New Delhi: English singer and songwriter Zayn Malik is all over the news media for no more than his tattoos. Or perhaps because he is ‘caught’ smoking in quite a few photographs he has uploaded on Instagram.
In India or among the Indian followers of music worldwide, he is in the news because he attempted Kailash Kher’s number “Teri Deewani” and the Indian singer of the Sufi singer took exception to it. Malik had earlier told a magazine even as his rendition went viral last Saturday, “It’s one of the first songs I’ve sung in full Hindi, so it’s going to be cool to see what the response is.”
Kailash was reportedly taken aback. “I didn’t even know who he was until someone sent me the video saying, ‘Look, who sang your song’. I was like, ‘Kaun hai, bhai?’ And then I went on to his Instagram [account] and saw that he has covered the song, and he has over 27 million followers. That’s when I learnt about him and came to know that he is a big pop star in the West, who is a huge icon.”
But Kailash didn’t quite like this version of his 2006 hit. “For Zayn Malik, I would suggest… we have our digital academy (Kailash Kher Academy of Learning Arts) coming up soon, where there will be a course dedicated to all our compositions, which include ‘Teri Deewani’ and other superhits… [so] to know and learn the correct codes and nuances. It will help him improve his skills on such songs,” says Kailash.
Malik has earned the epithet of “Bradford Bad Boy”, thanks to his questionable public conduct, scandals, tattoos, graffiti art and rock star hairstyles. He has played himself in The X Factor, iCarly, Saturday Night Live, One Direction: This Is Us, Where We Are – The Concert Film, One Direction: The TV Special, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Voice and Ocean’s 8 between 2010 and now.
He has grabbed the global news headlines due to the cover of “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt, where the video shows him inhaling a ‘suspicious’ looking cigarette before launching into the song with a heavily filtered effect. His fans implored him immediately to quit the habit. They had done so in the recent past, too, but to no avail.
While a celebrity smoking sends a wrong message to society, on several occasions in the past, he has been accused of hiring public relations managers to grab the news space.