“I am not media shy at all. Media is a business and I have no business with it. Only my work has business with it. I work, and if it is good enough, it is a product for the media. I am not important here, that is why I avoid it. It keeps me peaceful…” singer Arijit Singh tells IANS when pointed out that he is considered one of the most media-shy people in the Hindi film industry.
For someone who has given major hits like ‘Channa Mereya’, ‘Tum Hi Ho, ‘Phir Bhi Tumko Chahunga’, ‘Uska Hi Banana’, ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, ‘Gerua’and Kesariya among others, and received major awards including the National Award, four Mirchi Music Awards, six , one Stardust, three IIFA, two Zee Cine and two Screen Awards, nothing beats the magic of a live performance.
“A live performance is like an exam. We prepare and perform. Of course, there are chances of committing a few mistakes, something that forces me to be alert at all times. It engages me in different instruments playing live and remembering my own part in the arrangement. It is always fun,’ says Singh who will be seen live after a gap of three years during ‘One Night Only – India Tour’. Presented by Paytm Insider along with Swiggy SteppinOut and their production partner Hyperlink Brand Solutions, the first leg of the tour will kickstart with Mumbai on November 26 followed by Delhi on December 3 and Hyderabad on December 17. Shows in Bangalore and Kolkata will follow early next year.
Excited about the concert, he adds, “I am not sure how prepared we are as it has been three years and everything around has changed. This tour is an opportunity for me to work and focus more on training.”
While he is busy finishing some Hindi and Bangla songs, Singh tells about the process he follows for his live concerts, “The setlist is made according to the mood transition —keeping the scales and tempo in mind. Then comes the aspect of working out parts for all the musicians. These days most of my band members compose their parts themselves. I just tweak it a little bit. After the structure is finalised, we rehearse for days to be in sync with each other.”
While there have been several controversies over ‘reimagining’ old songs, Singh feels If done well and cooked honestly, the end result can be excellent. “After all, the melodies we try to reimagine from the past happen to be our favourites.”
Believing it is important for musicians to study and understand more about music rights, IP and royalty, he adds, “Before coming together and demanding it, we should know our rights. If a collective demand is raised, I am sure things will be different.”
Singh, who studied at the Royal College of Music, London says he did not enrol there to become a western musician. “I wanted to learn western music — read and write it, experiment with different instruments, and learn how to score for films. It was helpful when I worked for films like ‘The immortal Eleven’, ‘Kedara’ and ‘Pagglait’,” he says.
Someone who enjoys newly composed songs, he adds, “I also like to sing Indian classical music For production ideas, I listen to new releases and sonically rich albums,” he concludes.