Artist of the month: Arjun Kanungo

Artist of the month: Arjun Kanungo

You started as a musician at the age of 18. Do you have any music training and what was your biggest learning when you started?

I have been in this amazing music industry with talented colleagues and artists for 6 years now. Until I was 17, I didn’t even know I wanted to peruse music. I was busy trying to figure out what to do with my life, and doing a student job. My whole family is involved in business, so naturally, I was inclined towards business sector or wanted to make my career in architecture, I wasn’t sure. And that’s when I found music. It ignited that passion in me and I realized that this was truly what I wanted to do. So I wrapped everything up and came back home to see where music could take me. I decided to follow music as my career. I felt that I get strong connection
with music and I spent almost 7-8 years learning music and it’s been quite a journey since then. I’m still learning.

Do you have any music training and what was your biggest learning when you started?

I’ve been training in Indian Classical for 8 years now. I taught myself how to play the guitar via the internet so you could say I’m self-taught. Towards the beginning of my career, I met Asha Bhosle from whom I have learned a lot while I was touring with her. The biggest learning is that you never stop learning.

You collaborated with Momina Mustehsan on this video. Tell us about the association and what made it a perfect combination.

Momina is a lovely person, very sweet and easy to work with and I think that we got along very well. I think she is talented. We wanted to do a song, and when she heard the song, she really liked it. I had a song which I made, which was “Aaya Na Tu” and I went with the song to Universal Music and they really liked the song and its when they introduced me to Momina and I have to admit that I hadn’t heard of her before this. When I saw her videos on coke studio I was immediately convinced. This collaboration was her debut. I was very excited about it and then they made her
listen to the song, she loved the song as well. It just kind of came together after that. What are the challenges you face as an independent artist in the country It’s this assumption that non-film music is not as big as film music. The numbers tell a different story. Non film music is a better business model for an artist than film music. Singers in this country don’t get enough face time. Unless you put a face to a name, singers will be easily forgotten, which is why I am adamant about appearing in my own music videos. Also, creating non-film music is a huge challenge. People should appreciate music for music and not based on the popularity of the film it is attached to.

Tell us about your new song Aaya Na Tu. What was your favorite memory from the entire making of the video?
Aaya Na Tu revolves around the emotions like longing, love, loss, and rejection. The idea was to capture the feeling of being left behind. It’s a feeling that is so relatable, we’ve all experienced heartbreak. The hope was to capture that feeling for the next generation. It’s such an intense emotion that I feel like it deserved a song. This song is very close to my heart and it was fun shooting it with Momina. Momina has an