A-Zal. From Mumbai to Hollywood Soundtracks

"I feel I can write any genre of music and have written so many different forms from Pop, Rock, World music and Opera to name a few"
14 April 2024

The NYC pop artist is back with his new track, 17 & 11 Nights

American pop sensation A-Zal returns with his latest track, 17 & 11 Nights, following the success of his debut single, Movie Script, which soared to the top of the Mediabase TOP 40 Activator Charts within just two weeks. Originally from Mumbai, India, A-Zal’s musical roots trace back to the vibrant streets of Hounslow, London, where his passion for pop music first ignited. 

After establishing himself as a prominent soundtrack writer for major Hollywood productions like Marvel Studios’ “Loki” and “Ms. Marvel,” A-Zal embarks on a new chapter with 17 & 11 Nights,’ delving into themes of love, nostalgia, and self-discovery. The new pop gem once again comes with a vivid visual.

A-Zal’s tracks like Lonely Town and Autopilot received acclaim and film festival nominations. Affectionately called the “American Ed Sheeran,” he’s gearing up to drop new singles like Phonebook, Vegas, Closet, and I’m Looking Through You. In an exclusive interview, A-Zal discusses his artistic journey and what’s next for his fan base.

I have ten releases coming up in the next twelve months, with a new single releasing almost every month. It is going to be so action packed and I can’t wait for it to unfold

As the first pop singer of Indian origin to make waves in the American pop music scene, what inspired you to pursue a career in music, and how has your cultural background influenced your artistic journey?

I have been exposed to so many cultures as part of growing up. I was born in Mumbai, India. Later on, my family moved to London and that’s where I first got inclined towards pop music. My musical journey began at Hounslow Heath School, where I uncovered my passion for music, picking up the mouth organ and guitar, and delving into songwriting at just 11 years old. I studied Engineering and landed up with a corporate job. After a stint in corporate life at KPMG, I made the bold decision to chase my dreams, diving into the world of movies, crafting film scores and soundtracks. I did many Bollywood movies. One of the movie I wrote the Original Score for was nominated at the Cannes Film Festival and that’s where I started getting international recognition. I try to bring in all my cultural exposure to my songwriting and I believe that helps in creating some magic!

Movie Script has quickly gained traction on US radio, reaching the Mediabase TOP 40 Activator Charts within its second week of release. Can you share the story behind the song and its unexpected success?

This was totally unexpected. I had no clue it would enter the Top 40 Activator Charts. I was on cloud 9 once I heard that Movie Script is put into rotation on multiple radio stations in the USA and the UK. The song was a radio friendly track and quite upbeat which is why I believe it picked up so well on radio. It was my debut single and I always had a dream to start with a bang. This was such a rewarding moment of my life and I’ll always treasure this success.

Your childhood in the UK immersed you in British pop culture, while your recent success has been in the American music industry. How do you navigate between these different musical landscapes, and do you find that your diverse background enhances your creativity?

It’s actually quite easy to navigate between the various musical landscapes. My biggest strength is composing and I developed the art of songwriting and composing in the last decade. I feel I can write any genre of music and have written so many different forms from Pop, Rock, World music and Opera to name a few. Pop music is my favorite and my biggest strength though. Also, its my inner voice! So, my singles are mainstream pop or adult contemporary and I hope it will resonate with a large worldwide audience.

With your upcoming album, 17 & 11 Nights, you’ve been able to capture the attention of both audiences and critics alike. What themes or messages do you explore in this album, and how does it reflect your personal and artistic growth?

Broadly, the entire album and all my songs are about some aspect of my life. This is my way of telling my story to the world. I feel with each song, my ability to tell the story gets better and somewhere gets smoother.

Your singles, such as Lonely Town and “Autopilot,” have garnered acclaim not only for their music but also for their accompanying visuals. How important is storytelling through music videos to you, and what do you hope to convey through these visual elements?

This was an unexpected outcome. I actually got rewarded as a filmmaker before anything else! Isn’t that so cool. I actually never intended to self direct my music videos. I was in talks with so many film directors, but I just couldn’t see the song coming to life visually the way I wanted it to. That’s when I decided to direct it myself. Lonely Town was the second single to release in October 2023. It’s music video received nominations at the 2023 Montreal Independent Film Festival and 2023 American Documentary And Animation Film Festival. I take both these nominations as a huge positive and I feel I made the right decision to self direct my music videos.

Your fans often liken you to “the American Ed Sheeran” for your soulful voice and heartfelt melodies. How do you feel about these comparisons, and who are some of your musical influences that have shaped your distinctive sound?

That is a an enormous compliment as I feel Ed Sheeran has the voice of an angel. He has been one of my biggest inspirations and what pulls me the most is the truth in his songwriting. In terms of my overall sound, I am very different to Ed Sheeran, but every time I receive such a compliment, it causes my facial muscles to form a massive smile!

As you continue to release new music, what can fans expect from your upcoming singles like Phonebook, Vegas, Closet, and I’m Looking Through You? In what way do these tracks add to the story of your artistic evolution?

These singles are all lined up to build an overall narrative in terms of my artistic journey and also my soundscape. The initial few singles have been intentionally kept raw and acoustic. But, there is some explosive music lined up which will surprise my audience. I’m working on the production of my third album right now which will release in 2026 and the sound is really experimental and new age. Being an artist, I want to give pop music a new sound. I want my audience to relate not only to my songwriting, but also the sonic soundscape of my music.

What can we expect from you in the next twelve months?

I have ten releases coming up in the next twelve months, with a new single releasing almost every month. It is going to be so action packed and I can’t wait for it to unfold. I’m Looking Through You, Vegas, Closet, Good Times are some of them. I will also be releasing a Step Up version of Movie Script as that has been the track which my fans have loved the most.

Which album did you buy first?

I have to say this is one of my favorite questions that I have ever been asked. The first album purchase talks a lot about the artist I feel and is reflective on the artist’s journey. It was the epic Ten by Pearl Jam. I still have it and I still listen to it once in a while. It has a huge role to play in my life as an artist. The best thing about the album was no junk! Every song was a hit and there were no filler singles just to fill in the cd. That is precisely my thought when it comes to releasing my music and my album overall. I only release the best of my music and make sure every single is on point and released for a purpose. I don’t want to slide in any random singles just to keep the momentum going and act as filler songs. My music needs to be on point every single time! I sincerely hope I am able to do that and live up to my own expectations.

Which artists are you listening to right now?

I’ve been listening a lot to Henry Moodie and I love his songwriting. Of course, my all time favorites are Dua Lipa and Ed Sheeran and they are perpetually present in my playlists.