I told Michael Jackson India adores him: Rahman

Music composer A R Rahman talks to CNN-IBN's Entertainment Editor Rajeev Masand on life after winning two Oscars, his music and meeting Michael Jackson.

Rajeev Masand: There is a popular perception even among your greatest fans that Jai Ho and the music of Slumdog Millionaire isn't your best work?

A R Rahman: It's not that they gave me an Oscar for my life, they game the Oscar for the particular film and how different the music and theme was for the film. so, I'm really proud of Slumdog Millionaire's music and of Jai Ho. This stood apart from every other film that came out in its message, direction, scriptwriting and everything.

Rajeev Masand: You have always said that healthy arguments with your directors, lyricists has often resulted in the creation of some very good music. I'm guessing after the Oscars no one really argues, disputes your suggestions anymore?

A R Rahman: I don't know if it really works that way. In the interest of any big film, there are always arguments because there is a vision which is always the director's. If you are sensible you will go with the vision. You can't say that I've made a beautiful song so fit it in your movie.

Rajeev Masand: So do they argue with a two Oscar winner?

A R Rahman: No they don't out of respect, but we need to follow the dharma (philosophy) of the art.

Rajeev Masand: You met Michael Jackson shortly after the Oscars. You have said he has had an influence on you and Thriller was the first cassette you owned. Tell us what that meeting was like?

A R Rahman: Every musician would wait for a Michael Jackson album to come out. It comes once in five years. We get hooked on it so much that it stays with us for the rest of our lives. I was supposed to me Michael during a concert in 1999 for helping Africa. He had a mishap on that concert, so I couldn't meet him.

After nine years when I went to Los Angeles, my agent said I'm going to meet Randy - who manages Michael - so I asked if I could meet him? My agent mailed Randy asking if he wanted to meet me, three days before the Oscars we got an email saying Michael wants to meet me.

So I met him after the Oscars finished, won the Oscars and went to meet him. We thought the meeting would be five minutes, it lasted two hours. We just sat and he spoke about the chord progression of what I've written. I told him that India adores Michael Jackson. I told him how we all grew up on his music and he said 'you're very kind'. I met his children, he introduced me to them.

He called me three-four times when I was in Chennai. When I met him again he asked me to do a song on the lines of We are the world for him. He said I could conduct the whole thing. I was shocked. But before we could get into that he started going to the rehearsals. The next thing I get to hear is that he's dead. It was a real shocker.

Courtesy: IBN

Doctorate conferred to AR Rahman by Middlesex University



Foto from Facebook profile of Rahmanfever Krishnan
A R Rahman with Middlesex University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Driscoll, after receiving the Honorary Doctorate from Middlesex University on July 7, ’09

Courtesy of Ashanti OMkar & Middlesex University

Thanks Guys you rock.

Couples Retreat music by A R Rahman



Couples Retreat is an upcoming 2009 comedy film directed by Peter Billingsley and written by Jon Favreau, who also stars in the film. The cast also includes Vince Vaughn, Faizon Love, Jason Bateman, Kristin Davis, Kristen Bell, Malin Akerman and Kali Hawk. The music for this movie is composed by Academy Award winner A.R. Rahman, making his Hollywood debut.

Plot
A comedy centered around four couples who go on a vacation to a tropical-island resort. While one of the couples is there to work on the marriage, the others fail to realize that participation in the resort's therapy sessions is not optional.

Release date(s) October 9, 2009

Information Courtesy: Wikipedia

Oscar Acceptance Speech

"I just want to thank again the whole crew of Slumdog Millionaire, especially Danny Boyle for giving such a great opportunity. And the whole, all the people from Mumbai. The essence of the film which is about optimism and the power of hope in the lives, and all my life I had a choice of hate and love. I chose love and I'm here. God bless".—AR Rahman


Rahman, the Juggernaut has arrived in the west

Oscar's in kitty!

Rahman as India know is a magical wizard who is capable of creating music that everyone loves. If I have seen some dislike (as they say) it is their love for music which are pre-rahman era. A.R.Rahman is solely responsible for the revival of Indian film music and at the same time for non-film music.

There was a time in South India when music channels spread across, competing for telecasting one after another of rahman's numbers. Other musicians also sprang like vegetation around an Oasis in a desert. That Oasis also helped so many aging technicians and artists earn their share of the bread and preventing them from an early death from the industry.

His music as we all know started within himself in early, very early ages; with his disciplined and mature approach the music had begun to conquer hearts thousands by thousands with each and every new song. It was first his homeland Tamilnadu that embraced Rahmanism (those who follows not only rahman's music but also responsible generation who hear these songs by buying original copies rather than listening in pirated copies, those who understand the man's mission of spreading love over hatred, those who help the needy in the name of the man, those who love him unconditionally). The entire nation followed a little late in Rahmanism.

If one has to talk about Rahman, it is not only his music but also the personality that you will be talking about. He is so down to earth, humble, generous, peace loving and human lover (be it in any colour of form) set to change people's conception not only about music but also a life around it.

For Rahman's recognition, Oscar cannot be the ideal yardstick but the millions and millions of hearts he has conquered should be. After all what is recognition without listeners.

He has been roped in for the movie Couples Retreat, which releases in October 2009. It is a comedy flick and the first direct Hollywood platform for the maestro.

BBC Reports on Oscar Win

Indian composer AR Rahman has won two Oscars for his work in Danny Boyle's Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire.

Rahman took one Oscar for the best score and another for his song Jai Ho from the film, a rags-to-riches tale set in the slums of Mumbai.

He praised Slumdog Millionaire's themes of hope and optimism.

Rahman is among five Indians to win an Oscar. Two other Indians, Gulzar and Resul Pookutty, picked up Oscars for original song and sound mixing.

Earlier Oscar winners from India were costume designer Bhanu Athaiya for her work in Gandhi in 1983 and director Satyajit Ray, who won a lifetime achievement award in 1992.

British director Danny Boyle has won best director for Slumdog Millionaire and the film also took best picture. Altogether, it netted eight awards.

Mumbai celebrations

Rahman, 43, picked up the Oscar for best original score before, minutes later, picking up a second for the best song, along with Gulzar.

"I just want to thank again the whole crew of Slumdog Millionaire, especially Danny Boyle, for giving me such a great opportunity," he said, while accepting the award.

The composer said he hailed "all the people from Mumbai and the essence of the film, which is about optimism and the power of hope and our lives".

He went on: "All my life I've had a choice of hate and love. I chose love and I'm here. God bless."

TV pictures showed Rahman's family cutting a cake in his home city of Chennai in southern India and celebrating the composer's win.

A local band played a tribute to the composer singing the hit song, Jai Ho.

The BBC's Prachi Pinglay in Mumbai says there have been celebrations in the slums of Mumbai, where two of the film's actors live.

