Has popular playback singer Arijit Singh developed a foot-in-mouth syndrome or he is merely being a divo?
In a recent interview, the 29-year-old crooner declared that his tribe had a limited shelf life in film music, not exceeding six years. “I don’t think I have a long way to go. This might be my last year,” Singh said about his own career.
Singh’s statement sounds far-fetched, but don’t be surprised if he makes good his threat. The temperamental singer has been courting headlines throughout 2016 with his public outbursts. In May, Singh wrote an apology letter on his Facebook profile to Salman Khan, requesting the actor to retain his version of the song Jug Ghoomeya in the sports drama Sultan. Khan dismissed the apology, but that did not dampen Singh’s spirits.
In October, Singh lambasted music composer Abhijit Vaghani for tweaking his voice beyond recognition in a cover version of the classic tune Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas (Blackmail, 1973) for the upcoming crime thriller Wajah Tum Ho (2016).
It is clear from Singh’s online posts that he wants to control his public image. First comes the outburst that invites multiple interpretations, after which the singer selectively communicates with the media to offer his clarifications.
The singer’s transformation has been building up over time. He was briefly arrested in 2013 for allegedly assaulting a news cameraman who had the temerity to approach the singer as he emerged from a court in Behrampore, where divorce proceedings from his first wife were being heard. Singh hit the cameraman with a helmet. Singh remarried in 2014, updating fans through a photograph posted on social media.
Despite his erratic behaviour, the gifted singer is at the top of his game. His big break came with the melodic Phir Mohabbat (Murder 2, 2011), composed by Mithoon. He has delivered several chartbusters since then and picked up two Filmfare Best Male Playback trophies for Tum Hi Ho (Aashiqui 2, 2013) and Sooraj Dooba Hai (Roy, 2015).
In 2016 alone, Singh has notched up credits in over 30 films. The mushy sounds of Soch Na Sake (Airlift) filled the January chill with lilt and December will waltz by with Nashe Si Chadh Gayi (Befikre). In between, his soulful rendition of the title track of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is likely to win several trophies. There hasn’t been a month without his songs featuring at the top of the charts – unless, of course, Singh drop the mike as threatened.
What else could Arijit Singh do if not sing? He wants to be a film director, and has even helmed the Bengali production Bhalobasar Rojnamcha. But the film remains unreleased.
In his rare interactions with the media, Singh has always maintained that he likes to keep a low public profile. His repeated tantrums are giving the once-benign talent a reputation for being moody, sulky and irritable, but never boring. Arijit Singh is not only a singer, but well on his way to being declared a bona fide rock star.