We packed the ego and made a song: Band member A.R. Rahman

Mumbai, Sep 10 It felt good to pack the ego and simply be a band member, says music maestro A.R. Rahman who has once again put Indian culture in the spotlight by adding two songs to the latest album of international group SuperHeavy.

Saturday, September 10, 2011 | 12:03:53 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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Mumbai, Sep 10 It felt good to pack the ego and simply be a band member, says music maestro A.R. Rahman who has once again put Indian culture in the spotlight by adding two songs to the latest album of international group SuperHeavy.

'SuperHeavy does have strong Indian influences. There is a Sanskrit number called 'Satyameva jayate' and a romantic number called 'Mahiya',' Rahman told IANS in an e-mail interview from Los Angeles.

SuperHeavy has been in existence since 2009, but its presence was announced by Rolling Stones legend Mick Jagger only in May 2011. The other band members -- English singer-songwriter Joss Stone, English musician Dave Stewart and Jamaican reggae artist Damian Marley -- have churned out a 16-song album.

But since all the artists belong to different cultures, isn't it difficult to come to a common point?

'It's different when you're probably heading or doing something independently - like Mick does his own thing. Stones and Dave - they are independent producers, and I do my own music. But here as a band you sometimes take a back seat and enjoy the process, pack all your ego and just be like one family. It strangely felt good doing that,' said Rahman.

'You could see in the music that nobody is overpowering.'

The album will be released at the end of September.

'Dave said, 'AR, we want your voice in this album and we want it to be a great Indian song too.' A long dream for me was to take one of the morals of Indian culture, which is 'Satyameva jayate', and make it a song. I said this will be historic if Mick Jagger, Joss Stone, Damien Marley, Dave Stewart and me come together for a song like this; it is iconic in a way.

'We started doing the song and I didn't have any lyrics other than 'Satyameva jayate'. I knew that was the song...and then later we filled in the lyrics. We had the choir to make it more epic in a way,' added the 45-year-old.

In the run-up to the album's proper release, the band has come out with two singles - the first being 'Satyameva jayate', which was released as a tribute to the Indian Independence Day and it was followed by another single, 'Miracle Worker'.

Other songs in the album include title number 'SuperHeavy' as well as 'Unbelievable', 'Energy', 'One Day One Night', 'Never Gonna Change' and 'Beautiful People'.

Rahman, who transcended borders with his music and made Indian song and dance triumph at one of the most prestigious movie awards - Oscars - by winning two golden statuettes for his work in Danny Boyle's 'Slumdog Millionaire', describes the album as a potpourri of mixed culture.

'SuperHeavy is a musical team and each of us has a distinct style. If you look at the five of us, we all have been driving our own thing and we have our own fan following. So we bring very different influences to the table.

'For example, 'Miracle Worker' has a reggae sound and it is a peppy romantic number about the quest for a miracle. 'Beautiful People' is about the powerful corporates that sort of rule the world and the invasion of personal space and privacy by them. So it is a mix,' he said.

When asked whether the band has any plans of visiting India for a concert, Rahman said: 'If the album is a super duper hit and people are going to all shout at us saying, 'Come on we need you', and give a lot of love, definitely it will happen. I'm looking forward to that too.'

There is no dearth of work for this music genius who is straddling both the worlds - if he is working on Alex Kurtzman's 'Welcome To People' and Dreamworks' tentatively titled animated movie 'Monkeys of Mumbai', he has also composed music for Indian filmmaker Imtiaz Ali's forthcoming musical 'Rockstar' and southern superstar Rajinikanth-starrer 'Rana'.

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