Many slum dwellers have been watching the Oscar ceremony on television sets.

Rafique, the father of Rubina Ali - who portrays the youngest version of the leading lady Latika in the film - said: "It's a proud moment for India that the film has been awarded an Oscar. I am waiting for my daughter to return home with the stories."

A neighbour, Shameem, said Slumdog's success would spur the children in the area to succeed in life.

"Rubina should continue to act, she should not give it up. We are really happy for her," he said.

Indian sound engineer Resul Pookutty also picked up an Oscar for sound mixing along with Ian Tapp and Richard Pryke Resul Pookutty for Slumdog Millionaire.

Mr Pookutty, a graduate from the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India, has been in the industry for over 10 years and has worked on several big films.

Bollywood actor-director Aamir Khan said he was "thrilled" by India's successes at the Oscars.

"It is great to see Indian talent [in cinema] being recognised internationally. We are no less than anybody else," Khan told TV channels.

Another film with an Indian connection won the best documentary short Oscar.

Smile Pinki, a 39-minute documentary by American director Megan Mylan on an eight-year-old Indian girl born with a cleft lip, was one of the four short documentaries nominated for the Academy Awards.

There were celebrations in the north Indian village in Mirzapur district where Pinki lives, the BBC's Geeta Pandey says.

The girl's uncle said that several hundred people had made a procession, chanting "Bharat mata ki jai" (Hail to Mother India). 

News Courtesy: BBC

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7905003.stm

Its Oscar Time, ARRahman has arrived big in West

AP Photo
A R Rahman won two Oscars, one each for the Best Original Score and the Best Original Song categories

Oscar Special: Sukhwinder gets ready for oscars

Oscar Sp: Sukhwinder Singh gets ready for the Oscars

Sukhwinder Singh provided the powerful vocals on A R Rahman's Oscar nominated Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire. And while Rahman is enjoying accolades from all over the world, the playback singer says he knew this was bound to happen. 

"For the past seven to eight years I have been telling him that all the stuff that he is doing is meant for the international market. But he would just give me a smile and say let's get back to work," says Sukhwinder, "And now when Jai Ho got the response it did, I called him up and said 'I told you so!'"

So what is being planned for the big night in Los Angeles?

"Well I am not sure right now," laughs Singh, "I am going to Rahman's home tomorrow and hopefully we will have a better idea then. He does have a lot of rehearsals planned for us. But let's see what happens."

Speaking about the popularity that Jai ho is currently enjoying, Sukhwinder Singh says, "When we recorded Jai Ho, it was done n half an hour. I then told him that I wanted to record it again so he said 'ok sure'. And so we re-recorded it again. And then I told him I wanted to record it for the third time and he just laughed and said 'Shut up! You are full of masti'. But it's just that I wanted to keep on singing it because I just knew that this song had that something in it. I can't define it but it just had that something in it."

Singh says that the secret to his and Rahman's success is very simple.

"You know masti mein hasti hoti hain, hasti mein masti nahin hoti! If someone thinks they are better than anyone, then they aren't creative but arrogant. As far as I am concerned I like the atmosphere to be light and fun. We have so much masti together. When we are in the studio we don't chat about cars, money or house. We have other simple fun.. pulling each other's leg, cracking jokes. And others in the studio think that we aren't working. But you know what in 30 minutes are song is done and everything is ready!" says Sukhwinder with a smile. 

He says Rahman has managed to achieve all this success and acclaim is because he has kept things very simple in his life. 

"He loves experimenting with his music. He is always ready to serve something new to his listeners. But even in that experimentation he keeps everything very simple. He doesn't believe in complicating his work. And that has ensured that he has been successful in everything that he does," explains Sukhwinder.

The playback singer is currently enjoying fame and fortune in Hollywood himself. Having sung Chhaiya Chhaiya for Inside Man and Steven Spielberg's next, we ask him whether he finds things different in the West.
"Everything is the same. There is no difference and the reason for that is because talent in any part of the world is talent. When you have fun with your talent and thoroughly enjoy what you do, then success is yours. But if you are laid back, lethargic or arrogant about your talent, then success will never be yours. So whether it's India or the West as long as you are talented, everything is the same."

Rahman is very humble about what he has achieved in life and continues to remain very grounded. But Sukhwinder says to him Rahman is the ever romantic.

"If you see me I love having fun and will talk about anything with everyone. I love flirting… watching cartoons but Rahman is not like that. He is very quiet. In fact nowadays when I tease him that 'you must be sleeping in a tuxedo because you are at every award ceremony' he just laughs like a child and says 'okay..let's get back to work' or 'tell me Sukhie when are you coming for the recording!' But I think he has a lot of love and intensity in him. He is very romantic. Not many know this. He pours all his romance in his work. And the world is seeing the result of that!"

Why The BAFTA Is So Special For A R Rahman

By Subhash K Jha, In some ways BAFTA was more special than any of the other Slumdog awards so far.

It also has to do with the sudden coming-of-age of Indian music.
Says Rahman, "For 18 years I've been hearing it will happen now, it will happen now. It didn't happen with some of my earlier efforts like the staged musical Bombay Dreams. Finally Indian music has gone international. And frankly, the expectations scare me."
On Tuesday Rahman returned from London to Chennai for just a day before heading to Los Angeles for the Oscars.

Says Rahman, "Danny, Dev Patel and the crew are all Britishers. To be honoured back home is another high altogether. For me also, London is like a second home. I've been coming here since 1996. It's my favourite city outside India. And to be getting the BAFTA is special."

Rahman thinks the popularity of his Slumdog score has a lot to do with the fate of the overall product. "It's the entire product that audiences have liked , and my music is part of that product. My song Jai ho has touched a chord because of the way it has been used. It comes at the end as a cathartic eruption of song song dance and happiness. That's the spirit in which people have received my music."

Rahman looks back on his life after Slumdog with some amazement. "It's been like a rollercoaster ride for one and a half months. The Oscar will be the culmination of the whirlwind of activities. Are people back home looking at me with expectations? I hope I don't let them down. I feel God has already given me much more than I ever expected."

--- SAMPURN

http://www.newkerala.com/topstory-fullnews-90863.html
--

Delhi-6

Few music directors in present-day Bollywood dare to showcase South Asian classical music in its purest forms. Fortunately, AR Rahman is one who does. His latest release comes at the end of a particularly fruitful creative period. It began in early 2008 with notable soundtracks such as Jodhaa Akbar and Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, and continued with the soundtrack to Slumdog Millionaire, for which he has won a Golden Globe and a Bafta, and secured three Oscar nominations. Now, with Delhi-6, he impresses again.

The film, directed by Rakesh Omprakash Mehra, tells the story of an American-born Indian who travels to Delhi with his ailing grandmother. What was meant to be a quick visit turns into a protracted journey that places him in the heart of Chandni Chowk, the rambling, mazelike market district in Old Delhi. The number 6 is derived from the last digit of its postcode, which has become its local shorthand name.

