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A.R.Rahman (Fan Club) (Page 127)

dayita Goldie

Joined: 01 May 2006
Posts: 1896

Posted: 10 June 2006 at 9:52am | IP Logged

Interview : A.R. Rahman

A man of few words, A R Rahman has always preferred his music to do the talking. And how! From being touted as the most exciting composer in India, he is now on the verge of receiving international acclaim, with no less than Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber rooting for him. We caught up with Rahman when he was in Bombay recently.

You have always come up with exceptional scores for Mani Rathnam. Do you personally think that you've given your best for him?


See, the main thing is the concept that the director has. He (Mani Rathnam) has always given me things which I have not done before. He has been quite an important person in my career, and he always wants me to excel, whether they are for his films or others' films. When challenging things are given to you, then you devote all your energy to it. He never tells you that 'I want a song like this or that,' but he always has a fresh idea. That's the reason why different scores come up for his films.

Andrew Lloyd Webber thinks that Chaiyya chaiyya is a great number, one of the greatest songs he has ever heard. What do you think about it?

He said it's one of the greatest numbers, yes. I think it's a very commercial song. He (Webber) finds the whole genre of music -- the production, picturisation of the song in "Dil Se" - very interesting. Hopefully, we'll do more exciting stuff now.

When we talk about film music, we talk chiefly about how the masses appreciate it. Now, do you think your music will be more critically examined, simply because it will be heard by a different strata of society?

See, I always live with a song, sometimes for a week, sometimes for six months, to try and fix whatever is wrong with it. Because, if I don't like something, people will not like it either. I've gone by that rule and so far, it's been working. God was kind. That's how I'm going to do this (Bombay Dreams) also. I'm not going to try something I don't know about. I assume they will like it.

Is there going to be something elitist about a musical?

The only difference is that it's going to be in English. I'm yet to know (laughs) -- about any other differences, because this is a completely new direction for me. But on the whole, I think -- hopefully, God-willing -- it will be successful.

Are you looking at Hollywood as well?

Not now. I don't have the energy to do too many things at the same time. I'll probably finish this first.

But you are taking a sabbatical from Hindi and regional films, aren't you?

I've done my homework on the films which are yet to be released. So there's not going to be a vacuum. It's not like you are not going to hear A R Rahman's music for one year. I've almost completed Lagaan, Zubeida, Kandu Konden..., Alai Payuthey, Rhythm. All these films will be coming now, filling up the gap.

And you are not accepting any other offers right now?

Not yet. I'm just holding them, so that I get some space

Taal was a very big hit. How come you aren't working with Subhash Ghai again for his new film, Yaadein?

I was supposed to, but then this project came up. So I told him about it and we agreed that we'll find time in future and work together.

There's this allegation that you are a composer who has mastered the gadgets -- how do you react to this?

I think it's just an extra attribute or whatever (laughs). But it's not the only thing. Because without tunes, without happening tunes, it will not work. Only if you have a happening tune, then everything else can support it. Knowing the computer actually helps to perfect things. If somebody has gone off-key but delivered a good line with the right feel, you don't have to sacrifice the take. You can just cut it at the pitch and use it. These are what I have learnt to make things easier, to get the best out of an artiste.

Some people have accused you of being repetitive.

I don't think they will say that now, because I have been into too many wild things. Hopefully, they won't say it again in future.

But was there a phase when you felt you were being repetitive?

Well, yes. Following the success of Kadalan (or Hum Se Muqabla in Hindi), a kind of dance culture developed. Suddenly, there were proposals with Prabhu Deva and me together, because that helped sell the films. I was forced to do only dance music. But then I got out of it and accepted films which demanded melody. You know sometimes, you kind of get into it... without realising

Do you have some idea about the kind of music you will be doing for "Bombay Dreams"?

Yes, we do have some scratches ready. If I tell you more about it, then there won't be any surprise left. But it is going to be Indian. It should be exciting, that's all I can say now.

Will there be Indian singers involved in the production?

There will be Asian singers, since part of the cast will be Asian.

A lot has been said about "Chaiyya chaiyya". People attribute the song to you, but it has been inspired by something else... what made you choose this song?

Yeah, it's a Sufi song. Any great love song, when attributed to a divine source, gets an extra dimension. People say any love which is immortal is divine love. Chaiyya chaiyya is something like that. The inspiration, therefore, is a divine one.

