Arijit Singh is an Indian musician, singer, composer, music producer, recordist and a music programmer. He predominantly sings in Hindi and Bengali, but has also lent his voice to various other Indian languages. Singh is regarded as one of the most versatile and successful singers in the History of Indian Music and Hindi Cinema.
At the start of his singing career, he received nominations for the Upcoming Male Vocalist of the Year award at the 2013 Mirchi Music Awards for renditions of “Phir Le Aya Dil” and “Duaa”, winning the award for the latter. Singh received widespread recognition with the release of “Tum Hi Ho” and “Chahun Main Ya Naa” in 2013.
Life and career beginnings
Arijit was born on 25 April 1987 in Jiaganj, Murshidabad, West Bengal to a Punjabi father and a Bengali mother. He initiated training in music from his house, since his maternal grandmother used to sing and his maternal aunt was trained in Indian classical music. His maternal uncle also played the tabla. He also learnt music from his mother who sung and played the tabla. For studies, he went to Raja Bijay Singh High School and later Sripat Singh College, a University of Kalyani affiliate. According to him he “was a decent student, but cared more about music”. His inclination towards music led his parents to decide on training him professionally. He was taught Indian classical music by Rajendra Prasad Hazari and trained in tabla by Dhirendra Prasad Hazari while Birendra Prasad Hazari taught him Rabindra Sangeet and pop music. At the age of 3 he started training under Hazari brothers, and at the age of 9, he got a scholarship from the government for training in vocals in Indian classical music.
During his growing up days he used to listen to Mozart, Beethoven and Bengali classical music.citation needed] Arijit idolised musicians like Ghulam Ali Khan, Ustad Rashid Khan, Zakir Hussain and Anand Chatterjee. He also enjoyed listening to Kishore Kumar, Hemant Kumar and Manna Dey.
Singh married Koyel Singh, a resident of the Nehaliapara area of Jiaganj but they divorced in 2013. In 2014 he married Koyel Roy, a childhood friend. He has two children.
Arijit’s musical career began when his guru Rajendra Prasad Hazari who felt that “Indian classical music” was a dying tradition” insisted him to leave his hometown and participate in the reality show Fame Gurukul (2005) at the age of 18. Though he approached the finals of Fame Gurukul, but got eliminated at 6th position by audience polling.
During the show, filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali recognised his talent and made him sing “Yun Shabnami” a song scheduled to be used in his upcoming film Saawariya, However, during the filmmaking process as the filmscript changed the song was no longer required and it was never released. Similarly after the show Fame Gurukul, ‘Kumar Taurani’ the head of Tips recognised his potential and talent and signed him for an Album. However, the album was never released.
After Fame Gurukul, he participated in another reality show 10 Ke 10 Le Gaye Dil, which he won He choose to settle at Mumbai in the year 2006 and decided to freelance, staying in a rented room in the Lokhandwala area of Mumbai. He invested the prize money of “10 ke 10 Le Gaye Dil” show in building his own recording studio, where he started composing the music and singing pieces for advertisements, news channels and radio stations. It was at that time that he, lacking any opportunities at singing, decided to become a Music Producer Subsequently, Arijit spent a part of his early musical career as a Music Programmer and Music Producer to music directors like Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Vishal-Shekhar, Mithoon, Monty Sharma and Pritam. As per him assisting Music Directors was the only way for him to survive in a city like Mumbai. While working with other composers he used to supervise the vocals, chorus section etc. but it was while working with Pritam, that he started to produce and programme music by himself.
About his early life struggles, he said: – “One has to suffer pain to reach their destination, those days when I failed to get work, I thought about quitting and going back in my hometown, but I realised that one should concentrate on one’s work no matter what happens”. Regarding his early musical career’s journey and his moving from the small village of Jiaganj to a city like Mumbai he later said: – Mumbai is a place which is made up of small town boys and girls who come to Mumbai to try their luck, but what counts is “Hardwork”
2010–13: Early releases and Aashiqui 2
In 2010, Singh started working with Pritam Chakraborty on three films—Golmaal 3, Crook and Action Replayy., starting with singing scratches on Pritam’s insistence. Arijit’s debut as a singer in the film industry came at the Telugu Film Industry with the film Kedi with the song “Neeve Na Neeve Na” the music was composed by Sandeep Chowta. In 2011, Singh made his Bollywood music debut with the Mithoon-composition, “Phir Mohabbat” from Murder 2, which though recorded in 2009 was released in 2011. The same year, when he was programming for the song “Raabta” from Agent Vinod (2012), Pritam asked him to sing as well. The part was retained in all four versions of the song, and he was made to sing the entire composition in one of the versions. Apart from Agent Vinod, Arijit dubbed for Pritam in three other films released during the year: Players, Cocktail and Barfi!.
