The singer on his new single, breaking the internet and trying his hand at acting
hether you look at Arjun Kanungo or listen to him, chances are you will drool. This singer-composer and producer is the complete package. After giving us Khoon Choos Le (from Go Goa Gone), Kanungo has signed up with Sony Music and is releasing his first single today. Baaki Baatein Peene Baad ft rapper Badshah, with lyrics by Maryur Puri, promises to be fun party number. “We went to Sweden to find the right sound for this track and had some of the best producers give us the energetic arrangement. This is the track you will want to play at the peak of the party,” says Kanungo.
Banking on yourself
But let’s rewind a little. At 18, Mumbai-bred Kanungo opened a recording studio and studied Mass Media at RD National College and WA Science College. The rest, as they say, is history, because he learned everything else on the job. He also took classes at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. Now he is popular on the internet with his renditions of tracks like Hasi, Khamoshiyan, I Want To Break Free/Roobaroo and more. “The internet is the best thing to have happened to independent musicians. Every day, at least 100 million users use YouTube in India alone. You don’t have to convince anyone but you have to give out the best quality you can afford financially and quality-wise) of good content and then be open to the response,” says Kanungo, who believes platforms like YouTube, Saavn, Apple, ReverbNation and SoundCloud help talented musicians of all genres be noticed.
Ready to share
In a Bollywood-obsessed nation, with an unconventional voice like his, the internet has clearly been his true friend. “Your job is to be an entertainer first. Be humble, regular and proactive on the internet. Connect with your audience and be ready to share all. The age of cranky musicians is done with. Put yourself out there so that people can get to know your music,” he offers.
And put himself out there he has. He has been on a world tour with Asha Bhonsle, as the male lead vocalist, and may have some exciting acting projects in the pipeline, too. His superstitious self refuses to divulge that information. If you’re wondering how old he is, “I’m as old as the part,” he laughs. He will also be shaking a leg in his new video with Carla Dennis and admits to taking hip hop and jazz dancing lessons. Is there anything he can’t do? We’ll let the internet decide again.
—Preethi Ann Thomas