Sunday, December 24, 2006

Rahman and Yuvan to sing together?

According to reliable sources, AR Rahman will sing along with Yuvan Shankar Raja in Chennai 600028. It will be the title song of the film.

Grapevine has it that the producers and director of Chennai 600028 have approached AR Rahman to sing the title song. As such, though professional competitors, Yuvan Shankar Raja and AR Rahman are said to appreciate each others music.

Since both are talented and unique in their own ways, it will sure be a treat for music lovers if this news indeed turns true!!

Watch out for more news on Chennai-600028 everyday.


“Lajjo, will take me into a totally different territory”

A.R.Rahman has been a busy man ever since he scored music for Mani Ratnam’s Roja in 1992. But 2006 has been special in many ways. The year started off with the chartbuster Rang de Basanti and is ending on a high with Guru. The difference in the styles and sounds that have been used in both the movies is testimony to Rahman’s class.


Come 2007 and this ace composer has much more to offer to all music lovers. He is currently working on Jodha Akbar, a period film being directed by Ashuthosh Gowarikar. The Gowariker-Rahman combination has proved to be quite a hit in their previous two films, Lagaan and Swades. Then comes Sivaji- The Boss; Rahman is excited about scoring music for the Superstar once again, this is also the reunion of the Sankar-Rahman duo after Boys.

Rahman also has two albums ready for release. One is based on Hindustani classical music and has been performed by Ghulam Mustafa Khan and students. The other one is more like pop music. Then there is Lajjo, where Rahman teams up with Mani Ratnam again. Rahman is sure that this movie will take him to a different level; only he knows what is in store for our ears.

Then there are the Oscar nominations of Water and Rang de Basanti to look forward to. It looks like 2007 is going to be bigger than 2006 for the musical wizard.


I am inspired by Jackson: Rahman

A R Rahman is known to be the artful dodger —- preferring to let his music do the talking, instead of him.

So, when he appeared recently to launch his new music video Pray For Me, Brother billed as the world's first mobile music video, he lived upto the part. He fielded media queries with a smile, though not letting on much about his future plans, instead preferring to say, "It'll be a surprise."

To his credit, the musical genius has continued to deliver one surprise after another this year —- be it his refreshingly different music score for Rang de Basanti or his signing up as an ambassador for an international satellite radio or his doing the music for the Broadway musical Lord of the Rings (LOTR). And now, the latest surprise is the music video —- which is a joint initiative with an international leader in mobile handsets, besides being the first offering of the recently set up A R Rahman Foundation.

Shot in black and white by film-maker Bharat Bala, who also did Rahman's earlier video Vande Matram, Pray for me, Brother says Rahman, is an anti-poverty anthem, that he had first conceived for the millennium goals for the UN.
The video also features hip-hop rap artist Blaze and has Rahman in his favourite black and white ensemble, with unbuttoned white shirt, fluttering in the wind a la Michael Jackson.

So, was he inspired by Jackson's Earth song, which is also on a similar theme? "Yes, I have been inspired by Michael Jackson, though probably not in character, he says, tongue-in-cheek, My voice and Michael Jackson's have the same range, since we both have a high pitch, so it probably creates an impression that it is similar."

So, what does he think of his chances at the Oscars, since three of his songs are in the reckoning? "They have been short-listed, not nominated," he gently points out. "I am happy, of course," he says smilingly. With all this on his plate, does he have time for anything else? "Yes, I am improving my Hindi vocabulary, although I still can't speak Hindi," he says with a laugh.


My voice and Michael Jackson's have the same range: AR Rahman

Next time you mistake AR Rahman singing in English for pop king Michael Jackson, don't be surprised. Even Rahman thinks they sound alike.

"My voice and Michael Jackson's have the same range, which is higher than the normal male voice, hence the impression," Rahman told reporters at the launch of his first ever English album Pray for Me, Brother.

Even the new video has shades of Jackson's hit Earth song.'

The album has been shot on the 'mobile cinemascope format' by Bharatbala of Vande Mataram fame, and will be available exclusively on Nokia 'N' series music phones before being released for television.

The song was originally composed as 'anti-poverty anthem' for UN's Millenium Development Goals. "We thought that the song deserved a great album and Nokia came forward to fund and also release on its phones," said Rahman, who has both composed the song and even given voice to it.