He also lent his voice to Chirantan Bhatt in 1920: Evil Returns for the song “Uska Hi Banana”. “Glamsham” in its review of the song “Uska Hi Banana” wrote that Arijit has sung the song intensely, emotionally and passionately and at a very high pitch.
He lend his vocals for Vishal–Shekhar’s composition “Duaa” in Shanghai, where the song “Duaa” from the latter fetched him Mirchi Music Award for Upcoming Male Playback Singer award and was nominated in the same category for “Phir Le Aya Dil” from Barfi!.
Arijit’s major breakthrough came in the Aashiqui 2 where he was a lead and key vocalist and got prominence with the release of the song “Tum Hi Ho” from Aashiqui 2 (2013). The song fetched him several awards and nominations including Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer.
Arijit further allied with Pritam, singing “Dilliwaali Girlfriend”, “Kabira” and “Ilahi” for Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. Other than rendering the encore version of “Kabira”, he also associated himself as the music producer of the track along with “Balam Pichkari” from the same film. Singh has sung the song “Main Rang Sharbaton Ka”; a composition of Pritam.
Moreover, he dubbed Shah Rukh Khan in the song “Kashmir Main Tu Kanyakumari” from Chennai Express which was composed by Vishal–Shekhar.55] Apart from rendering the duet version of “Har Kisi Ko” from Boss along with Neeti Mohan, the year marked his collaboration with Sharib–Toshi and Sanjay Leela Bhansali in the song “Kabhi Jo Baadal Barse” from Jackpot for the former and the semi-classical number, “Laal Ishq” from Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram-Leela for the latter. Later, Singh picked “Kabhi Jo Baadal Barse” as one of his personal favourite songs, he chose “Tose Naina” from Mickey Virus as “closest to his heart”.
In 2014, Singh got the chance to work with two of his favourite music directors, Sajid–Wajid and A. R. Rahman. He performed two tracks of Main Tera Hero and the song “Raat Bhar” from Heropanti for the forme and dubbed the Hindi version of the song “Medhuvaagathaan” from Kochadaiiyaan titled “Dil Chaspiya” for the latter. He rendered three re-mixed songs; Amit Trivedi’s “Hungama Ho Gaya”, Sharib–Toshi’s “Samjhawan” and Arko Pravo Mukherjee’s “Aaj Phir”. Singh worked with Vishal Bhardwaj, recording two songs from Haider and with Sachin–Jigar for “Jaise Mera Tu” in Happy Ending. The year marks his collaboration with many other music directors including Tony Kakkar and Palash Muchhal. During the year, he provided vocals for Mithoon in “Humdard” and “Hai Dil Ye Mera”, Vishal–Shekhar in “Manwa Laage”, Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy in “Sajde”, Sharib–Toshi in two songs of Zid and Pritam Chakraborty in three tracks of Holiday which was arranged by Singh himself. Gannguli-composed Muskurane garnered him most nominations in the year, while he received two Filmfare nominations for Suno Na Sangemarmar and the Sufi song Mast Magan. Singh picked “Gulon Mein Rang Bhare”—originally sung by Mehdi Hassan and re-composed for Haider by Vishal Bhardwaj—as his most favourite track from the year.
In 2015, Singh made his Tamil debut with the song “Neeye Vaazhkai Enbena” from the film Pugazh He also provided vocals for the Dance song “Sooraj Dooba Hain” from Roy, which was composed by Amaal Mallik, written by Kumaar, it was dubbed as the “Party Anthem of the Year”. During the year 2015, he sang a duet song “Agar Tum Saath Ho with Alka Yagnik, from the movie Tamasha which is composed by music composer AR Rahman written by Irshad Kamil. During the year, he again worked with Amaal Mallik in the song “Khwaishein” from Calendar Girls. Apart from dubbing the Hindi version of the song “Pookkalae Sattru Oyivedungal” from Rahman’s I, along with Shreya Ghoshal, Singh teamed up with Gannguli and Bobby–Imran for Khamoshiyan, where he performed the title song of the film and “Baatein Ye Kabhi Na” for the former and “Tu Har Lamha” for the latter. He collaborated with Gannguli on two other projects; “Teri Khushboo” from Mr. X and the title track of Hamari Adhuri Kahani. Besides working with Bhatt for “Teri Meri Kahaani” and Sachin–Jigar for “Chunar”, he worked with some new composers like, Bann Chakraborty, Khamosh Shah, Jatinder Shah, and Manj Musik. Moreover, Singh recorded a reprise version of Sonu Nigam’s 1999 song “Deewana Tera” for Ek Paheli Leela. The year marks the first collaboration of Singh and Himesh Reshammiya, with the song “Baaton Ko Teri” from All Is Well. Furthermore, he voiced Bhardwaj in “Shaam Ke Saaye” and “Kya Pataa” from Talvar and Drishyam respectively, while he performed Phantom’s “Saware” and “Sooiyan” from Guddu Rangeela. Apart from recording for soundtracks of the film, Singh released his second promotional single during the year. Titled, “Chal Waha Jaate Hain”, the song is composed by Mallik, featuring Tiger Shroff and Kriti Sanon. Recently, Arijit made his Marathi debut with the song “Yaar Illahi – Qawwali” from the film Katyar Kaljat Ghusali.