(Source :

dayita Goldie

Joined: 01 May 2006
Posts: 1896

Posted: 10 June 2006 at 10:00am | IP Logged

We ought to think bigger

His music suggests a flamboy-ant and aggressive creator, but A.R. Rahman comes across as an extremely patient, polite-to-a-fault and completely untouched-by-fame individual. His dark locks frame his cherubic face and fall to his shoulders in total disarray. As he talks, he impatiently pushes back the strands. That apart, he doesn't fidget or shift, and appears at peace with himself and his world of music. Excerpts from an interview conducted at his office in Kodambakkam, Chennai:

Now that you will begin work with internationally acclaimed geniuses like Andrew Lloyd Webber and Shekher Kapur, how does it feel?
I think Indian music is spreading, and the world is accepting something from this country. Spanish music took over with Ricky Martin. It is a cycle. The world has been accepting something from India for the last couple of years.

It has also got to do with the growth of the South Asian community all over the world. Even film collections have gone up, beginning with Dil Se.

How did it feel receiving the Padma Shri?
I feel greatly honoured. Since I am going abroad, I feel really happy that I got it now. For the first time, a music director has been given this award, which makes it really good.

Are you satisfied with the way your career has shaped up?
The way it took off, it seems it was destined. Mani Ratnam, who had sworn he wouldn't sign a music director other than Ilayaraja, came to me. So my career started on a high. After that everything had to go beyond that; it pushed me to do something more. I am not a very ambitious person who says I want to do this, this and this. I think God has been very kind to me. He has given me the best.

But did you expect things to turn out the way they did?
It is very unusual. I started my career thinking that Roja would be my last film. I was not interested in doing films. I had been in it for almost 15 years with my father, playing for other people. I didn't want to go through that again. I wanted something different in my life.

Such as?
Maybe I would have got into experimental kind of music. But there is no market for those things. Then film music opened up. It was no longer the same clichd kind of thing. Different directors came who wanted something new; people also wanted something new and accepted whatever experiments we did. That changed my opinion. Films reach more people, there is more money involved.

How would you define your kind of music?
How can I define my music? It is a reflection of how I began my life, the good and bad things that happened. I can't say this is my life and this is how I intended it to be. It came naturally. I don't plan anything.

When we started Roja we wanted to create something people had never heard before, at the same time maintaining a standard in lyrics and melody. Something told me it would become a big success; I was travelling in the same boat as Mani Ratnam and the music would be noticed. That it was accepted was a blessing. Mani Ratnam opened up a big thing for me and I owe it to him. There is a lot of freedom when I work with Mani.

After Roja things only went uphill?
Well, almost. There was a lot of confusion. When I listened to criticism or suggestions from people, I had to learn what to take and what to reject. At times it was very hard. Whatever plus we had would be criticised. We had to decide that this is our plus and we should not leave it. We should continue with the style and the more we continue with it, the more it will register.

Have you become more confident of your music?
No, I am never confident. Sometimes it takes me two or three days, sometimes three months, to get the sound right. Sometimes things go wrong always. But once it is fixed then it's fine.

Your father must have been a major influence on you?
Yeah. He was the first one in India to buy a synthesiser. He bought it from Singapore in 1973, I think, and being the first buyer, he got a free ticket to Japan. So I had all this stuff to play with. He died in 1976.

After that you were pushed into music?
In a way. (Laughs.) Initially it was just work. At the age of 14 or 15, I would have preferred going somewhere else. But I had to work with people over the age of 40. In some ways I was the next generation and at the same time I was not. In a way I got the best of both worlds. (Laughs.)

What does music mean to you?
So far I have just been catering to film scripts. Sometimes I have given to films ideas which I had for an album. For some of Mani Ratnam's films I had certain ideas and it fitted into the script. For instance I wanted to do a theme like Bombay, which would be a reflection of the incident, to create a symphony kind of piece. In Roja the song Tamizha Tamizha though out of the script fitted into it.

What excites you about a project first?
With a good director, irrespective of the script, the rapport will be good. That makes it interesting, and the music will also be good. It is a problem if the person is somewhere else and I am here.

What triggers the creative process in you?
When I am mentally disturbed I pray. Before starting a session that gives me a vacuum to start with, rather than having something predetermined which might misguide me. It is almost like starting from square one. But it makes my job interesting and when I sit there something gets triggered off inside me.

I belive that every individual, even an atom, can move only with the will of God. I don't take credit for doing all this. If I did, then I would fall flat.

Don't external factors like family affect your concentration?
Yeah, they do. But when it comes to music you forget everything. The magic of music and prayer. You are almost on another trip. Only when you finish do you get back.

You seem to be very religious...
(Pauses.) I believe that every individual, even an atom, can move only with the will of God. I don't take any credit for doing all this.

