By lifting two trophies at the 52nd Grammy Awards, music composer A R Rahman has notched up more than another major personal triumph.
With the wins at the world’s most high-profile music awards, coming as they do on top of last year’s Oscar trophies, Rahman has opened the doors of the world music market to Indian composers, say musicians.
“Because of Rahman, we’ve climbed another step of the ladder of international recognit-ion,” said pop singer Kailash Kher. “We’ve got a Grammy for collaborations, and now, we’ve got it for Indo-western fusion.”
Rahman, 44, was honoured in Los Angeles for his compositions in Danny Boyle’s rag-to-riches story Slumdog Millionaire. He struck gold for the best compilation soundtrack for a motion picture and the best motion picture song for ‘Jai ho’, the latter of which he shares with lyricist Gulzar and Tanvi Shah.
Rahman became the first Indian composer to triumph at the Oscars last year, an achievement for which the Indian government awarded him the Padma Bhushan, the country’s third-highest civilian award.
Rahman has worked on international productions before, such as Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Bombay Dreams. But it is work on Slumdog that caught the eye of the western critics.
Rahman, however, was all humility. “This is a great surprise,” he said. “Awards are better not expected. I just want to carry on doing my work… [But] I hope it opens up more doors for the creativity India has…I hope the award will help shape a lot of things better.”