He’s racked up more than 30 million views on YouTube with his soulful, RnB-infused remixes of Bollywood classics such as ‘Tum Hi Ho’, ‘Teri Meri’ and ‘Chammak Challo’ and one of India’s biggest record labels has taken note.
British-Sri Lankan singer Arjun has signed to Indian music giant T-Series, the owners – ironically enough – of some of the crooner’s most popular Bollywood remixes.
The singer, born Arjuna Coomaraswamy, first came to prominence in 2011 with his unique take on the then-ubiquitous ‘Why This Kolaveri Di’, which went viral on YouTube, notching up more than 8 million views and getting the female population all agog.
Since then he’s been a darling at the BBC Asian Network and collaborated with a host of other digital media savvy British Asian artists including Priti Menon, Shivali and Natasha and the curiously-named “Raxstar”, whilst also garnering the “Best Newcomer” award at 2012 UK Asian Music Awards.
He’s displayed exceptional mastery of the digital music space, using YouTube and Social Media to build his profile as well as a devoted following, a fact that didn’t escape the powers that be at T-Series.
“T-Series has always believed in developing and nurturing new talent”, said Neeraj Kalyan, President of T-Series.
“The paradigm shift in the way the music is consumed or promoted nowadays with major focus being the digital medium, Arjun’s style of music will certainly appeal to the young audiences globally who are the biggest music consumers online”, Kalyan added.
According to reports, T-Series plans to release two records by Arjun in 2014, a compilation of his popular Hindi remixes and an RnB/Pop album.
It’s a unique achievement for the Sri Lankan-born singer, whose parents are of mixed Sinhala and Tamil origin, and who first enjoyed success with the British Tamil community before finding his feet in the notoriously inward-looking British Indian music scene.
He is also arguably the first musician of Sri Lankan origin to be signed to a major Indian record label.
In a statement, Arjun said: “I’m very grateful for this opportunity to take my music to the next level. T-Series is a formidable company and their vision aligns very well with mine. I’m excited for everyone to hear all the music I’ve been working on behind the scenes.
Big thank you to my fans who have enabled this to happen through their hard work and support. It’s been a team effort.”