Monday, October 31, 2011

Vijay to do a James Bond act in Gautham Menon's film?

Vijay is on a roll! Following the success ofVelayudham, the actor will soon team up with A.R. Murugadoss for his next. After completing that Vijay will be joining hands with ace director Gautham Vasudev Menon for his 55th movie, a detective story based in New York! The project has been titled Yohan: Adhyayam Ondru! This dream project is scheduled to go on floors by June 2012, will have music by maestro A.R. Rahman, and the camera will be handled by Manoj Paramahamsa.
Now the latest buzz is that Vijay will play a James Bond kind of a role in this film and the director is planning to make a series of films (like the James Bond series) under the same title.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rahman changed the tracks of Rockstar n number of times!

The music of ‘Rockstar’ is making people tap their feet on tracks like ‘Kun Faya’ and ‘Katiya Karun’ and bang their heads on ‘Saadda Haq’. The tracks are awesomely made by none other than A.R. Rahman and can see that he has truly put his heart and soul into the music of the film.

Commenting on the same, Rahman says, “We had great music for the song ‘Nadaan Parinde’ but still we were not satisfied and reworked on the whole thing. Mixing for the album took a lot of time; we took around 30 to 40 days as we had to redo the thing completely again and again until we were completely satisfied.”

After listening to the tracks and seeing the audience’s reaction to it, one can surely say that his hard work has paid off.

We do not have pure rockstars in India: AR Rahman

Music maestro AR Rahman, who is looking forward to a live concert of his upcoming film Rockstar, feels that India does not have 'pure' rockstars.
The makers of Ranbir Kapoor-starrer film, Rockstar have planned a live concert to promote the movie. Rahman will be performing live at the concert.
Joining Rahman for the live performance will be lead actors Ranbir and Nargis Fakhri, director Imtiaz Ali, singer Mohit Chauhan and others.
"I have seen IIT people playing rock music and then you have the usual rock bands. India-wise, we have morals and hence, we do not see pure rockstars here," Rahman told reporters here at the announcement of the concert.
"Also, in this film, the character that Ranbir plays, does not drink. He does not like alcohol. But, I like the character," he said.
The song 'Sadda Haq' from the film has become quite a rage with the youth and will be the highlight of the concert.
The other songs that will be performed at rhe concert include - 'Jo Bhi Main', 'Kun Faaya Kun', 'Katiyan Karun', and 'Nadaan Parinde'.
When asked for which song he faced problems, Rahman said, "For a couple of songs we had trouble. Like for the song 'Nadaan Parinde', I felt, we could have done better so we re-worked on it. We faced problem while mixing the songs. It took 35 to 40 days for the mixing," Rahman said.
Rockstar, directed by Imtiaz Ali, starring Ranbir and Nargis, will release on November 11.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Shruti Haasan opts for Aamir Khan

Her breakup with her heartthrob Siddharth was the talk of the town recently. Shruti Haasan, the daughter of universal hero Kamal Haasan, is once again in the news for walking out of Jr NTR’S Tollywood flick Dammu.
If unit sources are to be believed, Shruti has opted out of Dammu after signing the movie and even shooting for it.
The reason? It seems that the Luck star is taken in by the comments of none other than Bollywood star Aamir Khan. Aamir Khan reportedly watched Suriya’s 7 Aum Arivu — thanks to director A.R. Murugadoss, and was so impressed by the script that he is keen on remaking it in Hindi.
The actor/filmmaker has already tasted success with the remake of Ghajini — which was also directed by Murugadoss.
The intriguing news is that Aamir was also smitten by Shruti’s performance and apparently commented that (just like he chose Asin for his Hindi Ghajini) he would want her on board for the Bollywood version of 7 Aum Arivu.

Shruti, who had just commenced shooting for Dammu with Jr NTR, was on cloud nine when she heard about Aamir’s remarks.
She suddenly decided to opt out of NTR’s project — probably, to keep her dates free — in the hope of suddenly getting a call from the Lagaan star.
The source also adds that Boyapati Srinu, the director of the film is miffed with her and is looking out for a quick replacement. Yet another source informs us that the film unit is trying to convince Shruti to stay on and complete the film.
In the meanwhile, it seems that Shruti has complained about the unit stating that the film was making very slow progress and payments due to her had been withheld!
And, that’s not the only reason for her opting out of Daamu. An unconfirmed source informs DC that Shruti has been approached by ace filmmaker Mani Ratnam for his film on the Rameswaram fishermen.
The movie is touted to have Rajeev Menon behind the camera and A.R. Rahman composing the music. After all, working in a Mani Ratnam film would any day be a better bet for international recognition.
The earlier rumours were that Shruti’s sister Akshara would be the female lead, with Gautham, actor Karthick’s son, debuting as the hero.
Despite all efforts to talk to Shruti, she was not available for comments. Let’s wait to hear what the young star has to say in her defence!