In 2015, Chinmayi Sripada has recorded a romantic duet titled ‘Sooiyan’, written by Irshad Kamil and Amit Trivedi, with Singh for the Bollywood film Guddu Rangeela. Arijit was one of the key Singer in the Soundtrack of the 2015 Movie Dilwale, he sang the duet song Gerua composed by Pritam and written by Amitabh Bhattacharya with Antara Mitra featuring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in the Music Video, which received good response. He sang the dance song “Tukur Tukur” from the movie Dilwale which was well-received, composed by Pritam and written by Amitabh Bhattacharya. He rendered the “Janam Janam” song from the movie Dilwale.
In the early 2016, Arijit has sung “Yeh Fitoor Mera” song written by Swanand Kirkire composed by Amit Trivedi. Firstpost in its review acclaimed the composition of Amit Trivedi, it remarked “Yeh Fitoor Mera” as a trademark song from the album of Fitoor. Firstpost commended Singh’s singing.
In 2016, Arijit made his Gujarati debut with the song “Satrangi Re” from the film Wrong Side Raju.
Some of his remarkable Hindi songs of 2016 is “Soch Na Sake” which is a duet with Tulsi Kumar from the movie Airlift, composed by Amaal Mallik written by Kumaar. The song “Sanam Re” from the title track of Sanam Re Movie which and is composed and written by Mithoon. He sang Bolna song from the movie Kapoor and Sons.He has sung the song “Itni Si Baat Hain” a duet with Antara Mitra composed by Pritam Chakraborty written by Manoj Yadav.
Arijit was the key vocalist in Raaz Reboot soundtrack and rendered “Lo Man liya” song, composed by Jeet Ganguly written by Kausar Munir from the movie Raaz Reboot. He additionally sang haunting melody “Raaz Aakhein Teri” and “Yaad Hain Na” from the same film Raaz Reboot.
He sung duet song Dharkhaast from the film Shivaay with Sunidhi Chauhan, the Music is composed by Mithoon the lyrics are penned by Sayeed Quadri. Daily News and Analysis in their review of song “Dharkhaast” commended Singh and Sunidhi’s singing.
He has sung the title track Ae Dil Hai Mushkil which is composed by Pritam Chakraborty and written by Amitabh Bhattacharya. It was liked by masses. He sang “Channa Mereya”, which garnered over 110 million views.
He rendered another chartbuster hit “Nashe Si Chadh Gayi” from Befikre The promotional video song “Nashe Si Chad Gayi” garnered over 330 million views on YouTube.
He additionally sang “Naina” from Dangal at the end of 2016. In its review, Zee News wrote Arijit Singh’s “Naina Song from Dangal will touch your Heart”. Indian film actor Varun Dhawan acclaimed the song Naina.
In the year 2017, he lent his voice for Shah Rukh Khan and rendered a romantic song duet with Harshdeep Kaur named “Zaalima”, composed by Pritam’s JAM8 and written by Amitabh Bhattacharya from the movie Raees. Shahrukh Khan shared multiple teasers of the song before its full release.
He provided his vocals for the Salim-Sulaiman’s compositions “Kuch Parbat Hilayein” and “Babul Mora” written by Amitabh Bhattacharya from the inspirational flick Poorna.
He rendered “Alvida” from the film Rangoon, Deccan Chronicle in the music review of Rangoon wrote about Alvida and praised its singing.
He also sung the song “Roke Na Ruke Naina”, composed by Amaal Mallik written by Kumaar from the film Badrinath Ki Dulhania.
Arijit sang the chorus song “Namami Brahmaputra” (English: I Bow to the Brahmaputra). It was composed by Papon and dedicated to the river Brahmaputra which flows in Assam and has high cultural, economic and social importance for the northeast Indian and Assamese people. Arijit has additionally sung “Haareya”, a song from the Hindi movie Meri Pyaari Bindu. He has sung the song “Murshida” from the Movie Begum Jaan, the song was written by Rahat Indori and composed by Anu Malik.
Arijit sang “Phir Bhi Tumko Chaahunga”, the song is composed by Mithoon, the lyrics are penned by Manoj Muntashir and it is from the soundtrack of the movie Half Girlfriend. Zee Music Company has released it before the planned date due to public demand. He additionally sang “Pal Bhar” which is a reprise and extended version of Phir Bhi Tumko Chahunga song. Pal Bhar is written by Muntashir and composed by Mithoon.
