Actor-singer Aditya Narayan recently live from The Indian Express’ Facebook page to promote his new song “Main Dooba Rahoon”. Apart from enthralling his fans by crooning his popular songs, the Indian Idol host also opened up about comparisons with his father Udit Narayan, what keeps him away from Bollywood and his lockdown experience.
Excerpts from the live session.
How are you coping with the lockdown?
I am taking it one step at a time. We are fortunate that we have food at home, a roof above our head, and I even have a gym at home. So I am also trying to stay fit. There are days when I am very productive and then there are some low days too. It all depends on the kind of news you get. It affects your mood. When you hear of so many deaths in a single day, it kind of upsets you. Also, I have been staying alone during the lockdown, as my parents are not so young anymore, and I also have a 102-year-old grandmother at home.
Since you are staying away from family, has the lockdown made you more responsible?
I have always been a responsible person. I have lived on my own, and it all started when I was just 18 and went to the UK to study music. I have my studio in my bachelor pad and spend a lot of time here so as to not disturb my parents and daadi.
You were appreciated for your work in Shaapit. What has been keeping you away from taking up acting opportunities?
Honestly, I wasn’t offered another ‘zabardast’ role as a lead actor after that. I have been waiting for the right kind of script from the right people. All the good films go to Ayushmann Khurrana, Rajkummar Rao, Ranveer Singh, Varun Dhawan or Ranbir Kapoor. In case something comes my way, I would definitely love to act again.
Do you think it will be difficult for any singer to create a career like your father Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik and Kumar Sanu?
Yes, if it was easy, there would have been more like them. It takes a long time to achieve what they have. You cannot become a legend in a few years. It takes decades to have a global audience.
Why haven’t we seen a legend emerging in recent times?
Arijit Singh is there. He is doing so well. He is the highest paid when it comes to live shows. There are so many singers who don’t earn half the kind of money he does, or possess half his reach. There are a lot of people like Arijit who don’t blow their horns. And just because they don’t, doesn’t mean they are not successful.
You have acted, sung and hosted but are still referred to as Udit Narayan’s son. Does it get disheartening or have you made peace with it?
Even if Sachin Tendulkar’s son becomes the world’s best cricketer, he will still be known as his son. I am extremely proud of my father and his achievements. He has had a successful career of more than four decades. That’s a decade more than I have been in the world (laughs). Everything will happen in good time. However, I have seen the younger generation recognising him as my father, so it’s all cool. As for comparisons, I can’t help it. But we both belong to different generations, have different styles and even want different things from our career.
In a recent interview, Neha Kakkar said that singers don’t get paid in Bollywood. What’s your take on the same? And is that why you are not singing in films?
Yes, they don’t pay at all but they should. As for why I am not singing for films, it is because I am not happy with the contract system that these labels have. However, this year I did record a few songs for my favourite composers. But this entire system is not very helpful. Every song is recorded by 20-25 people, if not that, at least 10 singers do record the scratch. And then they check if the artiste is with the label, and other things before approving. It’s all very complicated. I think independent music is the way ahead, and I must tell all singers that do not just rely on Bollywood songs.
You were one of the first singers to launch their YouTube channel. Do you think online will be the way ahead?
Most definitely, and I think it’s just the beginning. Everything depends on the audience. So please promote these artistes and bands as much as you can.