The first song of the album, Masakali (Free Spirited) sung by Mohit Chauhan, is playful, with soft percussion and keyboards. The accordion takes centre stage along with Chauhan's voice, the music and vocals expressing the song's sentiment perfectly. Rahman's Sufi influences are evident on the second track, Arziyan (Requests), performed as a qaawali, the style of religious song made famous by the Pakistani singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. In turn, Aarti (Tumre Bhavan Mein) is a sombre, Hindu prayer song – the title of which translates as In Your Abode) – delivered over restrained and minimal accompaniment.

However, it is in Bhor Bhaye (The Arrival of Dawn) that the listener is introduced to the rich tradition of Hindustani classical music. Paying close attention to harmony and melody while cleverly tying the past to the present and future, Rahman samples the voice of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, a legendary Patiala gharana singer who died in 1968, then intersperses it with contributions by the up and coming young performer Shreya Ghoshal.

Delhi-6, the title track, is a jumble of contemporary styles featuring the Tamil rapper, BlaaZe. The song can be seen as an effort to try to capture the two sides (both geographic and metaphorical) of the city in which the movie is set. The north-central side, wherein lies Chandni Chowk, is known for its crowded lanes, mosques and delicious Mughlai cuisine. The southern part of the city, better known as New Delhi is just that: a hub of embassies and gleaming government offices alongside the well-scrubbed façades of five-star hotels and wide, tree-lined streets.

On Rehna Tu (You Stay) the producer leads the vocals in a duet with Tanvi Shah. This track is typical Rahman in at least two senses. Firstly he is known for appearing on at least one track on each of his albums and, secondly, he is responsible for discovering a number of prominent Bollywood playback singers, including Shah, with whom he first worked in 2004.

Genda Phool (Marigold Flower), meanwhile, is just beautiful. Rahman mixes looped synthesised bass into a slow and simple Rajasthani folk song. It sounds basic, but it is this kind of restrained fusion that sets him apart. Indeed this has the subtle, contemporary appeal could place it squarely in the Indian charts.

In short, this soundtrack is not for those looking for cliched Bollywood music, which often involves little more than unimaginative beats designed for actors to dance to, staidly remixed by popular DJs. Delhi-6 is in a different class altogether. With its exploration of the delicate nuances of South Asian classical music, it rewards careful listening. Whatever happens at the Oscars we can expect Rahman to be more of a presence in the international scene from now on, bringing his eastern sensibilities with him and applying them to the music of the world.


Interview with ARRahman: After winning BAFTA

Angelina Jolie to Kate Winslet, everyone is so humble in Hollywood"

The whole of India wants to know, what was it like walking that red carpet at the BAFTA's?
It was phenomenal and an absolutely fantastic experience. It was raining heavily, the weather was damn cold but the entire team of Slumdog Millionaire was feeling warm (laughs).

We also hear that you met and chatted quite a lot with Hollywood's great Clint Eastwood. Brief us a bit about that experience.
Yes, that's true. We had dinner together and were discussing films till we finished our meal. Clint Eastwood is the most respected man in Hollywood today. He is a combination of everybody put together. What I liked about his work is that he does things on his own terms.

All the actors in Hollywood want to work with him. We both shared with each other our experiences on how we started our career in films and so on. He is a great listener too. I spent a lot of time with him on the dinner table which will always remain special.

Any comments from Clint on your film or on your performance in Slumdog Millionaire?
He loved the film and the performances. But what he did mention to me was that a film like Slumdog Millionaire has split wide opened the doors for the actors in the East to come join the West.

There was a time during his peak when they had to rely heavily on the actors only from Hollywood but he feels that even Bollywood has now made its big leap with such a film, thanks to Danny Boyle.

He knows that Indian actors can act and win awards at the worlds biggest award functions. He also predicted that Slumdog Millionaire might do $300 million worth of collection at the box office.

Do you think that Slumdog Millionaire is a Bollywood film then?
It is completely a Bollywood film. The story is very Indian and so are all the actors. Hence I was offered to do Slumdog Millionaire; I didn't know who Danny Boyle was.

For me, he was just a filmmaker who made films. People go to see people in films. So you tell me who were the people in this film? They were Indians. Some like me were professional actors, others were new comers, and some were completely raw in their performances.

But all had one thing in common - They were somehow connected to the Indian roots. Indian cinema should be very proud of Slumdog Millionaire.

 While all the guests and nominees were escorted under the huge umbrella, you went for the role reversal by holding your own umbrella on the wet red carpet. Why?
(Laughs) I had an escort with an umbrella but the way he was holding the umbrella was getting me wet. I got hold of the umbrella myself so at least I could protect my suit and my hair (laughs).

Oscar night is almost ten days away. Any designers who are trying to dress you up for your biggest awards night ever?
There are loads but I'll be sticking to ready made suits. Like the one I was wearing at the BAFTA's was a creation by Armani. I will again go with the best in the business, Armani, for the Oscars.

Did you get emotional when A.R. Rahman and Resul Pookutty walked on the stage to collect their BAFTAs?
We were all sitting together with all of us feeling excited, thrilled and at the same time, a bit emotional. I met both of them during dinner where I showered my emotions on them by hugging them tight.

It was a proud moment for all three of us who represent the Indian Film Industry popularly known as Bollywood. Resul had earlier worked on my film Gandhi My Father for which, I think, he should've won an Oscar for the kind of work he had done in the film.

But sometimes there is something better and bigger installed for you. You have to be aligned doing consistently good work and that's what Rahman and Resul have done. So when you're consistent about your work, not thinking what the result is going to be, and you keep on doing good work, someday you will be awarded.

Will Slumdog Millionaire's success change the fate of Bollywood and Hollywood for good?
A hopeful change, I must say. Everybody has to take a broad minded and a positive attitude towards what has happened with Slumdog and embrace its success. If people, and by that I mean, everyone connected to filmmaking try to put the film down or condemn it, then they will miss this golden opportunity.

 Any Hollywood celebrity you met and mingled with inside the famous Royal Opera House in Convent Garden?
Now this has been one of my big moments in life. I met most of the Hollywood stars like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Mickey Rourke and Kate Winslet. I also congratulated Penelope Cruz.

It was just a quick introduction to them. But what I found was so touching about all the names I've just mentioned is, the bigger and richer you get as an actor, the more humble and down to earth you are.

Everybody connected with films all over the world knows everybody connected with Slumdog Millionaire. But I'd like to mention that the one person who was dearly missed at last nights BAFTAs was the Late Heath Ledger. I would've loved to meet him.

