A R Rahman on rediff.com

He had just done a concert in Chennai, the time was midnight and you would think AR Rahman was ready to wind up a hard-driving day. But no -- he was upbeat, obviously in a great frame of mind, when he appeared on Rediff chat.

During his interaction with fans worldwide, there was no sign of impatience, no indication that his mind was on other things -- though he had, after the chat, to complete work on some remixes and catch a flight to London for the music release of Lord Of The Rings.

Rahman put all those preoccupations out of mind, and answered questions with patience and eloquence. For those who missed the event, here is the transcript:

Mahesh Londhe: I feel 1947 Earth is your all time best music. I am not against synthesizer or latest techniques but have a strong opinion that music is nothing but 'feelings' and therefore a song should be recorded in one go without a break as it was done previously. What is your opinion?

A R Rahman says: Thank you very much. I definitely have a lot of freedom when I work with Deepa Mehta, since she doesn't nitpick into every little thing. She just gives the general idea and disappears till we make beautiful music for her and she responds later. Freedom is very important in the process of creating music and songs. There are a lot of issues when we record music together, because even if one person is not right, then the whole recording becomes unusable. Hence, by the use of multi-tracks, we definitely try to simulate the seamlessness in a song. But the practice is still on. The music of Lord of the Rings, the musical, and Golden Age, which I recorded recently were all with a live orchestra in one of the most prestigious studios in London.

Aravind AM: Sir, in most of your songs, there are very minute and very fine sounds, which may hardly be noticeable to a normal listener, but if we actually notice them, we appreciate the sheer brilliance. What motivates you to make all those fine nuances in your songs, though the efforts that you put in for beautifying the song may not reach the audience?

A R Rahman says: There is a story of Michelangelo -- if I am not wrong -- which I heard recently. It seems that he was painting beautiful pictures at the back of the church. People told him you are a fool because you are not painting in the front where people can appreciate your work. The answer was: I do my work for God. I think he can watch it anywhere. I thought it was a brilliant answer because everything doesn't need to have instant appreciation. Even if one of you have appreciated those fine nuances, that is enough for me.

Armstrong S A: I feel that quality and sounds of Roja songs are far better than your recent ones. What is the main reason for that? Are you missing Sridar and other sound engineers?

A R Rahman says: At the time of Roja, the consumer music systems used were of lower qualities and we had to cater to a mono-magnetic tape. Hence we had to exaggerate the high frequencies and use a lot of specialisers. Things have changed in the course of time and we have now taken a universal approach in the sound quality to make our recordings sound warm and friendly to every system. That covers the recording part. The sounds which you say were inspired from the film of Roja, definitely another film soundtrack will come where you will feel the same or maybe better vibe again.

Vineet: Hi Rahman sir. I am a fan of you. I hear that you are coming to Dubai for a concert. Is it true? If yes, is it a public or a private concert? We are very eager to see u here in Dubai.

A R Rahman says: You'll know very soon.

Shani George: Guruji, what is that one special thing you would like to tell your millions of fans?

A R Rahman says: Love makes the heart lighter and makes you see things objectively. Hate darkens you and makes you heavy at heart and uneasy. Make a choice. God bless.

Sathya: Hi Rahman, I am a die hard fan of you and have been listening to your music since Roja. I have read in your interviews that you pray five times a day. Also, it's because you love your job you can avoid burnout. But amid such high pressures, how are you able to do that? Do you get pressurised any time by producers to finish fast, which can cause you lose your coolness and creativity?

A R Rahman says: Like how we find time to eat food and sleep, we need to find time for 'spiritual food' too. If we have our mind balanced and light, all other things are easier to handle.

Chekka Prakash: Why are you not giving music to Telugu movies?

A R Rahman says: I am in the process of doing a Telugu movie directed by S J Suriya, and starring Pavan Kalyan. The music of Jodhaa Akbar will also release in Telugu.

S Somu: Sir, don't neglect my request. Give me some work to do... anything... I will travel my life with you, sir. I don't know more about music but I can do any kind of work. Don't neglect this.

A R Rahman says: I never intentionally neglect people, but due to overwhelming queue in my work, it might seem so. I have all of you in my prayers and love you all.

Amit Iyer: Good Evening Rahmanji. I'm your die hard fan from Mumbai. I love each and every track you have composed, right from Roja to Jodhaa Akbar and have collected CD's and cassettes of each of your compositions. I heard you are going to compose some devotional album soon with your Guru Shri Dakshinamoorthy. When is it about to be released? I just want to meet you at least once. You have come to Mumbai several times but I always missed the opportunity of meeting you. Hope we will meet soon. All the best for your future projects. Warm regards to you and your family.

A R Rahman says: You are right. Mr Dakshinamurthy has composed a beautiful album from the Tamil Sufi text of Gunangudi Mastan based on Carnatic ragas. Though we have done around six songs, we are still finding it difficult to find the time to complete the other songs. But it's a very passionate project. Do wait for it.

