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