Slumdog Millionaire led the BAFTAs with seven awards followed by three awards for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Are you guys ready to sweep the Oscars too?
We are not thinking too much about the Oscars. At the moment, we are only going to celebrate our BAFTA success. Come February 22, things will again get serious (laughs).


Road to Oscars: Mani Ratnam's Midas Touch

One man who needs all credit for spotting the musical talent in Rahman is director Mani Ratnam. Today Rahman has grown leaps and bounds ready to lay his hands on the coveted Oscars thanks to the seeds sown by Mani Ratnam. One man who will be really proud if Rahman wins the Oscars would be Mani Ratnam.

All Mani Ratnam's films starting from 'Roja' in 1992 have musical compositions by Rahman and the director now shares a special bonding with him.

Speaking about Rahman, he said, "I have worked with two very classy composers - Illayaraja and Rahman. Both are from two different schools of musical composition. While Illayaraja is more spontaneous in his response, Rahman takes time to think over tunes, story, situation and the labors over it,' he said. According to him, Rahman, if pushed a little, is willing to think laterally.

With Thalapathi, Mani Ratnam ended his association with music director Illaiyaraja, bringing in Rahman. It turned out to be Mani's greatest findings.

A quiet Rahman in spite of his tall achievements is still humble and down-to-earth. Rahman said, 'I feel my slate is yet to be written on. There is life beyond music, album or record sales.'

Mani Ratnam and Rahman's partnership is widely regarded as having produced some of the best film music in Indian movies since 1990s.

* Roja (Tamil) - 1992
* Thiruda Thiruda (Tamil) - 1993
* Bombay (Tamil) - 1995
* Iruvar (Tamil) - 1997
* Dil Se (Hindi) - 1998
* Alaipayuthey (Tamil) - 2000
* Kannathil Muthamittal (Tamil) - 2002
* Ayutha Ezhuthu (Tamil) / Yuva (Hindi) - 2004
* Guru (Hindi) – 2007

The road to Oscars for Rahman began with Mani Ratnam and will end this February with just 11 more days to go!!!

Courtesy: IndiaGlitz

Exclusive: People Magazine Cover Story

The cover story appeared in February 13th, 2009 edition of PEOPLE magazine. Here is the magazine story for you exclusively:

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People Magazine Cover - ARRahman

People (full name People Weekly) is a weekly American magazine of celebrity and human interest stories, published by Time Inc. As of 2006, it has a circulation of 3.75 million and revenue expected to top $1.5 billion. It was named "Magazine of the Year" by Advertising Age in October 2005, for excellence in editorial, circulation and advertising. People ranked #6 on Advertising Age's annual "A-list" and #3 on Adweek's "Brand Blazers" list in October 2006. (Source: Wikipedia)

People is perhaps best known for its yearly special issues naming "The Most Beautiful People", "The Best and Worst Dressed", and "The Sexiest Man Alive".

This is the magazine where in the latest copy our A.R.Rahman has been in the cover edition.

In this post I am sharing the photo with you.

A.R. Rahman Scores With 'Slumdog Millionaire'

All Things Considered, January 31, 2009 - If you were to name a few musicians who've sold more than 100 million albums, Elvis Presley and The Beatles would surely top your list. Here's another one to add: A.R. Rahman. Rahman has composed the music for more than 130 films in India — and he has indeed sold more than 100 million records worldwide. Here in America, however, many are hearing his music for the first time in the Academy Award-nominated film Slumdog Millionaire.

Rahman has already picked up a Golden Globe for his work, an honor he says truly surprised him.

"I never thought about awards when doing this movie," he says. "I just wanted to have fun."

The music from Slumdog Millionaire is infectious, filled with exciting hooks that make it impossible to sit still. One such hit, "Jai Ho," closes the film in classic Bollywood style: a colorful, elaborate dance routine featuring the entire cast.

"I was very clear that nobody would understand most of the lyrics in Hindi," he says. "So I needed to have certain syllables that will attract any audience and they could sing. 'Jai ho' means 'be victorious.' It's like a blessing, and it also can be pronounced very easily."

For the Slumdog Millionaire score, Rahman blended classic Indian styles and instruments with reggae, Brazilian drumming and Western electronica in an eclectic melting pot. In "Mausam and Escape," a dynamic sitar is layered over a driving pulse — a dramatic difference from the more somber, traditional sitar sound that Indian music usually employs. Rahman says it's one of his favorite songs from the soundtrack.

Next month, Rahman is up for three Academy Awards, and will perform at the ceremony. His usual shows include up to 80 people on stage: a string section, 20 dancers, many kinds of ethnic instruments and India's superstar singers. He says he's not sure what this performance will entail, but it's likely to be electrifying.

 

Why M.I.A should win the Oscar for best song - Nesday Press

Why M.I.A. should win the Oscar for best song - Newsday

This year’s race for the best original song Oscar is getting way more attention than usual – in part for who’s in the race and, in part, for who isn’t.

There are only three nominees out of 49 eligible songs this year – “Down to Earth” from “Wall-E,” and “Jai Ho” and “O Saya” from “Slumdog Millionaire” – due to the music Oscar’s weird ranking system that only nominates songs that scored higher than 8.25 out of 10 with its members. Bruce Springsteen’s “The Wrestler,” which just won the Golden Globe for best song, didn’t make the cut.

Now Peter Gabriel’s “Down to Earth,” which plays over the “Wall-E” credits is nice enough, but the original songs of A.R. Rahman really are a major part of “Slumdog Millionaire.” The same goes for M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes,” which is so dominant in one segment that it not only looks like the film was edited to fit the song, but that it was shot with that song in mind.

CLICK HERE to read the full story

Telephonic interview with ARRahman by TOI after OSCAR nominations

Danny surprised with Rahman's musical ideas

A.R. Rahman has received three Oscar nominations — one each for the film's soundtrack and the songs "Jai Ho" and "O Sayya."

Boyle had long been a fan of Rahman's before making "Slumdog," and quickly rattled off a list of some of his favorite Rahman tunes — from "Taal," "Lagaan," "Kisna" and "Rang De Basanti."

But the composer ended up surprising Boyle by coming up with unexpected musical ideas.

"There's a scene when Jamal's brother goes off to kill someone and he wakes up at night, and from a scoring point of view it should clearly be a sort of creepy, quiet sound," Boyle told India-West.

"A.R. came in with this thumping track, completely the opposite of what you expect. It was exactly right!"

 

Courtesy: Vithur (arrahmanfans)

The full link for this article can be found here.

