Music composer-singer Amaal Mallik entered Hindi cinema at the age of 23 and has over the years, carved a niche for himself and has cultivated an audience that appreciates good music and pushes him to do better.
An alumnus of Trinity College of Music, having studied Western Classical, Jazz and Rock, Amaal has also studied Indian Classical Music under the tutelage of his grandfather Sardar Mallik. On the occasion of completing eight years in Bollywood,
Amaal, who describes his music as, "heartfelt, simple and honest", spoke with IANS about his journey so far, his rendezvous with setbacks and his aspirations for the art of music.
For him, "It's unbelievable, it feels just like yesterday" that he entered Hindi cinema in 2014 with 'Jai Ho'.
He expresses his gratitude towards superstar Salman Khan for showing the confidence in a young composer like him, "A big thank you to Mr. Salman Khan, who believed in me when I was just 23 years old. I wasn't sure if I should take the plunge to become a composer but he believed in me and after him the world followed."
But, things didn't immediately take off after his debut, Amaal had his fair share of struggles and he is glad that it happened to him at an early stage in his life, "I am glad that I didn't witness success immediately after 'Jai Ho' or the acceptance from the industry or the listeners. Had that happened, my journey wouldn't have been as beautiful and fulfilling as it has been, so far."
"My music in the first film with such a big superstar didn't really click with the audience. After that, I had to go back from a composer to an assistant to some music directors. It was a difficult year", he adds.
But, time and the determination turned the tides in his favour, "Things eventually changed with 'Sooraj Dooba Hai', 'Main Hoon Hero Tera' and 'Main Rahun Ya Na Rahun', these tracks shaped and changed the trajectory of my career bringing in the audience's love."
When probed as to how he wishes to give back to the medium of music, he says, "We artists are too small to give something back to music. Music is above all of us. The only way I know to give back to the audience is to keep doing work to the best of my capabilities. People who like my music and people who have worked with me, know for the fact that I always give my 200 per cent to whatever work I do."
But, does it get overwhelming for him? Well yes, he says, "I admit that it does get unhealthy at times given so much emotional turmoil for each song and release. But the smile that I see on people's faces because of my music, it all makes it worth it."
What sets him apart from his contemporaries is his hunger to learn from the younger generation, "I always make it a point to learn from the younger generation. The music production team that I have, everyone in that team is 19 to 20 years of age. They keep introducing me to the new stuff or new things that are going around in the world, musically."
At the same time, he makes it a point to help fresh talent grow, "I wish to nurture young talent and that's the reason I and my father have started our own music label in MWM where we foster young talent in addition to working with senior artists."
"More than a label it's a music hub where any talent can present and release their music which is close to their heart. So, every musician who has a melody to showcase will always have me backing them up", he concludes.