He has sung “Ik Vaari Aa”, composed by Pritam, lyrics are penned by Amitabh Bhattacharya. The song is from the soundtrack of Indian film Raabta.
He additionally sang “Tera Hoke Rahoon” song composed by (Kaushik, Akash, Guddu) of JAM8 , the lyrics are written by Bipin Das.
Arijit lend his vocals and played acoustic guitar with Roland Fernandes for the song “Lambiyaan si Judaiyaan” composed by JAM8 and written by Amitabh Bhattacharya, the song is from the soundtrack of the film Raabta.
He sang “O Saathi”, with the music composed and lyrics written by Mithoon from the Hindi film Shab.
Arijit sang the dance song, Main Tera Boyfriend, with co-singers Neha Kakkar. It is written by Kumar and composed by Sourav Roy.
Arijit was the lead singer of the Jagga Jasoos Soundtrack. He lent his vocals for the dance song “Ullu ka Pattha” composed by Pritam written by Amitabh Bhattacharya. He sung a fun song titled “Galti Se Mistake”, it is written by Amitabh Bhattacharya. He provided his vocals for the Pritam’s composition “Jhumri Talaiyya” written by Amitabh Bhattacharya. Arijit sang “Phir Wahi” song from Jagga Jasoos composed by Pritam and written by Amitabh Bhattacharya.
He lent his vocals to Shah Rukh Khan and sung the Dance song “Beech Beech Main” from the film Jab Harry Met Sejal with the additional vocals provided by Shefali Alvares and Shalmali Kholgade. He has lent his vocals for the song “Hawayein”; composed by Pritam Chakraborty and written by Irshad Kamil from the film “Jab Harry Met Sejal”. Indian media wrote that Singh’s vocals in the song was mesmerising.
Arijit has sung the songs “Jaana Ve” and “Aaj Zid” the music was composed by Mithoon and written by Sayeed Quadri.
He also lent his voice to mesmerising Main hoon saath tere from Shaadi mein zaroor ana. Singh lent his vocals and also made a visual appearance for the music video of the song “Pal”; featured in the film Monsoon Shootout. Singh’s voice texture in the song garnered favourable reviews from the Indian media.
Hobbies and Other Works
According to Singh, apart from being a singer, he is a badminton player, a writer, a movie freak and a documentary maker. He also likes cricket, football and his favourite sportmen are Sachin Tendulkar, Lance Klusener and Jonty Rhodes.He is an ardent football fan, his favourite teams are Brazil and Argentina and favourite footballers are Lionel Messi, Thomas Muller. In Badminton, he likes Saina Nehwal.
Arijit enjoys listening to retro songs by Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi and the classical and ghazal songs along with the music of Coldplay. He expressed his desire to work with artist Norah Jones someday as he loves her music.He says he is uncomfortable with all the attention that fame has brought. In a concert at Emaar Boulder Hills, he stated: “If I want to eat fish, I want to be free to go and buy it myself in the market. I don’t like these interviews and photos”.
In August 2015, Singh claimed that he received an extortion call from gangster Ravi Pujari, who demanded to give ₹50 million (US$780,000). Ravi Pujari, complimented Arijit for having a “Good voice” and asked whether he is interested to do business with him, as per police, Ravi Pujari called Arijit on behalf of an organizer who wanted to do a show with Arijit at a lower rate, he asked Arijit to do some shows for free or either pay 50 million rupees. and it came to know that Ravi Pujari didn’t threaten him, although Arijit got feared. Though Singh refused to file a complaint, Oshiwara police made a diary entry of the matter.
Arijit completed shooting for his directorial debut in 2015. Titled Bhalobasar Rojnamcha, it is a Bengali feature film compiled with seven short films. Co-written by Singh, a work-in-progress version of the film has been sent to some film festivals abroad. Singh also has an NGO named “Let There Be Light” which works for his locality in Jiaganj and for Below Poverty Line (BPL)community. Singh resides in Andheri, Mumbai.
In a conversation with Hindustan Times in the December 2016, Arijit said I have always aspired to become a musician and singer, I had gone through a lot of hard-work, but I am satisfied, the little share that I have got is because of hard-work. I had always liked living my life in a quiet and peaceful manner. My fans took a considerable amount of time to understand this fact. But with the rise of social media, it too had become difficult. Now I am always noticed and people try to reach out to me which is a different feeling. Overall, the change is positive. All of my fans are very supportive, which is very helpful for a singer. He remarked Papon, Shalmali Kholgade, Shefali Alvares, and almost all of his contemporaries as his favourite.
In an Interview given to Mid-day in the December 2016, Arijit said “Independent Music in India needs to be redefined” and he is working on some “Independent Music Projects” but he believes that Bollywood Music Overpowers Independent Music, and there is lack of infrastructure and platform for the Independent Music in India, and it is difficult to produce Independent(Non-Film) Music in India.