Delhi-6 Buy Online

BUY DELHI-6 ORIGINAL AUDIO CDS ONLY. KILL PIRACY. Buy online (Rs. 160/-) or for $6.99




TRACK LISTING
MASAKKALI
SINGER: MOHIT CHAUHAN

ARZIYAN
SINGERS: JAVED ALI, KAILASH KHER

"NOOR" RECITATION
RECITED BY AMITABH BACHCHAN
POEM BY PRASOON JOSHI

DILLI-6
SINGERS: BLAAZE, BENNY DAYAL, TANVI, VIVIANNE CHAIX, CLAIRE FRENCH LYRICS: VIVIANNE CHAIX AND CLAIRE

REHNA TU
SINGER: A.R.RAHMAN
BACKING VOCALS: BENNY DAYAL, TANVI

HEY KALA BANDAR
SINGERS: KARTHIK, NARESH, SRINIVAS, BONNY CHAKRAVORTY

DIL GIRA DAFATAN
SINGER: ASH KING
BACKING VOCALS: CHINMAYEE

GENDA PHOOL
MUSIC AND LYRICS: TRADITIONAL
ADDITIONAL MUSIC SUPERVISION: RAJAT DHOLAKIA
SINGER: REKHA BHARADWAJ
BACKING VOCALS: SUJATA MAZUMDAR, SHRADDHA PANDIT, V.N. MAHATHI

BHOR BHAYE
ADDITIONAL LYRICS: PRASOON JOSHI
SINGERS: USTAD BADE GHULAM ALI KHAN, SHREYA GHOSHAL
RAAG: GUJRI TODI

AARTI (TUMRE BHAVAN MEIN)
ADDITIONAL MUSIC SUPERVISION: RAJAT DHOLAKIA
LYRICS AND COMPOSITION: TRADITIONAL
SINGERS: REKHA BHARADWAJ, KISHORI ASHOK GOWARIKER, SUJATA MAZUMDAR, SHRADDHA PANDIT © SAREGAMA INDIA LTD

ALBUM CREDITS

PRODUCER : RAKEYSH OMPRAKASH MEHRA, RONNIE SCREWVALA
DIRECTOR : RAKEYSH MEHRA
STUDIO : UTV MOTION PICTURES AND RAKEYSH OMPRAKASH MEHRA PICTURES
STARS : ABHISHEK BACHCHAN, SONAM KAPOOR, OM PURI, WAHEEDA REHMAN
LABEL : T-SERIES
MUSIC : A R RAHMAN
LYRICS : PRASOON JOSHI


INSTRUMENTALISTS: CONTINUUM FINGERBOARD AND ACCORDION SOLO: A.R.RAHMAN VARIPHRASE
CLASSICAL VOCALS: SHREYA GHOSHAL
GUITAR : SANJEEV THOMAS, IVAN
PERCUSSIONS : T. RAJA
TABLA : K.B. BALAN, WAQAR KHAN
FLUTE : NAVIN IYER

ADDITIONAL PROGRAMMING : HENTRY KURUVILLA & DEEPAK P.A.

RECORDED AT : PANCHATHAN RECORD-INN, A.M. STUDIOS, NIRVANA, EMPIRE STUDIO & ACOUSTICS
MIXED AT : PANCHATHAN RECORD-INN & A.M. STUDIOS

SOUND ENGINEERS : H. SRIDHAR, S. SIVAKUMAR, DEEPAK P.A. & VIVIANNE CHAIX

MIXING ENGINEERS : K.J. SINGH, DEEPAK P.A.
MASTERED BY : S. SIVAKUMAR AT A.M. STUDIOS
MUSICIANS CO-ORDINATOR : NOELL JAMES
MUSICIANS FIXER : SAMIDURAI

Jagjit Singh questions Rahman's talent

I feel very disturbed by such senior artists bashing out without proper reason. Does he feel jealous about our boss winning Golden Globe and nominations for OSCAR and not him???

But anyway our boss is not going to reply him back by words, but by his music. He is calm, versatile and humble that he will not seems to reply to such silly comments.

Watch the video:

Rahman, Sukhwinder to perform at the Oscars

Rahman, Sukhwinder to perform at the Oscars
NDTVMusic.com
Tuesday, January 27, 2009 5:03 PM (New Delhi)

Guess who got the invitation to perform live at the Oscars this year? It's none other than our man of the moment A R Rahman.

Rahman along with Bollywood singer Sukhwinder Singh has been invited to open the 81st annual Academy Awards night, on February 21 in Los Angeles, with the Oscar nominated song Jai ho from the film Slumdog Millionaire. Danny Boyle's film Slumdog... that recently swept the Golden Globes and created a huge buzz at the prestigious SAG awards is a favourite for the Oscars as well.

Meanwhile, Rahman is working on the song to adapt it to the live orchestra for his stage performance. Famous Bollywood lyricist Gulzar, who has penned the lyrics of Jai ho is also expected to make an appearance at the gala award ceremony.

After winning India's first Golden Globe, A R Rahman once again created history when his compositions Jai ho along with O Saaya received nominations for the Best Original Song category this year at the Oscars. Rahman has also been nominated for giving the Best Original Score for Slumdog Millionaire.

Glamsham reviews Delhi 6 music

Year 2009 has opened up magnanimously for maestro A R Rahman and expectations are humongous as the stage is all set for his first major Bollywood musical release- DELHI-6. It brings out another colossal combination for UTV, director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and lyricist Prasoon Joshi, the team that created history with the critically acclaimed RANG DE BASANTI.

DELHI-6 holds another major significance in Bollywood as Rahman experiments out with ʽContinuum Fingerboardʼ (a three dimensional music controller device) for the first time in many of his compositions for a contemporary Hindi film. Once again, the challenges are big and the feel is innovative as varied genres, styles and talents concoct again to create another hullabaloo of success. Does DELHI-6 have the sufficient fire to match up the high standards of RANG DE BASANTI and the internationally acclaimed SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE? Will DELHI-6 be adding up as another proud entry in the long listing of A R Rahman's successive grand successes? Let's get started with the tracks that deserve to be analyzed with full exactitude...!

After serenading out some tantalizing soft-rock ballads, Mohit Chauhan streams out in typical ''filmi'' overtones with wavering vocal modulations in ''ched-chad'' solo track ''Masakalli''. Prasoon Joshi's mischievously flowing wordings (''Zara pankh jhatak, gayi dhool atak aur lachak machak ke door bhatak...) about lovable bird (''Masakalli'') has that poetical ire (''Ghar tera saloni, badal ki colony, Dikhlade thenga in sabko jo udna na jaane...'') that epitomizes naivety, impishness in that gullible ''child-like'' character. A R Rahman's music tries to be edgy rather than syrupy in those modulating instrumental connotations that strikes rhythmical chemistry with Mohit's cheeky vocals. ''Masakalli'' is going to be raised up in volumes as well as in chartbusting listing for its rustic rawness and innovative feel and probably be catching fast for its massy appeal. Mohit Chauhan notches up his first major solo hit of this year with ''Masakalli'' and that also brings laurels to the poetical prowess of Prasoon Joshi. Chartbuster!!!