Vineet Taneja, Director, Multimedia, Nokia said, "By offering the song, which is the world's first ever music video on the vertical cinemascope format, we aim to deliver yet another experience to our users."

The funds generated from Rehman's new English album will go to Rahman's charity "The AR Rahman Foundation."


Rahman unveils English anti-poverty anthem

New Delhi, Dec 22 (IANS) Renowned music composer A.R. Rahman unveiled Friday his first ever English rendition 'Pray for me brother', the first music video to be shot on mobile cinemascope format, to create awareness about poverty in the world and urged people to support the cause.

'I feel that more than anything every person in the world needs some good wishes and love. I hope this song will create awareness and make a valuable difference in making a brighter tomorrow for the underprivileged children. Please support the good cause,' Rahman said at a press conference here.

'This is the first video to be shot on mobile cinemascope vertical format. This song was conceived as an anti-poverty anthem for the millennium goals for the UN. When I was doing it, I never realised it is going to go to this level. It took me two years to make it,' he said.

'Pray for me brother' is part of a joint venture between Nokia Nseries and the A.R. Rahman Foundation.

'I told my friends in London that I have a song for the UN and I want some sponsors. They introduced me to Nokia. Nokia Nseries supported it and got some of the best filmmakers in the world to make the video,' said Rahman.

'Pray for me brother' will have its worldwide launch early next year and the video will be exclusively available on Nokia Nseries music edition.

Rahman will sing the anti-poverty song live at Nokia's New Year's Eve celebrations in Mumbai Dec 31 for the first time.

Rahman's foundation also plans to help the needy by opening schools and hospitals. The composer had bought land near Chennai four years ago and is hoping to generate funds through his performances to fulfil his dream.

'It is too premature to talk about it. But this is a first step in that direction. The proceeds from the sales of the album will go to the foundation.'

Like all of Rahman's creations, the new music video too brings out his creative best. The lyrics are meaningful and the video portrays poverty across the globe, touching the sentimental chords of viewers.


Nokia Nseries, Rahman Team on Music Video

Noted Indian Music director, A.R Rahman has unveiled the first music video, shot in a mobile cinemascope format, exclusively for Nokia. The musician aims to create awareness about poverty in the world and wants to urge people to support the cause, through Nokia.

Rahman said, "This is the first video to be shot on mobile cinemascope vertical format. This song, 'Pray for me brother,' was conceived as an anti-poverty anthem for the millennium goals for the UN. When I was doing it, I never realized it is going to go to this level. It took me two years to make it."

'Pray for me brother' is part of a joint venture between Nokia Nseries and the A.R. Rahman Foundation. Rahman will sing the anti-poverty song live, at Nokia's New Year's Eve celebrations in Mumbai Dec. 31 for the first time.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

'Sivaji' to go abroad

Rajinikanth's Sivaji is nearing completion. Director Shankar, known to take his time to complete his movie, is busy giving final touches to the film.
Currently, the crew is shooting at Pune, where grand sets resembling a huge university have been erected. Rajinikanth, with his tonsured head, is shooting for the film.
On 2 January, 2007, the crew will fly to USA to shoot some important sequences. Sources close to Shankar say, the post-production works would begin after they return from USA this Pongal.
Special graphic experts from Hong Kong would be employed during the post-production works, they say.
Produced by AVM in their 60th year, plans are on to have a gala release of the audio cassette of Sivaji, set to tunes by A R Rahman.
Rajinikanth had personally called on Rahman and congratulated him for coming up with catchy songs in Sivaji.

Courtesy: Sivaji Blog

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Rahman adds two more

Two weeks after the audio of Guru released to quite an enthusiastic response all over the country, Mani Ratnam asked Rahman to add two more tracks to the audio. Rahman responded very quickly to the request of the director who has always got the best out of him.

The two tracks were added promptly and the result of the work done was evident from the sales.

A R Rahman

Guru jumped to the top spot on the charts. It looks set to stay there for a while, with Salaam-e-ishq still down in sixth place and no major music release in the offing. There are people who feel that the best is still to come. The audio sales may just boom after the movie releases in January 2007.


Friday, December 15, 2006

A.R.Rahman's reactions to the Oscar nominations.

