AR Rahman on the TV show Mission Ustad.. interviewed by Riya V Anandwala
What drew you to Mission Ustad?
It's interesting that though I have never watched a reality show, I've had several offers for them. What I found interesting about Mission Ustad is that it is a music-centric show with a cause. And it's amazing to see creative minds work towards reaching their goal.
(Laughs) Well, it's an entertaining show that talks about significant issues. It's not just about who is the best singer but which singer produces a better product.
If the subject is education, they have to compose a piece that is not boring or preachy. And that's a tough job. We're not doing anything to boost TRPs. It's dignified.
After Elizabeth-The Golden Age, will you and Shekhar Kapur work together again?
With Shekhar, there's no professional deal. It's a partnership based on friendship. If either of us needs the other, it just needs a phone call.
I have Jodhaa Akbar coming up, followed by Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na with seven hip songs and Ada with 10 tracks. Then, there's Gajini and Yuvraj.
<b1>How's The Lord of the Rings album doing?
It faced some criticism in Toronto but it is doing quite well in London.
Are there any other international projects in the pipeline?
There were some feelers from a London-based company. But I don't want to be tied down to a contract. At the time when I was doing Roja for Rs 25,000, I was offered a Rs 3 crore contract for 30 films a year.
I refused outright though the money was a necessity then. Today, it's not. It's the passion for music that drives me. Music is dead without this passion.
Are you actively involved in the music industry's fight against piracy?
Piracy is a grave issue. It's important to acknowledge a composition. My music piece for a Chinese film is being used left, right and centre for the promos. I get mails about other pieces being used randomly.. just about anywhere. What do you do as an individual?