A R Rahman, a name synonymous to wide range of experimentation makes the most purist attempt at Indian classical music of our times in meticulously composed ''Bhor Bhaye''. This classically pristine number brings the most intellectual singing aspect of Shreya Ghoshal, where she almost gets tutelage as well as consistent backing of puritans like Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan in its traditionalist rendition.

Amitabh Bachchan's poetical exuberance in softer notes have the austerity and grace that epitomizes the ''emotional quotient'' (EQ) of the flick in concise but impressive ''Noor''.

The divine intervention of spiritualism comes in the form of ''Aarti (Tumre Bhavan Mein)'', a modestly pleasant ''bhajan'' in the voices of Rekha Bharadwaj, Kishori Gowariker, Shraddha Pandit and Sujata Majumdar. It can be termed as simplistically softer version of emotionally enriched ''O Palanhaare'' (LAGAAN) with traditional religious verses emoted out with serenity of pious sentiments.

Rekha Bharadwaj's folksy nasal twang leads the female bandwagon of traditional ''ladies-sangeet'' where typical ''Delhi-waala'' pre-marriage celebrations takes routes of ''disco-beat'' lounges in ''Genda Phool''. It charters the traditionalism of festivity where the pairing of Shraddha Pandit and Sujata Majumdar forms effective choir singers in this sluggish ''dhin-chak'' beats arrangement soundtrack.

There was ''dreams-unlimited'' euphoric feel in the subtle orchestrations in ''Tu Bin Bataye'' (RANG DE BASANTI) that captured the unveiled mysticism of undying romance in it. This nostalgia of tender emotions regenerates back in similar sounding sappy composition ''Dil Mera Giraftan'' with better sounding techno-generated sound effects that brings gifted vocals of Ash King along with back-up support of Chinmaye to the fore. Rahman's makes it a remarkable conglomerate of varied instrumentals (flute, keyboards, violin and piano) that are mellifluously interwoven in those tender beats and rhythmical beat flows. Ash King proves to be the ''find'' of the album for his sonorously porous vocals permeates subtly in those feather-touch lingering orchestral displays. Soulful!!!

Murky, mischievous and Machiavellian! A R Rahman's races out Afro-American hip-hop blasting beat-culture bombastic splurge in gibberish overtones of roguish wording in ''Hey Kala Bandar''. It sounds almost sequel to recently heard ''Shanno Shanno'' (YUVVRAAJ) where youthful spirits gets loud eruption of ''black humor'' in the vocals of Karthik, Naresh, Srinivas and Bony Chakravarthy. Prasoon Joshi's picks up snazzy one-liners in those Arabic-hip hop rhythmical beat patterns to make it impulsively bouncy soundtrack.

Somber tonality of supple jazz cum blues musical maneuvers takes over where Rahman along with Benny Dayal and Tanvi emotes out in lower octaves in impressive sounding ''Rehna Tu''. It's has that melodramatic situational song appeal with a strong international musical substance that transcends well from thumping beats in its prelude to oozing ''jazz'' substances in its concluding verses. It adds one more attribute in this soft-sentimental moods cadre that will be likely to be sapped by its potential listeners.

''Delhi-6'', the ''funk-a-licious'' title track forms a mix and match of ''Paathshala'' and ''Roobaro'' (RANG DE BASANTI) with that extra perky ''reggae ton'' rendition in its racy flows. Blaaze along with Benny Dayal, Vivinenne Pocha, Tanvi and Claire gets boisterously persuasive in symbolizing out the ''Delhi'' yuppie feel. Vivinenne and Claire lyrics try to be equivocal in its wishy-washy flows with infectious hip-hop cum reggae getting up straight into senses.

It's was divine bliss to hear something as pious as ''Piya Haji Ali'' (FIZA) and ''Khwaja Mere Khwaja'' (JODHA AKBAR) and again A R Rahman scores pure gold as he continues to be generously mellifluous in ''Arziyaan''. Despite some traditional classical instrumentals and composition there are added synchronized arrangements (preferably with support of ''Continuum Fingerboard'') that permeates well in its rhythmic flows. This holy musical piece comes in traditional ''qawalli'' form with Javed Ali and Kailash Kher excelling out with another gem of wordings by wordsmith Prasoon Joshi. Despite its longer duration (8.42), there is an ambience of divinity in the air as sounds of harmonium, tabla and sitar collages well in its well synchronized rigorous claps. Rhythm-divine!!!

DELHI-6 turns to be another globe-trotter for A R Rahman and the album surely heads for another big victory at the stands. It maintains the high-standards of RANG DE BASANTI and scores better in terms of versatility and upbeat musical substance. Mohit Chauhan's ''Masakalli'' leads the show with sure-shot chartbuster while tracks like ''Arziyan'', ''Dil Mera Giraftan'', ''Rehna Tu'', ''Hey Kala Bandar'', ''Genda Phool'' and ''Delhi-6'' will be catching up fast with three listeners. After the global success of SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, the celebrations continues for all ''Rahmaniacs'' with DELHI-6 and things look brighter as flick get set for its big D-Day in coming weekends.

Rating - 4/5

http://www.glamsham.com/music/reviews/20-delhi-6-music-review-010903.asp

Delhi 6: It's a 10/10 for Rahman-Says Rediff


'Dikhlade thenge in sabko jo udna na jaane,' a happy-go-lucky voice smugly states at some point during the thrilling course of Delhi [Images] 6's soundtrack. And man, what a thumbs down to all the seriously imagination-challenged musicians out there.
A R Rahman (who else, really?) makes waiting for his music such a worthwhile chore what with one fantastic soundtrack after another. Close on the heels of a deserving Golden Globes wins follows the anticipated score of Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Delhi 6. Considering its impossible-to-define Chandni Chowk roots, Rahman injects the sounds of this 10-tracked album with an eclectic fusion of various genres. Bottom line: it's a 10 on 10.

Here's why:
Move over Aditi, lyricist Prasoon Joshi, his soaring imagination and Rahman at his affable best; collaborate to produce the mirthful, fluttering sensation, Masakali. Playing on the metaphor of a carefree pigeon of the same name whilst drawing parallels with Sonam Kapoor's [Images] chirpy Bittu, Masakali is unanimously charming and contagiously blithe. The real winner of this enterprise is, of course, a crisp-sounding Mohit Chauhan. Best known for his slow-motioned renditions like Khoon chala (Rang De Basanti [Images]), Tum [Images] se hi (Jab We Met [Images]) and Is this love? (Kismat Konnection), the Silk Route front man customizes this ravishing track with a touch of ada and frills of masti, once associated with the inimitable Mohammed Rafi.

