Jai Ho! Again. As A. R. Rahman walks away with two gilded gramophone statuettes at the Grammy, MetroPlus catches up with celebrities to find out what they have to say
If “when man bites dog” is how news is still defined, A.R. Rahman getting another prestigious honour for “Slumdog Millionaire” should no longer make headlines.
A double win at the Oscars. Strike that. A double win at the Grammys! For Best Compilation Soundtrack Album and Best Song Written for a Visual Media.
The highest honour any musician can get! And double that.
It was a strong sense of déjà vu for his team and fans around the country. Rahman said: “It's insane.” And went on to add: “God is great” yet again, since he is really running out of acceptance speech templates.
Rahman had more to add through his updates on Twitter:
“Insane, eh? I never even dreamt of winning all these awards… I once again want to thank the Almighty, my spiritual Sufi teachers, Ameen Peerullah Malik Sahib, Danny Boyle, Fox and the whole ‘Slumdog' creative team, all the awesome actors in the movie, MIA and Resul Pookutty… My whole team, Gulzarji, Sukhvinder Singh, Tanvi Shah, Vijay Prakash, my friend and sound engineer the late H Sridhar, Deepak PA, Chetan, Vivianne Chaix, Aditya Modi, Sivakumar, Noell James, Ganesh, Faiz, Anne-Marie, Ranjit Barot and the folks at Nirvana, my agents Sam Schwartz and Amos Newman, my friends Karan, Gopal and Vijay, Deepak Gattani, Mohan Chopra, Chris and Simon Long, my mentors Mani Ratnam, Shekhar Kapur and Subhash Ghai, and mentor in the West, Andrew Lloyd Webber, folks at IDPR, Allison and Courtney, extraordinary musicians from Chennai and Mumbai, my mother, my father, my sisters and my lovely wife and children. And all my well-wishers from the world who keep me going... Jai Ho India!”
Composer, writer, director, lyricist
This friend of mine…the child of India…a magic musician; he has wowed us… I'm short of words to describe my emotions at this moment. He is the future of India and I feel immensely proud we are handing over the creative legacy of India to such a man. I was hoping he would recreate the magic at the Grammys, not expecting it. But this man has now truly proved himself beyond boundaries. He won two at the Oscars and now two at the Grammys. I think he has a liking for twins! What I love about him is that beyond his individual talent there is something exceptionally beautiful about him as a person. He is so humble and always remembers his country at every felicitation. That makes him not only a fabulous creative mind but a great person. He is not just another composer from India. He is India's composer.
Co-singer, Jai Ho
Wow! Can't believe this! We went without expectations. And I guess that helped. We just left it to the Almighty — and as usual he took care! Going up on stage with A. R. Rahman was good. I felt elated and blessed. Attending the Grammys was an out-of-the-world experience. It was great to meet all the other nominees, those dinners and lunches…all super. Walking down the red carpet was weird and fun! Glad I wore a Tarun Tahiliani outfit.
Having seen him work for the last 18 years, I can say that it has reached the right person. He deserves all the awards and all those yet to come. He's a blessed guy and it's not just for the music he creates that he gets the Oscars or Grammys. He's also a beautiful person. His righteousness brings him the glory… all blessings are directed towards him.
Rahman definitely deserves it. If he hadn't got it, it would've been a very sad day. He inspires the youth of today with his accolades and mind-blowing music. He's made every Indian proud. I am so happy that I work for him.
Sound designer and editor, “Slumdog Millionaire”
I feel elated at the new heights “Slumdog Millionaire” and Rahman are scaling. Not able to reach him over the phone… but he mailed me, saying, ‘Got two bro! Thanks for the best wishes.' It was not unexpected. “Jai Ho” has become such a celebrated song the world over. What “Roja” did for him locally, “Slumdog” has done internationally — getting the musician the recognition he deserves.
We were recording the background score for “Delhi-6” and “Ghajini” when “Slumdog Millionaire” came our way. We did the film without any major expectations. It was just done from the soul. It was his destiny. The Grammy is a culmination of all his hard work since “Roja”. The world has not heard his masterpieces from “Sangamam”, “Iruvar” or “Kandukondain Kandukondain”. So it's amazing that his music is going places finally. He dedicated his Padmabhushan to his team. He's an awesome, humble team leader. At 4 a.m. when everyone is sleepy, he is full of energy and inspires you. He deserves everything he's got.
When we knew he was nominated, we knew he would get it. So it was no surprise for me. It was so nice to see Tanvi sharing the stage with him. I don't think there are many composers who give as much importance to singers and musicians. I am a die-hard fan and wish he breaks his own record of getting maximum awards for a song/album/soundtrack in the future too.
Singer of the song “Jai Ho” of “Slumdog Millionaire”
I am ecstatic. Rahman deserves every bit of the adulation he is receiving. I have been continuously singing “Jai Ho” for TV channels and I am not tired of it! When I was recording the song, I kept telling him that it was so cute. So when it went to the Oscars, Rahman called me and said, ‘Hi Hollywood singer!' I was stunned. I am so happy that the composer I have been admiring since the time of “Roja” has won two Grammys.
(Inputs from Sudhish Kamath,
Harshikaa Udasi and T. Krithika Reddy)