September 21, 2017
Arko Pravo Mukherjee, known for singing and composing soft
melodies, says he doesn't mind people associating him with the genre as he has
fun doing it.
Arko was launched by filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt in Bollywood with the 2012 movie "Jism 2" in which his compositions like "Yeh jism hai toh kya" and "Abhi abhi" struck the right chord with music lovers.
He went on to debut as a singer in 2016 with the heart-wrenching track "Saathi rey" from "Kapoor & Sons", a film produced by Karan Johar's Dharma Productions.
Doesn't he fear that he will get stereotyped, Arko told IANS: "I want to be stereotyped because I have fun doing this. (Asking me to do something else) is like asking Bob Dylan to do a party song."
His latest non-film song - "Aainda" is again about love.
"I usually make songs and keep them in my bank. Later, I decide which song will suit which film. I made this song. I never thought that I would release it as a single. But then I got an offer from Sony Music and all things fell into place," he said.
Actor-producer Riteish Deshmukh also featured in the video of "Aainda". So, is Bollywood the essential ingredient of a hit song?
"We can make non-film songs without Bollywood. But I have been working more in Bollywood for the past five years so, I have made friends. Also, it helps because it is so widespread.
"People from different parts of the country come together in Mumbai to work in Bollywood. So, be it an actor or a technician, you will generally find the standard high," he added.
The composer agreed that having Riteish on board did help because of his strong fan following.
"It widens the audience and listeners. You are right that Bollywood involvement certainly helps, especially when you are starting off with an original single," he said.
Earlier this year, he also made his way into the US Billboard Dance Club 50 Charts with his club song "Reeva".
"The song landing at the Billboard charts was a fluke. In the US, things are very different," he said.
And so, unlike his most Indian compositions, the international number was a dance number.
"To promote a song in the US... you need massive amount of money which is why signing with a label is a must. However, in club music, it can get across clubs, and if people like it, it will be out there."
"It is difficult to promote a love song independently in the US," he said.
Still, that hasn't discouraged him from making more music for the international audience. When is his next English single coming out?
"It's all going to happen in 2018. This year you will hear Hindi songs from films or as singles," he said.
There is a Bengali song coming up too.
"I sang a Bengali song, 'Maa' for my mom long time ago. It was not even a commercial song. One Bengali single is coming out in October before Diwali. That is about love," said Arko, who doesn't make songs thinking that only he will sing them.
When it comes to films, he says it is not just his decision to rope in another singer for his compositions.
"For any song in films, the producer and director are 100 per cent involved. And if there is a big star, the actor is also involved in such decisions. Karan (Johar) thought that I could sing 'Saathi rey' so, I did.