Mani Ratnam rejects Samantha

Mani Ratnam rejects SamanthaThe Dookudu star could not impress ace film-maker in the screen test despite rocking T-town with hits like Ye Maaya Cheseve and Dookudu, teen diva Samantha may still be feeling down. Film-maker Mani Ratnam has refused to sign her as the female lead opposite debutant Gautam, son of veteran Tamil actor Karthik, in his upcoming romantic comedy.
Samantha had even done some screen tests for him. “She took time out and went for a couple of days to cinematographer Rajiv Menon’s Chennai office for screen tests,” says an industry source. The likes of Kaartika and kin of Suhasini have also in the past failed Mani Ratnam’s screen tests. She need not be too upset as she’s already proved her mettle at the box office. Though we can’t help but wonder who is going to finally get the role.

Rajinikanth, Shahrukh - the Indian Superman and Spiderman

With the arrival of Endhiran and Ra.One, Indians have finally found the answers for the Supermans and the Spidermans. Audience, who looked for Hollywood movies for the superheroes, can now see those kinds of characters in Indian cinema. The interesting part is that it is being made to suit the tastes of native viewers, which was not seen in English films.

In 2010, India witnessed its biggest ever-scientific fiction in the form of Endhiran – The Robot. Shankar’s experiment wrote a new beginning in the Indian cinema and made many filmmakers to think out of the box. Especially, his superhero creation ‘Chitty’ came into a lot of praise from all across India. Not only character but the technical values and graphics in the film proved that the filmmakers in India too can make the movies in Hollywood standards.

Now in 2011, we are ready for Ra.One, which is the mixture of Superman and Spiderman. Like Endhiran, the forthcoming movie has crossed Rs 100 crore in budget and it is rich in quality. The point to be noted here is that whole of India is welcoming this genre film. The audience, who were once used to regular masala films, are also ready to accept the new-age cinema that will certainly make our filmmakers to dare for more and more innovations in the coming years. 

Though, success of the film matters the most, it will be the foundation stone for the future experimentations. We might also see top actors coming forward to make superhero films.

However, a section of people might complain that merely copying Hollywood superhero characters could take Indian films nowhere and it will restrict the movies to only Indians. It is true that our creations, which are highly inspired by English films, will not get international acclaim. But as it is the new beginning and our filmmakers are still trying their hands on something, which has not been tried before in one-century history of Indian cinema, we should let them learn the art of making it in the world standards. The innovations will obviously come once the audience are used to that format.

Rahman-Ranbir to perform live at Rockstar concert

Ranbir Kapoor, AR Rahman and the team ofRockstar are coming up with a live concert where songs from the film will be performed.

This is perhaps the most awaited moment for Ranbir Kapoor's fans. The star, after much speculation about his stage performances, will finally perform live in front of audiences in a special 'Rockstar' concert in Mumbai!

This is Ranbir's first ever stage performance and the producers are leaving no stone unturned to make it the biggest event of the year. The 'Rockstar Concert' is scheduled in Mumbai on November 1, 2011. Joining Ranbir in this exciting concert will be Director Imtiaz Ali, co-star Nargis Fakhri, singer Mohit Chauhan (who is the voice of Jordan in the film), music maestro AR Rahman, along with eminent personalities such as Rahman's long term associate Ranjit Barot (Music arranger) and Percussion guru Sivamani.

What's more, music genius A R Rahman will be performing live in concert for the first time for his film, an added treat for music lovers! The event is being organized by Deepak Gattani of Rapport, who coordinates all concerts of A R Rahman, with special choreography by Ashley Lobo.

Producer Hiren Gandhi of Shree Ashtavinayak Cinevision Ltd says, "Ever since his Bollywood debut, Ranbir has not performed live to an audience. This is what makes the Rockstar concert so much special for the team, as well as Ranbir's fans. Plus, Rahman sir's brilliant soundtrack has generated an incredible hype - the songs are topping the charts not only in India, but in US, UK, and several other markets. Hence, planning a concert made a lot of sense, given the craze and euphoria for the music."

