Dubai: Why singer Amaal Mallik loves the city
The singer talks about his break in Dubai and working with Grammy winner Dua Lipa.
Celebrating the success of Bollywood sports biopic Saina, singer Amaal Mallik who composed music and sang for the film, is enjoying his time out in Dubai. It’s a place he holds close to his heart, not only because it is the city where his film music career began but also for some ‘special memories’.
In a conversation with City Times, Mallik recalls the time when he met a kid with Down Syndrome at the Dubai airport. Calling the interaction special, he said, “The kid was listening to one of my songs when he saw me and came running to hug me.” That is when Mallik realised that his life as a music artist serves the greater good, and he continues to thrive towards that purpose.
Despite coming from an illustrious family of well-known musicians, Mallik, 29, believes hard work and belief are key to finding one’s own identity. “I fought my way back after facing severe criticism from the media,” Mallik said, recalling the time when he had no work after making his debut in film music with Salman Khan’s Jai Ho in 2014.
Seven years later, Mallik’s Parinda from Saina is topping the charts. Describing it as one of the “purest” projects, Mallik was finally relieved of the tension over the film’s delayed release due to coronavirus. Saina was originally set to release in 2020 but the coronavirus led to its postponement.
Saina’s success is not the only reason for the singer to celebrate as Mallik also garnered a favourable response for his collaboration with Grammy-winning British singer Dua Lipa. Mallik partnered up with Sukriti Kakar and Prakriti Kakar to give Dua Lipa’s Levitating an Indian remix. “I think Dua Lipa wanted to do something for her fans globally, and I am glad that from India she chose me,” Mallik said, adding that it is a great feeling given Dua Lipa’s international reputation. Levitating is part of Dua Lipa’s album Future Nostalgia which won the 2021 Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album.
The timing could not be any better for Mallik who believes this is all a “cosmic conspiracy in a beautiful way” as Saina and the Indian remix of Levitating released on the same day, March 26. After his collaboration with Dua Lipa, Mallik would love to work with other international sensations such as BTS and Alan Walker. Daft Punk was also on Mallik’s list, however, that will remain a dream as the French duo parted ways earlier this year.
Talking about the lockdown, Mallik said it was the “greatest holiday” he could ever get. For someone who is always in his “Batcave”, Mallik was highly productive during the four months of lockdown in India in 2020. “I made around 25-30 songs during that time,” revealed Mallik adding that he was happy to get such a break. However, Mallik realizes how the pandemic affected millions across the world. He urges everyone to fight back and not to be too hard on themselves. “Pizza khao, kambal pakdo aur so jao (eat pizza, grab a blanket and sleep), but wake up to fight back” is Mallik’s mantra for battling with the difficulties in lockdown.
Like every artist, Mallik also misses live concerts. Singing along with the crowd and interactions with the audience are things that the artist wants to get back to. However, he makes sure to treat his fans to a virtual concert on Instagram live. “Music is the only thing that is keeping people sane and connected during the pandemic,” he said, expressing a wish that life on the stage returns as soon as possible.
Talking about his connection with Dubai, Mallik revealed that he loves the city, in fact, his favourite live concert dates back to UAE’s 48th National Day in 2019 when both Amaal and his brother Armaan Mallik performed at Bollywood Parks in Dubai. Mallik loves visiting La Mer, Dubai’s eclectic beachfront in Jumeirah where he simply enjoys the sunset. When it comes to eateries, Mallik’s favourite place is Little Lamb Hotpot in Deira which serves Mongolian cuisine.
Before signing off, Mallik gives insights on his upcoming projects. “My full focus is on my upcoming single, which is going to be another non-film music video with Sony,” Mallik revealed, adding that he is looking forward to completing the shoot and production later this year.