Last year, he faced a lot of criticism when his musical compositions for Jab Tak Hai Jaan (JTHJ) and Ekk Deewana Tha (EDT) failed to live up to the audience’s expectations. But AR Rahman has kicked off 2013 on a successful note with the hit soundtrack of Raanjhanaa.
However, what’s currently keeping the Oscar-winning composer busy is his upcoming four-city India tour. Titled Rahmanishq, this will be the maestro’s first nationwide trip in almost two decades. Before he heads out to Kolkata, followed by Visakhapatnam, Jaipur and Ahmedabad, the 47-year-old opens up about his recent work, dealing with failure and more.
You’re set for an India tour after almost two decades. What do you have planned for it?
It is always fun and exciting to perform for my fans. Each tour brings new challenges and catharsis. In this tour, we will do our best to combine traditional and contemporary styles against a backdrop of powerful stage tactics.
As a musician, what excites you more — live performances or making new music in the studio?
It is all about what I’m delivering and the quality of that work. (Every time I take on a project) I put my reputation of 20 years at stake, which I have built with a lot of sweat and toil. The euphoria at live performances is an interactive experience, whereas making new music is a personal experience. They both are highly creative in their own right.
What, according to you, is the best part about performing live?
We are a great, prosperous, musical nation. Tours like these are a great way for me to rekindle my connect with the audience on a more personal level. Music for me is an expression of unconditional and unlimited love. I find joy in the smallest pleasures, which I share with the world through my music. The soundtrack of Raanjhanaa has become a huge success.
How does it feel, considering the last few films that you composed for, didn’t do as well?
I guess that is what life teaches you — it is unpredictable. Irrespective of the hard-work deployed, it’s human nature to harbour perceptions. In my case, sometimes people fall in love with my work instantly and sometimes they take a while to understand the inspiration behind it and change their perception over a period of time.
At this stage in your career, how much does success and failure affect you?
Success is important, but it doesn’t always drive creativity. The integrity and passion for music is what drives me ultimately; with unconditional blessings from the almighty, of course.