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Amaal Mallik on Bollywood: I didn’t come here to survive, I came here to rule

Music-composer Amaal Mallik is perhaps one of the strongest voices we have heard against Bollywood’s trend of recreations and remixes. He, however, has embraced the trend a few times in his career but, as he says, conditions apply.

“I have said no to remixes but only when the original song is being tampered or ruined. I have done about 4-5 remixes out of 80-85 songs I have composed so far. And till now, the original composers have not felt bad about it. So, I am safe,” said Amaal, who recently composed the recreated version of Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” along with singers Sukriti Kakar and Prakriti Kakar.

Amaal said he wasn’t concerned about “Levitating” recreation as ‘the artist herself asked me to do it.’ Talking about the remix, he says, “Our thought was to bring India to it. The original, which has pop and 80s feel to it, we gave it a UK Bhangra-Reggaeton mix to make it cool.”

Amaal said that his aim to pave his way into Bollywood was more to prove that he is a ‘different Mallik’. “Fortunately or unfortunately, I have had the Mallik tag follow me through my life and my career. I belong to a family that is involved in films. I took the film line to prove that I am not Anu Mallik or Dabboo Mallik but a new Mallik. As a 15-year-old, I also had the dream to put out my own music, my own video. I am glad Sukriti and Prakriti, along with other artists such as Armaan Mallik and Darshan Raval are putting out their own music. Luckily, because of the lockdown, we don’t have film music to focus on. People are listening to everything, every artist and showering immense love. In fact, a couple of times, these artists get more love than their Bollywood songs. I am also slowly trying to do something in that (independent music) space. I did “Tu Mera Nahi.” I was to compose another  but right now, it’s on hold,” the composer explained.

A 90s aficionado, Amaal believes the music made then is still relevant, and perhaps has more charm than the numbers of today.

“The composers back then had more support from directors. I have seen music sittings happen at home. The deciding factor used to be between directors, composers and lyricist. Today, we have levels of approvals. When I did “Aashiq Surrender Hua,” there was even Ganesh Acharya’s involvement. So, with times, things have changed. Back then, the lyrics were simple and straight forward. Today, people don’t immediately like simple things much,” the Hero composer voiced.

“But the way we look at romantic songs (today) has not changed,” Amaal expressed adding “My DNA of music comes straight from my grandfather Sardar Mallik. I have the 60s in me. I have the music of Madan Mohan, Shankar Jaikishan, Laxmikant Pyarelal and all. I have grown up listening to them. I just produce it like a 2021 composer but the soul in my songs like “Bol Do Na Zara” or “Main Rahoon Ya Na Rahoon” I have kept that era alive.”

The composer recalled how Jatin Pandit, of Jatin-Lalit fame, thanked him for keeping 90s alive through his music.

“When I was a part of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa as a judge, Jatin sir, of the Jatin-Lalit duo, came up to me and thanked me for keeping their sort of music alive. But even if we need to reinvent or evolving, I will try to keep that soul intact in romantic numbers. As far as the 90s concerned, we all are 90s kids, we have grown up listening to it. The 90s is always going to remain special for us, it is in our DNA. They are still so valuable, and that is why they are recreated,” he continued.

On a concluding note, Amaal said he is in Bollywood to win hearts. “I didn’t come here to survive. I came here to rule. So, I am focused on doing that. I don’t try to compete because I am here to make my kind of music. The kind of love I have is enough. It is more important to win heart because charts keep changing every day,” said the Saina composer.

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