While it's impossible to proceed into the album without putting Masakali on the 'Repeat' mode, the show must go on. And so it does through the Sufism-imbued notes of Arziyan. Its poignancy is echoed in the simplicity of its heartfelt cry, 'Maramat muqaddar ki kardo, Maula (Mend my fate, Almighty).' A song of this genre calls for flawless chemistry between its core voices, a requirement that is seamlessly exhibited in the range of Javed Ali and emotions of Kailash Kher [Images].
Spirituality is a frequent theme of the album. It makes its presence felt in the pious prayers of Aarti--Tumre bhavan mein as well as Amitabh Bachchan's [Images] commanding baritone in Noor, where he waxes eloquent about God's omnipresent ways.

A dash of nu metal, a few cubes of alternative rock and spray of rap/hip hop, Delhi 6 is a grungy cocktail of metal and attitude. The latter is thrown in truckloads via Blaaze, Benny, Viviane Pocha, Tanvi and Claire. Rahman understands genres skilfully and juggles them to perfection, unlike the wannabe eagerness of his colleagues to achieve the same. Almost high on the pandemonium, individuality, insolence and romance of India's capital city, Delhi 6 pays a funky tribute.

The recurrent rhythm and care-a-damn tone of Hey kaala Bandar spell boys-just-wanna-have-fun brand of camaraderie. There is a lot of erstwhile Rahman to be found in this medley of cheek and cheer, from Barso re (Guru), Shanno Shanno (Yuuvraaj) to Behka (Ghajini [Images]) and Paathshala [Images] (RDB).
Up next, the much-awaited Rahman-behind-microphone moment arrives. This time the maestro's surrealism is an upgraded reminder of Sting [Images] in the Eighties. Its fairy-tale-like sorcery with a hint of Arabic exotica lends Rehna tu an aura of precise enchantment and magical romance, wherein a smitten lover gushes in honour of his lady's cosmetic-free loveliness. Joshi's penmanship goes from strength to strength, besotted and inspired in turns.

The ingenious writer gets another opportunity to pour his crimson-hued similes some more in one of Delhi 6's best creations, Dil gira dafatan. The delicacy of Ash King's performance, supported by Chinmayee, resonates in the mellifluous imagery and exquisite minimalism of this glorious beauty. Spellbinding stuff from Rahman, this.
Lending a humorous, snazzy twist to Saraswati Chanra's Main toh bhool gayi babul ka ghar-line of sentiments enters the playful and catchy, Genda phool. Composer Rajat Dholakia and Rahman share the credit for this immensely entertaining shaadi ditty performed with delectable naughtiness by Rekha [Images] Bharadwaj (the husky voice behind Namak, Omkara [Images]) accompanied by Shraddha Pandit and Sujata Majumdar.
Rahman's mastery is at work as he treats the Indian classical form Gujri todi in a mesmerising fashion to helm the stirring bandish, Bhor bhaye. Sparkling in the impeccable traditions of Ustad Bade Ghulam [Images] Ali Khan's rousing rendition and a confident Shreya Ghosal, Bhor bhaye is a three-minutes-and-18-seconds long overwhelming experience.

There's enough inspiration to be found in Delhi's most celebrated pin code. And as he's done for so many other landscapes, localities and lanes in the past, Rahman pays Delhi 6 a whopper ode in this swashbuckler of a soundtrack. The musketeers will be envious.*

Rediff Rating: 4.5/5

http://www.rediff.com/movies/2009/jan/20music-review-delhi-6.htm

A.R.Rahman as seen in Golden Globe Awards function

Posted by Sathya, Orkut; Emailed to A.R.Rahman Fan Club by Sreekrishnan R

Photographs:
http://i42.tinypic.com/vxi87.png
http://i44.tinypic.com/106ncz4.png
http://i41.tinypic.com/t6a3aq.png

More Screen shots over here:
http://www.orkut.co.in/Main#Album.aspx?uid=1599411842825279620&aid=1231891968

Here are the videos:

Boss receiving the Golden Globe award fro best musical score:
http://www.mediafire.com/?jtxntwobxwd

Slumdog Millionaire team receiving Golden Globe award for best motion picture:
http://www.mediafire.com/?wsbvmhwsvtm

Buy Provoked DVD/VCD Online

Buy directly from EROS ENTERTAINMENT (Unfortunately delivery only in India)

Provoked DVD/VCD Buy Online




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There is an extra of Rs.30 for shipping.

Slumdog Millionaire - BUY MP3 from Amazon NOW!!!


The Wait is over, you can now buy MP3s of Slumdog Millionaire from Amazon now. BUY the entire album from Amazon for a limited time offer of $5.00 only. 



You can either buy all individual songs which will add up to $11.68 (You save $6.68 by this limited time offer. HURRY!!!


Format: MP3, 256 kbps

Also you can order CDs from Amazon, click here for ordering CDs. Though the list price is $13.98, you can order them for $11.49 now.

Slumdog Millionaire back in US Top ten

A Dickensian tale of an impoverished orphan, Slumdog Millionaire is again rocking the US box office after being awarded four Golden Globes. 

The movie’s collection has gone up to $43 million in the last weekend. It is running in 582 theatres across the US, registering a per-theatre average of $10,137 to take its total gross to a staggering number of $42.74 million. 

‘Slumdog Millionaire’ is in its tenth running week and its collections are rocketing since it emerged as a major winner at Golden Globes. In fact, the movie’s total collection till now has surpassed the combined over-all collections of three successful Bollywood movies, Chandni Chowk To China , Ghajini and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi .

Fox Searchlight plans to expand its run this Friday to about 1,300 theatres, as many multiplexes are very keen to play the film.

After a clean-sweep at Golden Globes, the movie has received 11 BAFTA nominations, the British equivalent of Oscars. It is in competition with ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’, starring Brad Pitt, followed by the Batman blockbuster ‘The Dark Knight’ which has won nine BAFTA nominations and Clint Eastwood's drama ‘Changeling’, which won eight.

In fact, eighteen-year-old Dev Patel , who played the protagonist Jamal Malik, is also vying for best leading actor when the BAFTAs will be announced in London on February 8.

Danny Boyle recently said in a statement, "We have spent much time away making this film in Bollywood and then promoting it in Hollywood." 

Well, we can say whatever they have done painstakingly is paying off.

Buy Lord of the Rings - Original London Cast Recording with Bonus DVD

Lord of the Rings - Original London Cast Recording with Bonus DVD

A. R. Rahman (Composer),
Varttina (Composer),
Christopher Nightingale (Composer),
Shaun McKenna (Composer),
Matthew Warchus (Composer),
Original London Cast (Performer)


Buy from Amazon for $24.99
In Stock. (As on January 19th 2009)


Customer reviews from Amazon
When I saw that the cast album came with a bonus DVD, I naturally made the assumption that there would be some VIDEO of the show on the disc. All that is on the DVD is a reprint of the audio disc with montages of STILLS - many of them black and white, and WAY too many of them backstage and rehearsal shots. I would've loved to have seen some actual video of the production!! I'm giving it 3 stars because I actually enjoy a great deal of the score (though it sounds more like a movie soundtrack than a musical theatre piece).