You sound very level-headed for a man who has earned so much fame and money so quickly?
It is balance... well, it is almost contradictory. You want fame, but once you get it you lose your head. So just leave it to God and carry on with your work. It makes it all easy. If I put it in my head that I did it, then I fall flat because I can't take the next step.

Why did you convert?
(A long pause.) My dad went through a lot of problems. He was sick, my childhood was a disaster. I spent most of my childhood in hospitals. There came a stage when the family was almost down. We met a pir sahab at that time. It is inexplicable. It just happened. My idea of God coincided with all this. I thought, 'Okay, this was something that was bound to happen.'

You have never regretted it?
See, there are a lot of things involved. God and religion are very personal. Now it has become politics. I don't think I want to talk any more on it. (Laughs.)

But you agree that religion has become politicised?
I think religion should be left to a person. The mosque or temple should be within oneself. That is the best thing.

What about the controversy over Vande Mataram?
It depends on how you take it. Vande Mataram is about a mother and the message is peace be upon you. The mother is the country and when you say peace be upon you it goes beyond politics. That is the way I take it.

When one makes something there is always the good and the bad. You just take the good. In the album I have put not only this, but a nicer version of it in a more serene way. It is not as if it will replace anything. The main reasons for doing it were my friends Bharat Bala and Kanika. We wanted to give something to the youth. We felt there was nothing, no song that this MTV generation could relate to, something they could identify with.

Given the amount of work music composers do, is it inevitable that they repeat themselves?
You never know because you can't always be careful. You can't predict when something comes out of you. It is a feeling and I can't keep a constant check on and stop things coming and say let me not play now. Later somebody says this is similar to that, and then you change it. It happens sometimes. Mostly the director checks all that. I don't give the director just one choice. There are always lots of choices.

How important is the Tamil identity to you?
I hate the discrimination between south, north, Tamil, Hindi. If I represent India that is good enough for me. Of course, I have always been here. But we should cross all these barriers and think bigger. I get very irritated with this kind of thinking.

But has your Tamil identity given you anything special?
Definitely. But I see the entire world as a living place. Suddenly a category called world music has come and we are all able to relate to it. In all probability in a couple of years all the cultures will meet. There won't be any English or Tamil music. We will all be able to relate to 'music'. That is the ultimate thing.

So will you give up on film music?
God knows. (Laughs.)

How do you cope with your unorthodox working hours?
There is so much disturbance during the day. To create music you need peace and in my style of work if I turn my face away even once, I have to start from the beginning. So night time suits me. I finish off my other work by 10 p.m. and start with my sound engineer and maybe the director also.

The directors never crib?
(Laughs.) As long as the work is done they don't crib.

What about your family?
It has been like this for a long time. So they don't bother.

Tell us about your family and the kind of support they offer you.
I have two daughters. My wife doesn't work. My wife and mother listen to my music and give me feedback.

Do you get time to spend with them?
I work from my house. So it helps.

How do you relax?
It comes naturally. When you push yourself hard for 2 or 3 months, then you have to take a break. I go out with my family.

Don't you get recognised and mobbed when you go out?
But then I don't go to places where there are people. (Laughs.)"

Why is black your favourite colour? You also wear your hair long...
I thought both suit me. (Laughs heartily.)

(Source :

dayita Goldie

Joined: 01 May 2006
Posts: 1896

Posted: 10 June 2006 at 10:12am | IP Logged
A R Rahman is the undisputed king of Indian music. A shy guy from Chennai with long curly hair, he took the music scene by storm in 1992, and hasn't looked back ever since.

Rahman brought a new sound to film music, fusing folk, rustic melody with foot-tapping music. And the Rahman clich has had fans swooning, from Roja, Rangeela, Bombay, Dil Se and Kandukondain kandukondain to Alai payuthey, Zubeida, Meenaxi and Yuva.

Trying times

Hailed as a musical genius, the prodigy had a tough childhood. He was born as Duleep Kumar on January 6, 1966 in Madras (now Chennai) to Kareema Begum and K A Sekar. He later embraced Islam and changed his name to Allah Rakha Rahman.

Rahman's father was an arranger and conductor of Malyalam film music, but he passed away when his son was barely nine-years-old. Despite this personal loss, Rahman held on to his music and at 11, began playing the keyboard for a well-known troupe.

He then went on to play with renowned artists like Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan and Zakir Hussain. He also earned a scholarship to the coveted Trinity College Of Music, University of Oxford, where he studied Western Classical music.

At 16, he quit school and began working full-time as a session musician on soundtracks, under the popular south Indian composer, Illaiyaraja.

