Arjun Kanungo's high notes

A song that describes my life...

By Karishma Upadhyay
  • Published 13.05.18
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Arjun Kanungo is a singer-composer, popular for the party anthem, Baaki baatein peene baad 

A song that describes my life...

You know what they say about life being either a comedy or a tragedy. My life so far has been a comedy, and the Pirates of the Caribbean theme is like the background score of my life.

The city I love performing in…

Calcutta is one city I love. Last year, I performed 11 times there. 

A pre-show ritual…

I warm up my voice for 20-odd minutes; I do some pronunciation exercises and then I just keep quiet for an hour. It’s important to save your voice and be fresh for the stage. 

My favourite love song…

Afreen Afreen.

A musical instrument I wish I could play…

The trumpet. I play the piano and the guitar and I used to play the violin but I am a little bit out of touch now.

My workout song…

Anything by Rage Against the Machine.

Three musicians (living or dead) I want to dine with… Beyonce, Mozart and David Bowie.

The biggest surprise of my career…

I think La La La was the biggest surprise. We (with Neha Kakkar) had 42 million views in just two months. It’s my most successful song on YouTube.

My favourite instrument in a recording studio…

I have a favourite microphone… the Neumann U87. I don’t go anywhere without it. 

I wish I could open for…

Bruno Mars.

The best concert I’ve been to…

I had actually flown out of the country once to watch Coldplay. Then I went and watched this band called A Perfect Circle… that’s the most fun I’ve had at a show. 

My favourite karaoke song...

We are the Champions by Queen.

Songs on my playlist…

Behind Blue Eyes by Limp Bizkit; My Dear Melancholy by The Weeknd; the Black Panther album, Damn by Kendrick Lamar and Ta Dhom Project by Viveick Rajagopalan.

My wake-up alarm...

It sounds like there’s an emergency! If it’s a nice-sounding alarm, I’d just go back to sleep.

My musical inspiration…

My mom is a fan of Indian classical music, so I grew up listening to Kishori Amonkar and Kumar Gandharva. Then at school I was exposed to Western pop, like NSYNC and Backstreet Boys, and whatever else was going on at the time. Then I started playing the guitar. It was a lot of rock and metal, like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against the Machine and Iron Maiden. On the Indian Indian front, the person who appealed the most was A.R. Rahman. Back then he was doing something different and he’s still doing something different.