I love to hear fresh voices: AR Rahman
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I love to hear fresh voices: AR Rahman

Music maestro AR Rahman gets candid with Mallvika Nanda on his forthcoming projects, music and the upcoming Fever 104 FM Voice Hunt.

music Updated: Oct 15, 2007 16:53 IST
Mallvika Nanda
Mallvika Nanda
Hindustan Times

Although he hasn't slept for nearly 40 hours, he wears a his trademark smile. Over to the Chennai maestro.. A R Rahman:

Are you ready to select new talent in the Fever 104 FM Voice Hunt?

I'm not selecting them. I feel bad when you say that. I love to hear fresh voices. I'm sure even people will be excited. It'll be great to have Delhi's talent while we perform there. We did that in the US too, and it worked very well.

You're accustomed to working late in the night. What makes you look tired now?

I'm jet lagged. I'm coming straight from a flight from the UK. I just finished recording the album of

The Lord Of The Rings

. Working on a stage musical is time and energy consuming.

Are films better than musicals?

I like the instinct of films. You finish them and move on. In musicals, you do your thing, you rewrite and do it till it's perfect.

Any recent movies you've worked on?






. Come to think of it, it's strange but both are 15th century historicals. They're not dry subjects though.


sounds fine to me. There are lots of songs in it.

Weren't you approached to compose the songs of

Om Shanti Om


<b1>Farah (Khan) came to me but something went wrong in the contract. I appreciate what Vishal Shekhar have done.

Of late, you've also made an informal foray into some aspects of filmmaking. True?

Oh! Who spilled the beans? Well, it's a great responsibility. Initially, I used to leave a song to its fate. But now, I feel a sense of responsibility. People trust you and you have to live up to their expectations. A song's placement or treatment means a lot to the composers.. you can't let it go wrong. So, I've become an alarmist. But, I've no plans to act. I just can't do it.

Any angst regarding the industry?

Sometimes we are pushed. People want to release films on a festival day or on a particular date. Then your creativity gets affected. I don't compromise, nor do I stop working with them because I can under stand their situation too.

A lot of artistes complain about the way you make them record on a dummy track.

(Laughs) Who told you that? You have to tell me. Actually, I know some of them are angry with me. I think, I don't know what I'm doing. It all comes together in the end. But that process works for in a pop situation, not in the classical. When there is melody, you need to have everything done traditionally.

Do you ensure that there is no room for controversies?

Every problem has easy solutions. Why do we need make them controversial? I tell my people take the bad energy out of their minds and keep working.

Are you happy with the technical growth of the music industry?

Yes.. quite. It's changing at break neck speed. Some recent albums of are certainly of international standard. But we can't be complacent. We always listen to songs from the West and exclaim, "What a song!" But do they ever say that for us?

We also speak in English.Why don't we sing in it and have them say, "Wow, this is from the East?" We need anthems like John Lennon's


. Even the West doesn't have too many today.

What after

Pray for Me


It wasn't about being on the charts. Recording companies in the West were interested in releasing it, but as a part of an English album by me. I had a lot to do back home. There is a lot of potential in that song, it's not over yet.

I'm also looking forward to launching my label. I wish I get more time for that. I'm working on two-three albums already. So, I'm cutting down on work.

First Published: Oct 15, 2007 16:03 IST