Ranbir is playing a Rockstar in the film and he, with the support of several renowned personalities has put in tremendous effort to personify the character. This concert will enable his and the film's fans to 'actually experience' the Rockstar in Ranbir Kapoor.

'Saadda Haq', the song that has become a rage with the youth will be the highlight of the concert. Other songs to be performed from Rockstar include: Jo Bhi Main, Kun Faaya Kun (with the original Qawwali singers also performing live at the concert), Katiyan Karun, Nadaan Parinde and Tum Ho.

Free invitations for the show will be distributed amongst the public and the concert will be held at Bhavan's College grounds, Andheri west.

Rahman wins award for `127 Hours`

Music maestro A.R. Rahman has added another prestigious trophy to his shelf -- the public choice award for "If I Rise" from "127 Hours" at the World Soundtrack Awards 2011 at Ghent, Belgium.

"Thanks to my fans and the World Soundtrack Academy for the Public Choice award for the score of `127 Hours`," Rahman posted on his Facebook page.

The World Soundtrack Academy Saturday announced the 2011 winners at the closing of the 38th Ghent International Film Festival.

The two-time Oscar winner was competing in the best original song written directly for the same track category, but lost out to Randy Newman, who took home the trophy for "We belong together" from "Toy Story 3".

"127 Hours", directed by Danny Boyle, was based on mountaineer Aron Ralston real life story how he chopped his hand to save himself after a boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated canyon in Utah.

Rockstar - music review


Label: T-Series
Artistes: Various
Music Director: AR Rahman
Lyricist: Irshad Kamil
After the huge success of Taal in 1999, Mozart of Madras AR Rahman has again churned magic in the musically oriented entertainer ‘Rockstar’ which brings many commercially bankable names in the credits. Teaming up for the first time with Imtiaz Ali the duo have bundled some melodious tunes.
Even though the title Rockstar gives impression of rock and punk styled tracks, the virtuoso has introduced some new sounds like Sufi rock and flamenco rather than going for most obvious rock. The album is packed with 14 original tracks that bring out the fusion of east and west.
The album starts with soulful tune of ‘Phir Se Ud Chala’ backed by harmonious choir fading in and out of the track with the strums of guitar. The lyrics penned by Irshad Kamil blends well with the tunes and vocals of Mohit Chauhan. The music varies towards the end as track enters in remix territory which does justice to the energetic lyrics.
The acoustic track ‘Jo Bhi Main’ opens up with Mohit Chauhan interacting with audience through catchy phrase ‘Ya-ya-ya’. The composition is hypnotic with the soft rock sound accompanied by electric guitar and bass line throughout the track and it succeeds in producing  sound of the authentic live concert.
Punjabi infused ‘Katiya Karun’ is an energetic commercial ditty padded with catchy chorus ‘tinga-ling-tinga-linga’ which integrates lively tumbhi alongside dholak beat. The huskier tone of Harshdeep Kaur further infuses the lively track with pleasure and joy.
In the next melody Rahman brings his famous Sufiana Kalam element teamed with Qawwali ‘Kun Faya Kun’ a divine vocal by Javed Ali and Mohit Chauhan. The song kicks off with regular Sufi element but promptly varies with inclusion of Chauhan’s vocals without making it monotonous. The devotional Sufi song is one of the longest running eight minutes track and instantly reminds the famous Sufi track ‘Khwaja mere Khwaja’ from Jodha Akbar.
The album introduces a fun track ‘Sheher Mein’ tinting the artistic side of Rahman. The track takes place in recording studio with music producer correcting Mohit Chauhan and Karthik in the interludes. The song merges with the progressive keyboard beats to the traditional Indian instruments after every interlude.
The versatility of the composer is further explored through tango meets Gypsy theme song ‘Hawa Hawa’ with refreshing tune of Spanish guitar. The track also includes vocals of Viviane Chaix, Tanvi Shah, Suvi Suresh and Shalini.
Coming up next is the musical themes ‘Tango for Taj’ and ‘The dichotomy of fame’. ‘Tango for Taj’ is a situational interlude with the fusion of raga and violin. The second harmony ‘The dichotomy of fame’ is another fusion between shehnai and guitar played by Balesh and Kabuli. The inclusion of two instrumentals doesn’t quite relate to the theme of the movie.
The album further looses it touch with the sad romantic bollywood song ‘Aur ho’ the track opens up with the unearthly background vocals of Alma Ferovic. Working on the same line is another soft rock love song ‘Tum ho,’ but unlike the previous track the lyrics and music jams well together. The duet vocal by Mohit Chauhan and Suzanne D’Mello’s thrives in building the romantic aura of the songs.
The next track ‘Tum Ko’ marks the come back of Kavita Subamaniam (Krishnamurthy) on Bollywood front. The vocals brings backs the harmonious melody of 80s and 90s that interspersed with the classical beats of tabla. Coming back after a long hiatous, the singer once again succeeds in winning listener’s heart.

