Creating music differently 

Debarati Palit Singh
Thursday, 28 September 2017

Singer Arjun Kanungo talks about his latest collaboration with Qyuki Media and Flipkart and how important it is for him to experiment  

Arjun Kanungo likes to experiment as a singer, which is why he is going places. Recently, he collaborated with multi-platform network Qyuki Media and e-commerce site Flipkart to bring its newest creation — a 360-degree fashion video titled Mera Joota Hai Japani with spatial audio featuring him. 

We chatted up the singer, who has given hits like Fursat, Ek Dafaa and Chinnamma Chilakkamma, to know more about his recent release and also his next single which will be out soon. Excerpts from his interview: 
Can you tell us more about the video Mera Joota Hai Japani and how different is it from the original track? 
The video is a first of its kind. It incorporates a 360-degree video with spatial sound and fashion all neatly packaged as a music video. What first attracted me to a concept like this is that it had never been tried in the music space before. Obviously it needed to be planned well and I think the whole team has done a fantastic job. 

The original track of Joota Hai Japani is a classic, but rapper Ishq Bector has done a great job in recreating it in his own way to suit modern sensibilities of pop and dance. It’s quite different from the original. 

Can you explain what a 360-degree video and spatial audio is? 
A 360-degree video is where you can capture the whole room the video is shot in. This is done by clicking and dragging your mouse on the screen to whatever location you want to take the video to or by pointing your phone in a new direction and the video automatically adjusts according to your movement.

Spatial audio is quite cool and changes depending on how close or far you are to the source of the sound in the video. It gives you a sense of space and how sound works in the real world rather than a track that remains at the same level throughout, like in a film. 

How important is it for you to innovate when it comes to music? 
Paramount. I think the audience deserves artists who creatively explore a genre or medium to the best of their abilities. There is beauty and simplicity in just playing the guitar and singing on camera and I love to do the simple things as well but from the point of view of pushing the boundaries. Experimenting is important and one should do it often. 

What are the projects you are working on? 
Currently, I am focussed on releasing my next single which releases mid-October. We are getting into planning the music video and shooting will start soon.  

Musicians no longer restrict themselves to  composing music, singing in films or creating music albums. How do you see emerging platforms helping musicians in building a career? 
I think musicians and singers are finally being looked upon as serious influencers and that is a huge step towards empowering them. It opens up ways for them to collaborate with brands and big banners. The aforementioned emerging platforms are quintessential because they allow creators to release content without anyone else’s approvals. That and an ever growing viewership means that as long as I am creating content, someone is listening to/watching it. 

Do you think YouTube has reached a saturation point because every day a new star emerges and listeners are spoilt for choice? 
I don’t think we are at the saturation point yet. But there is a weird ambiguity as of now as to what it means to be a musician. You can be a Vlogger and do a little music on the side and still be a professional musician. There is nothing wrong with that, but it does influence the idea of being a musician and does influence the way the next generation looks at the value of practice and the deeper learnings of music. That said, YouTube is and always will be a terrific platform for putting yourself out there and a great platform to showcase your talent. I am a fan. 

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