The 79th Academy Awards or the Oscar Awards are getting underway. Nominations for original song category for full length feature films are announced. There are fifty six songs from films belonging to different languages and country. These songs have been considered for the prestigious award. Out of these, our own Rahman's three songs are featuring in the list.

A R Rahman

They are 'Khalbali' and 'Luka Chuppi' from "Rang de Basanti" and 'Chan Chan' from "Water".

When contacted to inquire about the news, A.R.Rahman expressed happiness over the nomination and said that it was the collective effort and hard work of RDB team that is paying off rich dividends. "I also thank my fans for all their wishes", added the maestro. He has his fingers crossed on the outcome.

It is indeed a great honor for every Indian and more so every Tamilian that Rahman has elevated Indian music to world arena. Some of the other songs include 'Coming back to you' from "Deja Vu", 'You know my name" from "Casino Royale" the James Bond film and 'The song of the heart" from "Happy Feet". Wishing Rahman all the best!!!


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Rahman's Oscar khalbali!

With three of his songs making it to the Oscars'shortlist, AR Rahman will turn a year older on a good note.

Although the Oscars eluded Lagaan's music director in 2001, this year AR Rahman has enough and more reasons to celebrate. To begin with, three of his songs have made it to the Oscars short list of 56 songs.

Rahman says, "They've short-listed 56 songs, of which three, 'Khalbali'and 'Lukka chuppi'from Rang De Basanti and 'Chan-chan'from Water, are mine. I was expecting a list of 500-600 songs, I'm quite surprised. I think the way they look at our films and music abroad has completely changed now. There's a lot more respect for what we do. They don't think of us as dancing around trees anymore."

Rahman chose the three songs for the Oscars on his own. He says, "I chose 'Luka chuppi'because of Lataji. She's the pride of the nation.

...I don't know what the outcome would be. I think it's a big honour to be there. But to get to the last 56 songs is quite an honour. My agent in LA was sweet enough to take care of all the nitty-gritties."

Come January 6, and the Mozart of Madras, Rahman will turn 41.

Rahman agrees that he's entering the most important decade of his life. "So far, I've just been busy living life. From my childhood I was surrounded by grown-ups, I never got a chance to enjoy being a child.

It took me a while to realise how young I was. By the time I realised that I was missing out on youthful activities I was no longer young. Now I'm re-living my childhood with three children. If I'm able to give them everything that I couldn't afford, they too are giving me back something vital,"he says.

The composer shares his birthday with his son. "My son is going to turn four on the same day. Yeah, he and I share the same birthday. ...I don't know how that happened,"he smiles.

And what sense has he made of the 40 years of his life? "My life has always been a journey. When I was in my 20s I went through the most turbulent time of my life.

Now I spend as much time as possible with my children Khatija (11), Rahima (8) and Amin (4). My studio in Chennai is bang opposite my house, so they spend a lot of time with me. All they've to do is cross the road and they're with me,"he says.


Three songs of Rahman nominated for Oscar

Expectations are riding high on our very own A R Rahman now. The reason? Well, three songs of the prodigy have been nominated for the Oscar!

There is a separate category for the ‘Best Original Song’ in the Oscar award categories every year. This year, which happens to be the 79th year of the award function, the Academy released a list of 56 songs that will compete with each other, of which three songs are Rahman’s.

The songs include two songs from Rang De Basanti namely Khalbali and Luka Chuppi and one song from Water namely, Chan Chan.

Here’s hoping and wishing that Rahman, an inevitable part of India’s pride, wins the award and elevates India’s position in the international film arena.

All the best Rahman!


Mani & Rahman in action – Watch videos

Guru is said to be based on the life of one of India’s biggest visionaries, Dhirubhai Ambani. Abhishek bachan plays the main protagonist, Gurukant Desai (based on Ambani) and Aishwarya Rai plays his wife.

Watch the video


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Rahman’s wisdom on music rights

Dec 12, 2006

Looks like Rahman is on a campaign to emphasize that music rights be granted to the musicians themselves. If you might remember, the ace musician walked out of Shahrukh’s home production when the producers failed to arrive at an agreement regarding the music rights of the movie. Rahman wanted the rights of the songs and scores of the movie.

Recently, Rahman has agreed to score music for the animated movie ‘Hara’, which is produced by Soundarya – Rajini’s younger daughter. I have obtained rights of my music for Hara. It is indispensable that every music director gets hold of the music rights, stated Rahman. I have been emphasizing this for quite sometime, he added.