Ranbir spent 30 days with Rahman for ROCKSTAR

For the music of ROCKSTAR, while A.R. Rahman was of course doing his job and Imtiaz Ali too was expected to participate extensively due to his experience in creation of chartbuster soundtracks for films like LOVE AAJ KAL and JAB WE MET , one wonders whether Ranbir Kapoor too pitched in a little with the music. After all for someone like him who is supposed to be a keen follower of music, there must have been some involvement at the least.

view CELEBS AT FICCI FRAMES FINALE picture gallery
view CELEBS AT FICCI FRAMES FINALE picture gallery

"Yes, I had to be involved but more in the capacity of a follower instead of a contributor," says Ranbir, "Since I am playing a musician in ROCKSTAR, it was important for me to surrender to the film's music. For that, I joined Imtiaz for every song setting that he had with Rahman. In fact I spent more than 30 days with Rahman at his workplace and saw the songs being created up, close and personal. It was nothing less than surreal to see Mohit Chauhan singing those songs that would be picturised on me a few months down the line." 

This turned out to be such an eye opener for Ranbir that he further appreciated the depth of the character he was going to enact on screen. 

CHECK OUT: Imtiaz takes JAB WE MET dancers in ROCKSTAR

"Yes, I had been given a great backdrop when it came to the characterisation but then Imtiaz as well as I feel till date that sitting with Rahman and understand the nuances of music here only helped me grow further," says Ranbir, "I come with a huge disadvantage of not being someone who can sing and this experience only allowed me to feel convincing within myself to play the title role of ROCKSTAR. When you become a part of this entire music-making journey, it only gets easier to perform on the songs; more so due to the (musical) genre that ROCKSTAR belongs to."

A.R.Rahman is Brand Ambassador for JBL® India Brand Campaign

Harman International has signed A.R. Rahman as the brand ambassador for the JBL India and Middle East brand campaign. He will be apart of JBL by Harman’s “Hear the Truth,” a a multi-year global marketing campaign featuring an evolving roster of international musicians who want their fans to listen to music as it was intended to be heard.

Rahman will feature in the campaign highlighting “How A.R. Rahman listens to A.R. Rahman.” The campaign is directed toward exciting music lovers across the world, while showcasing the fact that the greatest performers in the world trust JBL. 

Rahman joins musical icons revered across the world, ranging from Grammy Award-winning rock band Maroon 5, multi-platinum rock band Styx and rock legends of the 80’s, Night Ranger, to China’s “King of Pop” Liu Huan.

In the coming weeks and months, Harman will launch its advertising campaign, social media engagement and more.

“The JBL brand is renowned worldwide by musicians and sound engineers for its quality sound, and our mission is to ensure their musical integrity is faithfully recreated through JBL products,” said Dinesh Paliwal, chairman, president and CEO of Harman. 

Said Rahman. “I’m very fortunate to have passionate fans who expect exciting music from me — and I sincerely believe music should be heard the way every musician intends the audience to experience it. For me, that means it should be heard on JBL equipment.” 

The JBL heritage reaches back more than 60 years and is a leader in developing audio equipment to maximize music for the digital area, developing iPad, iPhone and iPod speakers for the home and office, premium after-market sound systems for car audio enthusiasts and ground-breaking loudspeakers for home theaters and audiophiles. 

Harman International India is headquartered in Bangalore and was set up in 2009 with M. Lakshminarayan as its managing director. The company employs a workforce of over 450 people.

