“People like independent music, they want independent expression”, says Karan B Oberoi

One thing that I got from everyone who came to take selfies was, they said thank you for making our childhood wonderful.

Karan B Oberoi is an Indian singer, anchor, and television actor. He gained attention as a member of the 2001-formed Indipop boy band A Band Of Boys and for his portrayal of Raghav in the film Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin.

In an exclusive interview with Bussiness Upturn Karan shared about his journey from forming a boy band to becoming an author.


Your last year’s song ‘Yaari’ made a hit with over 102k views on YouTube. What would you like to say about that? Were you expecting this song to blow up like this?

Not really, I mean when you’re making a song from the heart all you want is to reach out to the audience and for them to resonate with the idea of what you are thinking as an artist. If that happens that you are happy with it but that’s not why you create a song will the expectations. Well if it’s well received but you do the process of creativity with absolute honesty and integrity and leave it for the universe to find its way.

Recently you had a show at the Kala Ghoda art festival which is India’s largest multicultural festival from the visuals, on your Instagram stories we could make how you made your fans go insane with your performance, so how was your experience there?

It is very difficult to explain in words because one it was an epic show, second, it was amazing because when I jumped on the stage and went into the audience I could feel that love, affection, and nostalgia was written on their face. One thing that I got from everyone who came to take selfies was, they said thank you for making our childhood wonderful, which is so difficult for me to explain to any human being, that overwhelms me, humbles me and I feel so blessed and grateful. These are the three-four things that keep regulating in my mind every time I relive that moment. I’m still surprised that across the festival we didn’t sing a single Bollywood number, we only sang our original songs. The entire show was about originals. The whole idea and theory that we are perpetuating to the world that people only want Bollywood as a form of entertainment, only Bollywood music, is wrong. That means people like independent music, they want independent expression and are ready for it. So it’s just very gratifying to feel it.

In the Kala Ghoda Art festival gave a tribute to KK by singing his Yaaro. So as an artist what is your favourite song from other artists/ who is your other favourite artist?

All of us as a band is very fond of KK as an artist. He was one artist that was a very difficult man to hate, no one hated him. He had this very beautiful, soulful voice and he was not hankering for publicity or wanted to be in controversies. Nothing, no award functions, nothing. He just went to the studio, sang a song, came back, went to a rock show, and finished his show and he was so humble. What makes an artist great is not just his talent but also the nature of the human being, how is he, whether was he a good person, was kind to his fans, did people love him. KK is the one artist that comes to my mind who actually crossed all barriers of the demography of everything. So his song ‘Yaaro’ is one of the band’s favourite because we have worked for the band for almost 22 years now so for us, that itself is a defining moment.

What inspired you to start your journey as an author?

So I was writing for the longest time. I used to write short stories, and most of the songs of the band I’d write. I was writing from very early, I wrote my first screenplay as a writer. Most people don’t take your craft seriously if you’re doing other than the pace. If I used to walk into a meeting they would say you’re a model, you’re an actor, so okay yaar thanks. I used to send up my material to people nobody would read it. I used to just take a pen and paper and fill up my almirah with notes and then during the covid and I thought why should I worry about how the world is gonna react to my writing? So I thought the next step would be to see when I am writing a screenplay I’m expecting a producer to come on board, an actor to listen to my story, and some to listen to me, and pay attention to me. But in the authoring world, you write what you feel like and then put it out for the world to consume it. I felt very validated when Battlefield Brothers became last year’s bestseller. It hit the top spot, number one bestseller in a matter of four days and that’s very difficult for a nonfictional history. So I felt very validated and said I’m ready to unleash myself as an author to the world.

The next book Karan is a rom-com. He also said that he has written 5 books till date and only three of them have been released.

How did you come up with the idea of forming your own band ‘A band of boys’

I came to Bombay to be a singer. I was looking for avenues and at that time indie pop was also really really flourishing. I bought my house and my neighbour was Sudhanshu, so one day I heard him singing and I was like my god he’s a gifted singer. I went up to him and the first option was to come together as a duo. And then we met the others. When he saw the two of us he said this is a great idea we could work this out you guys have all the package you are models you look well, you sing well and I happened to see your documentary of backstreet boys and 4 days later I went back and I said you know what about a boy band and he said oh that’s something we never thought I said think about it. There are two of us already and you are getting 3 more.

We went complete pop star hunt way, everyone auditioned. There were about 600 participants. Then we were tested for our singing, acting, dancing, and performing abilities and then the band was formed. So it was a legit pop hunt, then.

You are a Full pack of talent. You’re an author, singer, and actor. Is there anything that you fear or find difficult to do?

Within the creative batch thing, not so much. I am very happy on this journey because most things are born out of passion. I write because I love to write, I sing because I love singing, and I just love producing. Mukbair is something I wanted to produce, it was something that was at the top of my mind. Writing Mukhbir and story, the screenplay was something I wanted to do. So I do things because I love doing those things, I never feel the pressure or burden. As long as I am happy doing what I do, I’ll flourish, the minute I will do it for the job, it’ll be the end of me.