Rahman also set up a recording studio, where he experimented with his own kind of sound. He even tried his hand at television commercials, eventually composing over 300 jingles in just five years (including the famous one for Titan watches)!

His first break in movies came with Mani Ratnam's Roja. Roja became an instant hit, and the music director won a National Award for it.

On higher ground...

Rahman soon became a star to reckon with -- music albums would create record sales just on the Rahman tag. From 1992-97, he created music for many a blockbuster, including Pudhiya Mugam, Gentleman, Kizhaku Seemaiyilae, Duet, Kadalan, Bombay, Indian and others. His soundtrack for Bombay crossed the 5-million sales mark, and Rahman sold more than 40 million copies over a period of three years.

During 1997-2000, Rahman continued to ride high on the waves of success with soundtracks like Dil Se, Taal, Jeans, Thakshak, Sapnay, Dil hi dil mein, Kabhi na kabhi and Earth among others. If any of these albums failed, it was probably due to the failure of the movies at the box office rather than the music.

At this time, Rahman also teamed up with Bharat Bala to produce Vandemataram -- an album that paid tribute to India's 50th year of independence. The album featured Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in the vocals, and met with resounding success, selling over a million copies.

Turn of the millennium

By the new millennium, Rahman's popularity was at its peak. His new films also revealed a subtle shift in style, as he began experimenting with newer sounds. Rahman appeared keen to prove his versatility to his critics.

While Pukar, Lagaan, Saathiya, Zubeidaa and Meenaxi veered towards a very Indian folk-classical feel, Tehzeeb, Yuva and Lakeer featured a generous helping of trance and hip-hop.

Rahman also broke boundaries in 2000 by composing the music for Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, Bombay Dreams.

And for Rahman fans, surely the best is still to come, as the music director gears up to redefine the standards in Bollywood music with Subhash Ghai's Kisna, Ashutosh Gowariker's Swades and Ketan Mehta's Rising, amongst others.

This maestro is clearly set to give us many more years of music and melody.
dayita Goldie

Joined: 01 May 2006
Posts: 1896

Posted: 10 June 2006 at 10:18am | IP Logged
Album: Rang De Basanti
Music: AR Rehman
Label: N/A

- Sumita Chatterjee

AR Rehman is known for the innovations he does with all his compositions. Whenever his name is attached to any music album, the expectations are always high.

He was the man behind the soulful music of Aamir Khan starrer Rangeela, Lagaan and The Rising. Now the duo is back again with Rakeysh Mehra's Rang De Basanti. This time they have roped in Prasoon Joshi along with Javed Akhtar to pen the lyrics.

The album begins with a devotional song Ik Onkar, sung beautifully by Harshdeep Kaur. The track is short but is very soothing. Quite an auspicious beginning – one can say!

Next to follow is the power-packed title track Rang De Basanti sung by the Punjab da munda, Daler Mehandi himself. The baadshah of bhangra pop has for the first time teamed up with AR Rehman and the outcome is nothing less than explosive. The musical arrangement and Daler's voice makes the song just intoxicating. It has become one of the regulars at the discs too.

Paathshala sung by Naresh Iyer and Mohammad Aslam, makes one nostalgic about the school and college days. It showcases the carefree and rebellious attitude of the Gen Xers. The other version, Paathshala: Be a rebel has rapper Blaaze joining Aslam and Naresh. Blaaze has also written the English lyrics of the song. It is a hard-core rock number.

Tu Bin Bataye is a soft romantic number, which has the voices of Madhushree and Naresh Iyer. Madhushree is the same voice which did wonders for the song Kabhi Neem Neem from Yuva. Written by Prasoon Joshi the song has a very Indian feel to it.

Luka Chupi is the track sung by the legendary Lata Mangeshkar. The song has a brilliant orchestra by AR Rehman, which also compliments the mood of the song. Khoon Chala, by Mohit Chauhan of Silk Route, belongs to the Indipop variety and is very melodious. Rubaroo too belongs to the same genre. Sung by AR Rehman himself, this song has a very trendy feel to it.

Finally those who have been waiting eagerly for the Aamir Khan song, this one is a bit disappointing. Aamir has narrated a few lines in Lalkaar. His husky voice and words like Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna adds on to the patriotic flavour of the album.