Music Review: 'Sadda Haq' excels in 'Rockstar'

 If appearance is the initial introduction of a character then Ranbir Kapoor has gained advantage. Youngsters imitating Ranbir's looks in 'Rockstar' are becoming more visible on roads and other public places.
The promos are showing a not so familiar Ranbir with long brown hair and an electronic guitar. His mannerism looks perfect for a young carefree rockstar.
The music of the film is composed by the Academy Award winner A R Rahman but it will be interesting to see whether the songs of the film match with the body language of Ranbir Kapoor or not.
Songs come naturally to Hindi films but sometimes either the actors overdo the act or the music does not hit the correct string.
The first song of the album is 'Sadda Haq' which is fast turning into the rock anthem of the modern generation. The heavy strings used in the song take the audiences to a world where music means just rock.
As per some media reports the lyrics of 'Sadda Haq' is inspired from a peasant movement that has taken place in and around the national capital some years ago.
With good strong word selection, Mohit Chauhan's excels as a rebel voice.
Harshdeep Kaur has sung 'Katiya Karoon' which is a soft romantic number. 'Katiya Karoon' has a very raw appeal attached to it that can give you a feeling of listening rural songs from Punjab and adjacent areas.
'Seher Mein' is another cool track from Rahman which pitches two singers against each other in a battle of melodies.
'Kun Faya Kun' is a qawwali with soulful sound but unfortunately it does not provide anything path breaking to the listeners. It's almost same as songs like Arzian, Khwaja and Pia Haji Ali, earlier made by Rahman.
Lately Rahman has given many chances to Mohit Chauhan. This album too is no exception. He has given voice to 9 out of 13 songs and he does not disappoint the listeners.
'Rockstar' too belongs completely to Rahman as his previous albums but he does not come very close to his real potential in 'Rockstar'.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rahman wins another International award!

AR Rahman has done it again. He has won the public choice award for his track from the Danny Boyle film, 127 Hours at the World Soundtrack Awards 2011 held at Ghent, Belgium. The If I Rise track from the film was declared the winner in this category.
Yet another prestigious award has been added to his crowded trophy case and ARR is happy with the honor. He thanked his fans for their support and also the World Soundtrack Academy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rahman scores for RA.One

AR Rahman, Shah Rukh Khan and Rajnikanth
Shah Rukh Khan and A R Rahman have wanted to work together for the longest time. But their plans to collaborate have always fallen through, that is until now. Reportedly, their long-awaited partnership has finally materialised, thanks to the south superstar Rajinikanth.

A source informed Mumbai Mirror that Rahman has agreed to score the music for a very important sequence in SRK's opus RA.One.

Apparently Rahman, who is very close to Rajinikanth, immediately agreed to SRK's request to compose the music for the scene that features a cameo by the south superstar. The source explained, "The scene is the highlight of the film. In the sequence, Rajinikanth and Shah Rukh come together and so, the dramatic effect of the scene depended largely on the background music.

That's why SRK and Rajini decided that an extraordinary scene like that needed a special background music that only someone of Rahman's calibre would be able to achieve. Since the music director is a very close friend of Rajini, he immediately made arrangements to start working on the music for the scene."

Apparently, Rahman dropped all his commitments abroad and returned to his studio in Chennai to record the music for the scene. According to the source, the entire RA.One team, including the film's music directors Vishal-Shekhar was not only agreeable but also excited to have Rahman work on music for the sequence. "After Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth, everyone felt Rahman's presence would be another step ahead for SRK's big Diwali release," added the source.

The last time Rahman and SRK worked together was in Mani Ratnam's Dil Se, in 1998. However, after this project, their plans to work together for a Red Chillies Entertainment production always hit a roadblock.

The two were supposed to work together in Farah Khan's Om Shanti Om - a plan that reportedly fell through due to royalty and copyright issues.
When contacted, Shah Rukh, Rahman and director Anubhav Sinha remained unavailable for comment.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Siddarth Bags A Hollywood Offer

Siddarth is Hollywood director Roger Spottiswoode’s choice to play Srinivasa Ramanujam, the mathematics genius. The Hollywood director, known for directing the James Bond flick Tomorrow Never Dies, says that he is interested in making a film on this Math expert and has the script ready.