Seriously, though?! I cried. I cried because it was SO flipping beautiful. The music with the set constantly changing and the costumes and the actors taking on such a monolith, all the while this GORGEOUS music is swirling around you lifting your emotional response to what you are watching to a new height.... it seriously BLEW. ME. AWAY. Better than any new musical here in America, and I live in NYC so don't right me off thinking I've only seen one Broadway musical or something. Holy BeJESUS it is SO good.

The product is beautifully packaged with both a CD of the musical score itself and a DVD that highlights the exact same musical score with photo stills of various scenes from the Musical and also behind the stage scenes. To be clear there is not actually any video of the performance and the CD/DVD do not include the dialog that was spoken. They still want you to go see them live after all. Hopefully they come to Broadway at some point so the American yanks can see them and not have to cross the pond. All in all it's a beautiful score of music and song that certainly adds a unique dimension to the works of Tolkein.



Slumdog Millionaire is ready for India

IndiaGlitz [Monday, January 19, 2009]

'Slumdog Millionaire' releases in India with more than 200 prints across the country (in both Hindi and English) on 23 January. Trade insiders say that the Hindi version of the film, titled 'Slumdog Crorepathi', will have a wider release and penetrate into the non-metro areas as well.

The film has been dubbed in Hindi by its original cast. Director Danny Boyle, Twentieth Century Fox co-chairman Jim Giannopoulos and lead actor Dev Patel, along with the other members of the cast, will attend the premiere on January 22. The cast and the crew will be coming toIndia two days before the premiere and will be visiting Mumbai and Delhi. They will also be attending a charity dinner apart from a busy media itinerary.

The Chosen One Says New Sunday Express

Picture courtesy: sawf.org

THE CHOSEN ONE

It wasn’t mere lip service that AR Rahman was paying to the almighty after winning the Golden Globe. It was a heartfelt acknowledgement of a guiding force that’s shaped his miraculous career.

JAN 18, 2009 - “UNBELIEVABLE,” HE SAID, AFTER HIS NAME WAS ANNOUNCED, after he sprinted onto the stage and fished around in his pocket for the piece of paper containing his acceptance speech. That was the exact word in my mind. Unbelievable! We knew our cinema was going around the globe, but who would have dreamt that one of its shining ambassadors would go to the Golden Globes. AR Rahman’s subsequent words, too, appeared to have been lifted from my head. “I thought I won’t win, so anyways…” he declared, to much laughter from the audience, and I knew what he meant – for even if he deserved to win, would voting vagaries and political considerations take their toll on a relatively unknown musician from a land far, far away from Hollywood?

Thankfully they didn’t – and it was one of those moments we’re going to play in our minds over and over. Thank you Rahman, for winning, for putting a face to the great tradition of Indian film music. Thank you Rahman, for acknowledging, on that resplendent platform in Beverly Hills, all your musicians in Chennai and Mumbai, those nameless faces that untiringly translate the ideas in a composer’s head into concrete musical form. Thank you, Rahman, for that shout out to the billion people from India, for raising a toast to the brown face amidst that sea of white. “Thanks for all your prayers,” he concluded, with characteristic humility, as if it were simply our outpourings of faith that propelled him to his win, and not his dazzling talents.

But the most touching aspect of Rahman’s acceptance speech was surely when he acknowledged, “Thanks to the almighty God for bringing me here.” On one level, this is entirely expected, for Rahman’s faith in the divine is no secret. But even otherwise, this invocation of God (or destiny or providence or fate or however you wish to name the mysterious forces that shape our lives) is entirely appropriate – for Rahman has been fortune’s favoured child in ways that no Indian film music composer before him has been. A look at his miraculous career appears to indicate that it may not be simple coincidence that he has always been guided to the right place, and always at the right time.

When Mani Ratnam, the most visible and influential face of Tamil cinema, was shopping for a new music director, Rahman found himself there. Roja was a spectacular musical success, not only in Tamil but also Hindi. The fresh strains of music that emanated from Rahman were, it seemed, just what a jaded nation wanted – even if it appeared, for a while, that dubbed versions of his Tamil hits were all that would sneak through to the north of the Vindhyas. And then Rahman found himself the chosen one again, when Ram Gopal Varma made Rangeela, and he got himself a smash of a Hindi soundtrack – and beginning then, no composer before Rahman has bridged the tastes and the terrains of the North and the South so spectacularly.

And the reach of Rahman’s sound just kept expanding – first from South to North, and then from India to the world. When Dil Se became the first Indian film to break into the UK Top Ten, at the box office, Rahman found himself, again, at the right place, at the right time. On the strength of Chhaiya chhaiya, Andrew Lloyd Webber beckoned, the London’s West End beckoned. And thus, with his global sound, Rahman became the global face of Indian film music, the way Aishwarya Rai is the global face of Indian cinema – the one name that springs to the lips of people outside the country when they refer to the curiously fascinating world of Bollywood.

But more than anything else, Rahman has been extraordinarily blessed to arrive as a musician at a time the world has shrunk beyond recognition. The great composers before him were, at best, cherished and celebrated within their states or perhaps, if they worked in the Hindi film industry, within the country. But today, thanks to the Internet and a gaggle of news channels traversing the breadth of the nation in search of stories – can you imagine a Tamil masala movie named Sivaji, starring a Tamil hero named Rajinikanth, becoming a nationwide sensation even ten years ago? – the world is clued into what is happening at our doorstep, and when we raised a toast to Rahman, it’s was always only a matter of time before the world did too.

And Rahman continues to be at the right place (Bollywood) at the right time (the present day). He still dignifies the odd project in Tamil or Telugu, but a significant portion of his energies are channelled towards gilding the visions of Bollywood filmmakers who are ambitious, who understand the value Rahman brings to their films, and who do not mind giving him the space and the time and the collaborative creative inputs to bring out the best in him. Where a composer from an earlier era may have burned out because of having to conjure up, for the millionth time, a generic love song or a generic estrangement number, these directors today have kept Rahman’s creative fires burning.

To say that Rahman is extraordinary is to state the obvious, but his circumstances have been almost as extraordinary. The talented composers before him couldn’t have even imagined scaling the heights that he has today, and that’s surely why Rahman chose to thank God at the podium. The fates have shaped the story of AR Rahman into one that rivals the fictional happenings ofSlumdog Millionaire – a young lad is picked out of utter obscurity to become the beacon of inspiration for millions. At the beginning of the film, a title card questions the titular underdog’s unprecedented success: “How did he do it? A) He cheated. B) He’s lucky. C) He’s a genius. D) It is written.” At least in Rahman’s case, the latter appears to be the answer.

Courtesy: New Sunday Express/Desipundit