AR Rahman needs no introduction. Besides working on select Bollywood films, the music composer is always busy making melodies for international and south Indian films. In a candid chat, he talks about a Hindi film that he’ll soon be producing, his son being offered roles in movies, the experience of working in The Hundred-Foot Journey, and his participation in a recent philanthropic endeavour, Vogue Empower, through an album — Raunaq.
You are producing a Bollywood film. What’s the progress on that?
My first production will be a musical. We should start work on it in a couple of months.
Why did you associate with Vogue Empower? What has been your contribution to it?
I met Kapilji (Sibal, politician and Supreme Court lawyer) at a party, and he showed me some lyrics that he had written. So, we agreed to work together on an album [on women’s empowerment], and that is how Raunaq (the album Rahman has dedicated to this cause) came about. When we heard of the Vogue Empower initiative, we felt very strongly about it and thought it was the perfect one to associate our album with. As artistes, we have a sense of connection to what is necessary, and music is the right tool to take the message to people.
Besides composing and singing tracks in the record, I had also suggested making a video of the song ‘Laadli’ to Bejoy (Nambiar, film director and the man behind the song’s video). Although the visuals are simple, it gives out a strong message.
We have heard that your son has been getting offers to act in films. Are you allowing him to take them up?
Yes, he has been offered roles in various films, but both my wife and I are not keen on it right now. We want him to learn the skills first, realise his potential and then make decisions about his career. It would be very easy for him to get stardom being my son, but we want him to make a mark on his own and have an independent identity.
Apparently, you are composing 16 songs for Anil Kapoor and his daughter Rhea’s production. Is that true?
No, not 16. I think Anil saab has exaggerated a bit (laughs). There should be about seven to eight tracks.
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What was the experience of working in The Hundred-Foot Journey like?
It was incredible. Getting to work with Hollywood film-maker Steven Spielberg was amazing.
You were appreciated by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently.
I was humbled by his gesture. That was very kind of him. Although I met him for the first time, it was a very warm interaction.