Siddarth has said that he is excited with the offer and is looking forward to begin the project. The actor, it may be mentioned here, made his acting debut with Boys, a film directed by India’s ace director Shankar.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Its official: Rajini to start 'Rana'

Rajini fans are in for some good news. The Superstar's magnum opus 'Rana', which hit a roadblock after he fell ill, is finally set to restart, that too at the earliest. This has been confirmed by none other than the top actor's younger daughter Soundarya Ashwin, who is closely associated with the project.

"Appa is completely alright. He is fit, fine and brimming with energy. The Superstar is keen to start Rana's shoot and an official announcement will be made very soon," says Soundarya, who is producing the movie in association with Eros International.

Saying that 'Sultan The Warrior', her dream project which has Rajini in the lead, has underwent a major overhaul, the owner of Ocher Studios adds: "KS Ravikumar has taken charge of story and dialogue departments. For the first time in India, we have used Performance Capture technology."

On 'Ra One', the Shahrukh Khan starrer in which Rajini has done a guest appearance, Soundarya says, "It will be a powerful cameo in which appa has played Chitti, a role he did in Enthiran. Shahrukh and others were so happy to have the Superstar on board. So was Rajini."

Kashmiri wedding in Rockstar

Director Imtiaz Ali has gone to great lengths to make sure that the Kashmiri Pandit wedding in Rockstar is convincing, right down to the smallest rituals. During the recce, he asked the line producer to fix a meeting for him with a Kashmiri Pandit family.

Their house was in a small Hindu settlement in Srinagar and he visited them with his team, sat with the wife for three hours over tea, talking about Kashmiri weddings.

They then walked to the popular Kheer Bhawani temple, met the priest and watched his daughter’s wedding video for a visual understanding.

Designers Manish Malhotra and Aki Narula roamed the streets for hours for the ‘shaneel fyran’ (velvet outfit), traditional Dejhor (earrings that are a must for all married women) and the trang (the cap a girl wears at her wedding).

The food was served in trams (copper plates) and locals were invited to the banquet to offer their feedback in case things didn’t work according to plan.

The Ranbir Kapoor- Nargis Fakhri starrer releases on November 11, 2011.


Music Review: Rockstar

Music: AR Rahman
Lyrics: Irshad Kamil

It isn’t every month that you get to listen to a Hindi film soundtrack composed by AR Rahman. The award-winning artiste selects his projects very carefully, so naturally, everyone’s been eager to find out what Rockstar’s music is about.

It may come across as a surprise, but the music of this Imtiaz Ali film is nothing like its name suggests. For all the right reasons, there’s minimal ‘rock’ to be heard. Instead, it follows the musician Jordan’s (played by Ranbir Kapoor in the film) journey across the country and to Europe and packs in wonderfully evocative numbers ranging from folk and alternative to electro-pop and some Balkan gypsy pieces as well.

Because there’re just so many nuances and undertones in all its 14 songs, you cannot judge Rahman’s music in one go. First, its 66-minute length – with no remixes or reprises to speak of – demands time and attention. The richness is in the details, and if you play the tracks casually, without paying much attention, you’ll miss out. However, multiple listens are highly rewarding. Second, the idea of keeping Jordan’s voice consistent à la Mohit Chauhan (who sings on nine songs) is a great decision. His voice oozes flair without going over the top. For instance, in the semi-parodic Sheher Mein… that’s both a song as well as the making of one, Chauhan’s voice dominates, though Karthik also features on vocals. Often, the song stops abruptly and you’ll hear the producer giving comments and suggestions in the background. 

The opening song sung by Chauhan, Phir Se Ud Chala… is a quintessential Rahman number with wide soundscapes, lots of sonic textures and vocal harmonies. Towards the end, it routes into the electro-pop realm effortlessly. The whimsical carnival piece Hawaa Hawaa… that features gypsy music with bits of flamenco is pleasantly surprising and perhaps the best quirky number we’ve heard since Vishal Bhardwaj’s Darling… from 7 Khoon Maaf.

Other memorable tracks include the evocative Kun Faya Kun… a peaceful and melodic qawwali number sung by Rahman, Javed Ali and Mohit Chauhan. Jo Bhi Main… takes the psychedelic rock route and sounds a bit like Pink Floyd circa 1975.

The album loses its focus halfway with songs like Nadaan Parinde… and Tum Ko… but picks up again with Tango For Taj… – another gypsy track with Spanish guitar and foot tapping beats. At the close, Ranbir orates Persian poet Rumi’s words: “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.”

