singer.
He feels there are no tricks to survive in the industry.
“You have to be genuinely deserving to be here. You have to love what you do, you have to be passionate and humble. I am not sure if I am going to survive for the next three years, I don’t know if I am going to be an artiste who survives Bollywood or the non-film world for even three years. I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow,” he said.
But what he can do is give it his 100 per cent. “I am going to try to get better every day. I hope that people understand this when they enter Bollywood. They have to give their 100 per cent,” said the singer, who has sung for Bollywood films like “Goa Goa Gone”.
As of now, his new song “Fursat hai aaj bhi” is fast gaining popularity. The video of the song features Arjun with actress Sonal Chauhan. The two had also featured in his 2016 video, “Fursat”.
“I have always had a special place in my heart for ‘Fursat’. As a music video, it was gamechanging for me and my career. I have always wanted to work with Sonal again. When I wrote ‘Fursat hai aaj bhi’, with ‘fursat’ in the title, even though it had nothing to do with the previous song, I thought of Sonal and I felt we should work together again — especially since the chemistry in the first video was so good. I felt this was a good time to work with her again,” said Arjun.
Shooting for the music video during lockdown was tough. Explaining the process of working on the video, he said: “We shot the video from our own houses during lockdown. The director of the video was on call throughout the shoot. He was telling us to change the camera angle, etc, so it was quite interesting to shoot like that. You are so used to having a crew, someone to do hair and makeup, camera and lighting, and this time there were no additional people helping us. On the last day, we shot together — me and Sonal. That was easier because the director was around. He was holding the phone. We shot the entire thing on phone.”
During the lockdown, many singers released new music. Now that people are adjusting to new normal and returning to work gradually, is he willing to hit the stage again?
“I can’t imagine having a stage show at least till November. Our first enquiries are for November and December. Who knows when the government is going to allow it? I haven’t received any offer before November,” he said.
He is in no rush. “I don’t think it’s responsible to go and perform right now. We don’t know how badly coronavirus is going to affect in India. Until I know for sure that people coming to my concert are safe, I don’t think I’ll be comfortable in performing,” said Arjun.
(Natalia Ningthoujam can be contacted at [email protected])