WE’VE GOT A NEW RAH­MAN

Break­ing out of the te­dium of Bollywood mu­sic made only for money, the com­poser rein­vents him­self

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - FRONT PAGE - Sa­marth Goyal sa­marth.goyal@htlive.com

Com­poser and singer AR Rah­man loves to take on new chal­lenges, and hates be­ing repet­i­tive. Apart from the fact that Hol­ly­wood and the West gave him a dif­fer­ent sort of chal­lenge, Bollywood was of­fer­ing him noth­ing new, which is why we’ve been hear­ing less of Rah­man’s mu­sic in the re­cent years. The first week of Septem­ber has brought Rah­man back in a new avatar — now he’s a film­maker who has made a movie, ti­tled One Heart, out of his con­cert tour.

“Ev­ery­one was of­fer­ing me very sim­i­lar kind of movies,” says Rah­man. “[Some] films like Rock­star (2011) were dif­fer­ent, but most were sim­i­lar. There was a thirst in me to do some­thing. I was be­ing told to do things. This ‘told to do thing’ had to stop.”

Rah­man also be­lieves that com­posers to­day are forced to make mu­sic that would gen­er­ate rev­enue, and that the In­dian el­e­ments of mu­sic are dis­ap­pear­ing from Bollywood. “Com­posers are be­ing asked to com­pose for films, half of which have been shot in Europe. They don’t get to use the In­dian clas­si­cal mu­sic be­cause of that,” he says. “Not that you can’t have In­dian clas­si­cal mu­sic in Ro­ma­nia, but then the film­maker wants the movie to make 100 crore [ru­pees],” adds Rah­man. “There are many in­se­cu­ri­ties like this.”

The com­poser, aside from be­ing an Os­car-win­ner — he won for both Orig­i­nal Song and Orig­i­nal Score in 2009, for the film Slum­dog Mil­lion­aire — is also a mem­ber of the Academy of Mo­tion Pic­ture Arts and Sciences, US, which awards the Os­cars. This has kept him busy in the West.

About his de­ci­sion to di­rect a film, he says, “I judged short films at the Os­cars. I’ve been judg­ing Lon­don West End, and Broad­way shows (in the US). So I was kind of rub­bing shoul­ders with the best, and that’s where this idea of what I wanted to do came from.”

At 50, Rah­man be­lieves that he’s now more “dar­ing”. He says, “I love do­ing com­mer­cial cinema, but I want to do al­ter­na­tive stuff. I want to make mu­sic to stop peo­ple from go­ing to the loo, buy­ing pop­corn, when a song plays in the the­atre. I want to en­gage peo­ple with my mu­sic.”

PHOTO: RAAJESSH KASHYAP/HT

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