Rang De Basanti is not for the masses but is rather a music collector's piece. A must buy!!! p;am p;am p;id=89&albumname=Rang+De+Basanti Average viewer rating:
(519 Votes)


Edited by dayita - 11 June 2006 at 5:36am
sammie IF-Rockerz

Joined: 20 October 2005
Posts: 5930

Posted: 11 June 2006 at 5:10am | IP Logged
hey dayita , congrats Clap
u r goldie now Clap
dayita Goldie

Joined: 01 May 2006
Posts: 1896

Posted: 11 June 2006 at 5:32am | IP Logged

Originally posted by sammie

hey dayita , congrats Clap
u r goldie now Clap

Thanks Sammie.....But kuchh kam  to karo!!What about your assignment Sammie?We have to start part -2 of this club very soon...only 22 pages quick.

dayita Goldie

Joined: 01 May 2006
Posts: 1896

Posted: 11 June 2006 at 5:41am | IP Logged
Album: Saathiya
Music: Various
Label: Saregama

- Monalisa Sengupta

A R Rehman is at his experimental best in Saathiya, part of which he pulls off with aplomb and others which are a little too quirky. And while Gulzar too is his usual self, with some soulful and fresh lyrics, there are times when they become a little too abstract.

The pick of the score is the title track Saathiya, with Sonu Nigam at his melodious syrupy best. Rahman, on his part blends in some interesting sounds that keep the tempo of the soothing track alive.

Adnan Sami sings for the first time for Rahman in Aye Udi Udi. And the score could have been brilliant but for Adnan. The singer goes overboard in his efforts and you will have to strain your ears to figure out the lyrics. Nonetheless, the composition of the score is brilliant, and is sure to catch on.

Chhalka Chhalka Re, another experimental track that is a mix of folk and classical sounds, rounds off well. Sung by Richa Sharma, Mahalaxmi, Vaishali, and Shoma, the track creates a festive mood with the whiff of some south Indian flavour.

Rahman's musical genius comes to the fore in Chupke se, which has a delectable blend of two different melodies. The talented composer brings the striking contrast between mellow and solemn Sadhna Sargam with forceful interludes of Murtaza and Qadir.

Madhushree joins Sadhna for Naina milake--a romantic track with some basic traditional Dholak supporting the singers. The music director wields the mike for a very sufiana composition in Mera yaar mila de, with some soulful lyrics by Gulzar.

Of the tracks that falter is Oh humdum. Mainly a chorus number, Kay Kay, Shaan, Kunal and Pravin Mani give their vocals to the track supported by some heavy techno background music. And the most irritating part of the number are the rap vocals on Halloween! Mangalayam is the second (and shorter) version of the song, and is definitely more preferable over the former.

Another track that misses the trick due to some more inane English rap lyrics is Chori pe chori sung by Asha Bhonsle and Karthik. Though Asha is her usual best, but for the rap parts, it could have well been one of Rahman's all time hits.

Saathiya packs in all the quintessentials of a Rehman hit, and while it may not be in the league of a Lagaan or Taal, the album is definitely one of the highlights of the year. p;am p;id=41&albumname=Saathiya

Average viewer rating:
(556 Votes)

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Edited by dayita - 11 June 2006 at 5:44am
dayita Goldie

Joined: 01 May 2006
Posts: 1896

Posted: 11 June 2006 at 5:46am | IP Logged
Album: One 2 Ka 4
Music: A R Rahman
Label: HMV

- Parul Batra

After Zubeidaa, Rahman is back with his first score of this millennium. One 2 Ka 4 has plenty of catchy tunes, with fast rhythm, orchestration and harmony to offer.

Khamoshiyan Gungunane Lagi featuring Sonu Nigam with Lata Mangeshkar is probably the best song in the album. The song has a melodious tune, great lyrics by Mehboob and has been very well sung by none other than India's nightingale, Lata Mangeshkar. Sona Nahin Na Sahi by Udit Narayan and Alka Yanik is another very hummable song. The lyrics are mediocre for this song and Alka's voice completely overshadows Udit's good efforts. I Am Sorry has Udit Narayan sounding fresh and in full swing. Srinival supports him well. This is Poonam Bhatia's first song. The lyrics have been written by late Majrooh Sultaanpuri. One Two Ka Four is the title song, and definitely does not match up to the music of Bombay and Rangeela but is better than many of the songs we hear today.

Osaka Muraiya by Sonu Nigam and Raageshwari brings these two singers together for the first time. The song has been sung well by both the singers. Allay Allay by Sukhwinder Singh, Shaan and chorus has a good beat. Sukhwinder and Shaan complement each other well. Haye Dil Ki Bazi Laga by Sonu Nigam and Alka Yagnik is another fast-tempo song with Rahman stamped all over it.

Rahman has done it once again with One 2 Ka 4…. For all Rahman lovers, this album is worth a listen.

  Average viewer rating:
(19 Votes)

 </> p;am p;id=14&albumname=One+2+Ka+4

Edited by dayita - 11 June 2006 at 5:49am

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