Rahman is not happy that Bollywoodies have shown a deaf ear to his royalty request. Not many in the Bollywood understand this concept, reiterated Rahman. I consider these rights over everything I gain in my life, declared Rahman.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Rahman completes recording for Sivaji

A R Rahman is a relieved man now, for he has completed recording all the six songs for Rajinikanth’s magnum opus Sivaji.

Directed by Shankar and produced by AVM, the movie has generated lots of hype and curiosity among millions of Rajinikanth fans.

A thrilled Rahman says that the music of Sivaji would live up to all expectations and would be different from his earlier works.

Rahman, who stormed into the Indian film music with his debut film Roja, bagging the national award, has a word of advice for the up and coming music directors.

He says, “I think it is important for a composer to have his own identity,” he said.

Looking back at his career, Rahman says, “People remembered me more for my rhythm-driven songs, than my melodious numbers. But things have changed since Lagaan.”

On the criticisms against him that he takes a long time to complete composing, Rahman says, “I take all criticism objectively and believe in elevating the tastes of the listener.”


Thursday, December 07, 2006

When Mani Ratnam blackmailed Rahman

In the first part of an exclusive interview with A R Rahman, the maestro spoke about how Shah Rukh Khan was made a 'bakra,' and how he made Bappi Lahiri sing in Guru.

In the second and last part, Rahman talks more about Mani Ratnam's Guru, and his other projects.

On dedicating the song Tere Bina to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

When I began working on the soundtrack of Guru, I happened to listen to one of Nusrat saab's softest songs called Sajna Tera Bina. It is simple and heart stirring. There is great beauty in it. I was inspired by it and started composing Tere Bina about eight months ago.

Originally, the song was about 25 minutes long. You know I often write six or seven mukhdas and then there are many variations. I also recorded the song Ay Hairathe for the film but Mani sir felt it was too heavy to be at the start of the film. He thought of using Tere Bina.

Suddenly, the song got a life of its own. But there was one hurdle (chuckles). I had recorded it in the voice of Qadir Khan and he did an excellent job. But Mani sir wanted me to sing it. I said, Qadir will get hurt, and I did not want to hurt him. But there was no way of getting out. It became something like: Either you sing it or it won't be there.

Read more


Exclusive! A R Rahman on SRK, Guru and music

A R Rahman is a man of few words. But once he warms up, he can keep talking.

When we asked for an interview, he emailed just one line: Sure. I will call you. He did not specify a time or day. Given his passion for working in the night, I knew that meant I should expect a phone call from Chennai any time during the day hours in New York.

And as promised he called just two days after confirming that the interview will happen.

It was about noon in New York. For nearly an hour, he talked about a lot of things including how Shah Rukh Khan had become a 'bakra' and how he was 'blackmailed' by 'Mani sir' to sing the Tere Bina number in Guru.

Here's the first part of an extensive interview.

Read more


Sunday, December 03, 2006

Ashutosh & Rahman face the legal wrath.

Dec 02, 2006

Ashutosh Gowarikar & A.R.Rahman, the team that gave us the Oscar nominated, Lagaan and the critically acclaimed Swades is now working on a magnum opus, Akbar-Jodha with Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai.

One of the most awaited movies in Bollywood takes a glimpse into the life and romance of the Emperor Abkar. Hrithik plays Akbar and Aishwarya plays Jodha.

Read more


Friday, December 01, 2006

Vijay sings for Rahaman

Ilaya Thalapathy Vijay has many a bright feathers in his cap. All along he had entertained his fans through his lively acting and dancing. Singing is also one of his passions which he is not following stringently these days. In fact singing runs in his blood. S N Surendar, his maternal uncle is a trained vocalist and his voice rendered a new dimension for actor Mohan in his hay days.

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"My voice spooks me" – Rahman

Nov 29, 2006

A.R. Rahman is back to top the national charts with his Guru joining hands with Maniratnam. Rahman – whose magic always seems to work with mentor Maniratnam – is happy at the general outcome the album is generating among the public and fans. However, he is not all that happy to sing for Abhishek. Nothing personal though, he states that he feels his voice is not in sync with Abhi baby.

Read more