He creates a few beats and millions dance to them. The fan club of millions is now turning into billions after ‘Slum Dog Millionaire’ brought him the Oscars. Yet, he wants to be left alone in his studio where he plays with those notes to create some thumping beats and touching tunes.
Haven’t Oscars changed A.R. Rahman? “Life has changed in a different way. Things which were unattainable in the West are just a step away now and the award has been a great agent for me now,” told the maestro to The Hindu in a chat. Moreover, it has given him the authority to walk into any studio in the world like Universal or Sony with confidence. He is quite modest saying that the movie got the awards, yet it will help him take the next step in the international arena. “Since I have a name now, it will further help in reaching the western audience.”
The magician of music doesn’t hesitate to say that ‘Jai Ho’ is the best song of his life. “It’s not about how many instruments I have put in or the ragas used but how much spirit it has. And ‘Jai Ho’ is full of that,” he says. “It has been accepted universally and that’s the quality of a great song.”
He smilingly rejects the argument that he had better songs to his name, say, ‘Maa Tujhe Salaam.’ “It’s a perspective of people loving ‘Maa Tujhe Salaam’ more than ‘Jai Ho’. Indians think it is much better but westerners think ‘Jai Ho’ is better,” he says.
Has the movie and the awards changed the perception of Western world? He nods and says new Indian music is becoming a factor to reckon with now. “Most of them are trying to be somebody else and that’s where the failure lies. Originality is respected and that’s what ‘Slum Dog..’ has been. Its music was success as it had its own stamp.”
About his astonishing journey from a jingle boy to Oscar winner, he says every step was careful and loaded with lot of integrity. “I never tried to ignore anyone. And it could happen to anyone.” Turning a bit philosophical, he says “life is the best teacher”.
Despite his amazing success, Rahman has an unfulfilled wish – to perform with the pop king Michael Jackson. “He is the king of performance and perhaps the last king,” he says. So what happens to Indian films now that he is sought-after internationally? “I will be concentrating on both but perhaps will be doing less Indian films,” he says but agrees that technology is a great help as he can carry his music to any part of the world.