Rockstar’s music is in no hurry to get to its destination. Listen to it without a care for the world and you’ll love it. Rahman’s masterful control is evident in every aspect of the soundtrack, and once again reminds us why he’s the country’s most important composer. We won’t be surprised to see this become a classic.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fantastic bard of Benaras: A filmmaker remembers Bismillah Khan

 Fantastic bard of Benaras: A filmmaker remembers Bismillah Khan New Delhi: Shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan had "music on his face", remembers Britain-based filmmaker-writer Nasreen Munni Kabir, who struggled to bring out a documentary on the famous bard of Benaras until the intervention of composer AR Rehman.

The 50-minute documentary, ‘Bismillah of Benaras’, made by Kabir with support from the BBC will be distributed by Sony Music. Kabir collaborated with Rahman, a Bismillah fan, who helped her tie up with Sony for distribution. He also is the presenter of the movie.

"I conceived it in 2002 and worked for nearly nine months on it. It was a desire I cherished since the 1990s when I saw Bismillah Khan at a concert in the British Museum," Kabir told reporters from Mumbai.

"There was music on his face...I had not seen it on anyone`s face. He was so utterly connected to his music. It took 20 years for the dream to come true," she said of Khan, who died five years ago.

"I did not add any archival material, but just interviewed Bismillah Khan saheb. To me that was very important; he was a fantastic man. It was a privilege just to hear him speak of his life," Kabir said.

She added the making of the movie was difficult because for several years, she could not find a producer and distributor.

"I pitched the idea to BBC in 2002, but I could not find a distributor because no one was willing to distribute a classical music DVD. It is easy to market a pop star. I had to wait for five years. No one was willing to take it till I met AR Rahman while shooting a documentary on him. I showed the DVD and he agreed to present it and find a distributor," Kabir said.

The documentary, which explores the life, work and warm personality of Bismillah Khan, is based on interviews and exclusive concert footage filmed at the Khan family home by Kabir and her crew.

The documentary charts Khan`s journey as a musician from his childhood, which he spent learning the shehnai, an ancient wind instrument, from guru Ali Bux. It also features contributions from musicologist Sandeep Bagche, who knew Khan and his music.

Khan brought the shehnai to mainstream classical music at a concert in the ‘Calcutta All India Music Conference’ in 1937.

Born in 1916 to a Dalit Muslim family of court musicians in Bihar, Khan moved to Varanasi at the age of six where he trained under his "guru", a musician at the Vishwanath Temple. A devotee of Saraswati, Khan, a Shia Muslim, often played in temples.

Honoured with the Bharat Ratna, he was one of the few exponents of the instrument the world over. On his death in 2006, his shehnai was buried with him.

"The shehnai used to be considered a folk instrument - it was Khan saaheb, who elevated it to the concert stage. This was an enormous achievement. Shehnai is a tough instrument- it requires power of the lungs and tires the musician," Kabir said.

The filmmaker-writer lamented that classical music was losing popularity among younger listeners.

"More people should write about it and talk about it on television," Kabir said.

Kabir, associated with Channel 4 of BBC, has made a 46-part series on Indian movies, ‘Movie Mahal, In Search of Guru Dutt’ and ‘Follow that Star - a profile of Amitabh Bachchan’.

In 2005, she produced a two-part documentary on Shah Rukh Khan, ‘The Inner and Outer World of Shah Rukh Khan’.

Kabir is currently working on a book on dialogues of Bimal Roy`s ‘Devdas’ - the fifth in a series of Bollywood dialogue books, she said.


AR Rahman : I want to do more Tamil movies

AR Rahman : I want to do more Tamil movies

Who's who of Tamil cinema including A R Rahman, Mani Ratnam and K Balachander among those who took part in the audio launch of Aravaan, directed by Vasanthabalan.

It was all grand and glitzy affair in Chennai as the songs from the movie was screened besides special trailer. The movie has music by Karthik, a popular playback singer.

Speaking on the occasion, Rahman said, ' Impressed watching trailers of films like Aravaan, I want to score music for more Tamil movies. Films like these excite me a lot'.

'Seeing the trailer I am confident that the movie will be a run-away hit'.

For the past couple of years, I haven't seen any Tamil film. But I am looking forward to Aravaan'.

On Karthik, he says, ' he is a hardworking talent. He will make it big'.

