Sunday, December 24, 2006

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.


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