“Today, just putting a song on the music market doesn’t work; this thought belongs to a very different era, ”says singer-songwriter Amaal Mallik, whose last song Pyar Ek Tarfaa, a duet with Shreya Ghoshal, garnered 21 million views on YouTube within a week of its release.
So how exactly do outliers make their presence felt in an entertainment space oversaturated with new content? Musicians like Amaal Mallik have been successful: they artfully turned to various social media platforms and independently built a loyal following and a strong brand focused on their own personality.
The 30-year-old composer of songs such as Sooraj Dooba Hai and Kaun Tujhe has barely seven years in the profession, but is already a heavyweight on several social media platforms. He has over 5 lakh followers on Twitter and 16 lakh followers on Instagram; his YouTube channel has around 1.5 lakh of subscribers.
Recognizing the role social media has played in shaping her career, Amaal emphasizes, “Even if you do a song with the biggest stars in the country, you have to support it. I wouldn’t have had that support if I hadn’t had my fans. Every day there is a new song, a new video, a new podcast. You stand out when you have real followers. There are artists with 10 times the numbers that I have. But my 1.6 million fans are as strong as 160 million. My fans literally play my music to people and say, “Hey, look at this song, it’s by our idol.” I decided to appear in the PyarEk Tarfaa video because of the love of my fans on Twitter and Instagram. I did it because they can see me. I think it’s beautiful the way they celebrate my videos.
Fan the flame
The numbers may be on a different scale overseas, but Amaal’s faith in her fans is reminiscent of the devoted fandom of international pop superstar Taylor Swift, labeled “The Swifties” who were spoiled by Taylor , and now collectively form an extremely influential interest group. .
Amaal has some great advice for young artists looking to build a fan base. “More than my music, they love me for me… and that’s a very important relationship. They are obsessed with music, but they love the artist for who he is. That obsession and love only comes. “by being yourself with your followers. I would tell every young artist to build such a relationship with their audience. People should know them for themselves; not an image they created.”
Amaal has invested time and effort to stay in touch with his audience. He runs ‘ask me anything’ sessions on social media and rarely uses a ‘no comment’ statement.
“I am very open. When I feel like I need to talk, I always do. When I go live on my own Instagram account and talk to my fans, I’m always ready to answer any questions, ”he says.
Developing strategies between different platforms is an acquired skill. “For Pyar Ek Tarfaa, I collaborated with Gaana, one of the most important streaming apps in the country. I did an exclusive show for their listeners and my fans were very excited to hear stories and moments from my life. I also put links to my songs on my Facebook page because they have a lot of reach. For the younger generation, it’s Instagram. I do Reels sometimes, but I make sure they’re a bit more artistic compared to everyone’s Reels.
The musician warns, however, that at the end of the day “it depends on your content. If it is good, it will expand. Otherwise, it will close in 20 seconds. It’s a ruthless world on social media.
The new and the old
This is why Amaal attests that his goal has never strayed from creating good music. He insists: “I am very pure and artistic in my music. I am not a trend follower. I understand that music is the business of music producers and labels, but I strive to find a balance between making a hit song and maintaining my musical integrity. I was very lucky to have different opportunities. I managed to make a Kar gayi chull and one Bol do Nazara. But if you ask me to choose my style, it would be Principal Rahoon Ya Na Rahoon Where Pyar Ek Tarfaa– beautiful words and a good melody. In my songs, you won’t have that halki poetry that old people complain about. Pyar Ek Tarfaa talks about an emotion that no one has ever managed to capture in a song before: the feeling that the two individuals, who are a couple, feel that they love the other person more. “I really loved Manoj Muntashir’s lyrics, and singing with Shreya Ghoshal was another big plus,” says Amaal.
Amaal’s association with good music runs deep. He says: “At the age of eight, I got a little Casio, and then the piano has become my whole life. I tease my brother Armaan by telling him that he was smart about choosing the guitar, because girls like boys who play guitar. But I chose the piano for pure love, not because I wanted to be cool. Music is everything to me. I don’t think you can separate the music from me, or me from the music … we are one. I am fortunate to be part of the musical legacy that my grandfather (Sardar Mallik), my uncle (Anu Mallik) and my father (Dabboo Mallik) have created over the decades.
The composition of his grandfather Gareebon Ka Dil Hoon is one of her favorites and Amaal sings the 65-year-old song brilliantly. “I think I’m a descendant of my grandfather’s soul,” he says.
Although adept at contemporary imperatives like social media, Amaal is a curious mix of the old and the new. “Now I want to move the family name forward and create music that connects with young people, but also for seasoned musicians in our industry to see me as a songwriter who does a really good and honest job,” says- he.
From Brunch HT, December 5, 2021
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