‘I use every opportunity to get better at everything I do’

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Besides singles with Sony and T-Series and then part 2 of the album which comes out October/November, Kanungo says much has been going on the cinema front too…writes Sukant Deepak

While you may associate singer Arjun Kanungo with the hit ‘Baaki Baatein Peene Baad’, not many might know that he is a three-time national Gold medal winner in shooting and a national level Basketball player too. “I use every opportunity to get better at everything I do. If I had to pick one, I would say I am a musician as I have done that for the longest,” says the singer who recently released his debut studio album ‘Industry’.

While his first commercial success came with ‘Khoon Choos Le’ in the 2013 film ‘Go Goa Gone’, he made his debut as an actor in the 2021 film ‘Radhe’.

A pass-out from the prestigious How was the time spent at Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York, he recalls it as an eye-opening experience and says that formal training makes one better equipped to deal with unfamiliar situations on set. “The more trained the actor, the more adaptable he is, and the more tools he has in his toolbox. Hindustani classical made me a much better singer, and method acting made me a better actor. I am just waiting to prove myself.”

Besides singles with Sony and T-Series and then part 2 of the album which comes out October/November, Kanungo says much has been going on the cinema front too.

For someone who has collaborated with Badshah and Mithoon among others, he feels that collaboration is the buzzword in contemporary times. If not on a creative level, then on the execution or marketing level. “Even if you can write a song on your own, you have to collaborate with directors, other actors, crew and platforms. There is a long pipeline of people you have to work with to release music and it’s all about collaborating today. The more exciting the collaboration, the more the eyeballs.”

Talk to him about the trend of singles and how they have rendered albums almost obsolete, and the singer stresses that the pressure to make good music has never been bigger. “Anyways, it is a free market now. It really does not matter if you are a YouTuber or a guy who releases songs through voice notes on social media — good songs are finding audiences. New artists, with backing, are stealing audiences for established artists. This puts more pressure on record labels who have built their businesses around established artists. We have social media to thank for this. It is the great equalizer.”

Thanking ‘Believe India’, the singer says that he has not really worked with many distributors, but Believe Label and Artist Solutions boasts of much clarity. “With their support on digital distribution and partnerships with digital service providers, they are clear with their goals and numbers. They saw my vision on the album and I am glad partly why it has been a hit.”

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