Arshitha V: Hi Rahman Sir. How are you? As we all know that technology is having a great impact in the world of music, how are you able to keep yourself abreast with the current technology? Also, do you feel that you need more contributions from the world of science to music? I value your opinion a lot on this.

A R Rahman says: I've not seen any great innovation in instruments recently except for a few, which is the continium fingerboard and a very unique instrument in North India where a person has combined a violin and a Sarangi. Indian music could have a great scientific instrument emulating all the gamakas and ragas with a polyphonic touch. I might have missed something which is already there.

A R Rahman says: I read most of your questions... thought I will just pick and choose the ones I felt like answering due to lack of time. I thank you for taking your time for writing all those beautiful kind words.

Interviewed by Rediff.com

Naresh Iyer interviewed

News courtesy: NewIndiapress


TWENTY-five-year-old Naresh was just another free-spirited youngster who enjoyed music, did a bit of singing for himself and longed for a career in chartered accountancy.

Although he had won a few inter- collegiate music competitions, Naresh believed it was nothing more than good luck.

But when the winning became consistent he wondered whether he actually had a flair for music.

In 2005, Naresh found himself amongst the last 25 contestants of Channel V’s music talent hunt show V Supersinger.

The show turned out a dream run for the young man who met musicians of the likes of A R Rahman and Adnan on the sets. But the honeymoon was not to last long and Naresh was soon out of the show.

Not empty-handed, though, he had a singing offer from Rahman, which again he thought was too good to be true. But in a few months Roobaroo happened and life changed forever for Naresh Iyer.

Three years later, Naresh is a national award-winning playback singer. This website’s newspaper caught up with the velvet-voiced pick of Rahman who rendered many of his recent cult hits, including Roobaroo, Patshala and Munbe Va.

“I never thought that Rahman sir was serious when he made the offer that day. I thought he was only trying to console me as I was out of the show. But within four days, his engineer called me and I was flabbergasted,” says the 27-year-old singer with his trade-mark smile intact on his boyish face.

Ever since that classy Rang De Basanti number hit the charts there has been no looking back for this youngster from Mumbai. The song won him the National Award for best play back singer for 2006.

Today, Naresh juggles his time between stage shows and recordings. Something he never dreamt of three years ago.

“I was just a guy who dreamt of becoming a CA and was happy with my studies. Although I was training in music under Susheela Mani and Chintamani Gore, I was not really serious about a career in music,” Naresh swears.

Interestingly, it was his parents who coerced this studious boy into music. Naresh’s mother actually wanted him to participate in Indian Idol.

“I was kind of bored with reality shows and wanted to pursue studies rather than music. But when V Supersinger happened, my family almost pushed me out of the house to participate in it,” he says.

Little did he know then that he was about to be hand-picked by Rahman for an enviable musical career.

Rahman not only gave Naresh his first playback song (Mayilerege for Anbe Aaruyire) and his first Bollywood break (Roobaroo) but also made him part of his team for world tours.

Naresh has by now shared many stages with the legendary composer. “It is tough when you are sharing the stage with artists’ of this stature because the expectations are always very high. Being part of that team itself is a challenge,” says Naresh.

However, unlike stage shows recording with AR is an entirely different experience, he says.

“He is a treasure house of knowledge, and you always come out having learnt something after each session. He always keeps his sessions relaxed and when you are done with a song you feel like starting it all over again.”

Naresh has also worked with other leading Tamil composers, including Harris Jayaraj and Deva. He is now looking forward to singing for Ilayaraja and Vidyasagar.

Naresh, who is a native of Palakkad, has only sung one Malayalam song for the film Heart Beats. He is now looking forward to his next Hindi project with Anu Malik, which is set to begin soon.

“I still feel like I am living a dream. I just don’t want it to end.” That's very unlikely, going by his run in tinsel town so far. Nevertheless, touch wood !

Mission Ustad

The musical genius A.R. Rahman has been roped in for a mega musical show titled ‘Mission Ustaad’. The show is being aired on the Channel 9X, the newly-launched Hindi entertainment channel of Peter Mukerjea.

The bi-weekly show is titled ‘Mission Ustad’. Ten singers will participate to provide engrossing musical entertainment for a cause. ‘Mission Ustaad’ has been put together by the United Nations, Endemol and 9X. Mission Ustaad is expected to communicate the essence of UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) across the length and breadth of the country.

Rahman will be one of the judges in the show, which showcases many talents across the country. The singing sensations - Roop Kumar Rathod and Sunali Rathod, Kailash Kher and Mahalakshmi Iyer, Vasundhara Das and Mohit Chauhan, Naresh Iyer and Shweta Pandit get together and battle it out for the title of Ustaad Jodi. This noble-cause-oriented reality show will be hosted by the gorgeous actress with a million-dollar smile, Simone Singh.

Bollywood beauty Lara Dutta joins A.R. Rahman to judge the singers who participate in the show. IndiaGlitz brings you a sneak peek of what's in store for you.

News courtesy: Indiaglitz