AR Rahman talks nothing, but music: Yash Chopra

Oscar winning composer AR Rahman`s dedication to work has left filmmaker Yash Chopra amazed.

The veteran filmmaker, who has signed up Rahman for the first time for his next directorial, is wonderstruck at his genius.

"Rahman is a genius. I am working on a film with him, and his way of working is fantastic... he`s amazing. He doesn`t talk anything but music, and he says he knows nothing but music," Chopra said at an event here Tuesday.

Chopra has roped in Rahman to compose melodies for his yet-to-be-titled film starring Shah Rukh Khan.

"Rahman just makes his own music. He says - `Yashji, I make music... you like it, you take it; you don`t like it, don`t take it. I keep making music and I like doing it`. Such is the dedication of that man," added the 79-year-old, whose last directorial venture was the cross-border love story ‘Veer-Zaara’, released in 2004.


The story behind Ranbir Kapoor's 'Sadda Haq'

If AR Rahman's Sadda Haq is on loop on your music system, you have a small group of locals from Dharamsala to thank.

It was initially supposed to be a song that plays in the background whenever Ranbir Kapoor exhibited his rockstar mannerisms. But perhaps even unexpected by Imtiaz Ali, the director of the film, Sadda Haq, Ethe Rakh has already become mighty popular.

One needs to thank a group of music aficionados in Dharamshala for this. Says a source, "Imtiaz was supposed to shoot this as any other regular number, in fact a song sung by a bunch of chorus artists. But during the process of shooting when the locals of Dharamsala heard the song, they all ganged up to convince Imtiaz to convert this into a live song."

Ranbir Kapoor in Rockstar

Not surprisingly, most locals there who are still fighting to free Tibet could relate to the intention behind Sadda Haq. Adds the source, "The song speaks for anyone who is asking for their rights. So especially those groups of people who have been fighting for a cause over so many years felt like it was something they have wanted to say for all these years.

The locals stepped up and participated in the shoot and involuntarily became part of the song. They used to shoot for 10 hours straight without any money, because they felt like it was their song."

So the song, which to be shot at one stretch in Dharamsala, then came down to Delhi and Mumbai, where the director shot with local rock bands too. "Ranbir himself was pretty surprised with the massive crowds who used to gather when the song was played.

In fact, he made sure he took notes from some local Mumbai rock bands, to understand and adapt to their style of singing." The last time we saw a song catch up at such pace was Salim-Sulaiman's Chak de India and A R Rahman's Rang De Basanti before that. Not sure if Sadda Haq will have a similar impact, but for now it's hitting all the right chords.


Rajinikanth's Rana not shelved

Rajinikanth's Rana not shelved

There were rumours that Rajnikanth's Rana was shelved. However the Rana team has denied it as rumours.

Eros International Media Ltd), producing Rajnikanth’s Rana with music by A R Rahman and directed by K.S. Ravikumar, says all is well and the project is not shelved.

The shooting of this film has been delayed as Rajinikanth became unwell, after the start of the shooting of the film. Announced earlier this year, Rana is a live action magnum opus with Rajinikanth playing triple role and will be released in Tamil, Hindi and Telugu. Along with Rajini, the film stars Deepika Padukone and Sonu Sood.

Speaking on the resumption of the shooting, Ravikumar said, 'Though Rajnikanth has recovered fully well and is keen to start the shooting, we have delayed the start of the shooting, as we don’t want to rush him to start the film shooting immediately ,as the film has Rajini playing triple role and has some stunning stunt sequences.

Eros International along with Next Gen Films, will produce the film through Rana Production Ltd, UK.

JBL announces association with AR Rahman

The campaign is directed toward exciting music lovers across the world, whilst showcasing the fact that the greatest performers in the world trust JBL.

HARMAN International (India) Pvt. Ltd, announced AR Rahman, as the India Brand Ambassador for JBL by Harman’s “Hear the truth” - a multi-year campaign featuring an evolving roster of top international musicians who want their fans to listen to music as it was intended to be heard.

Described as the world’s most prominent and prolific music composer of recent times, AR Rahman will feature in the campaign highlighting “How AR Rahman listens to AR Rahman”. The campaign is directed toward exciting music lovers across the world, whilst showcasing the fact that the greatest performers in the world trust JBL.

AR Rahman joins a legendary assortment of musical icons revered across the world, ranging from USA’s GRAMMY Award-winning rock band Maroon 5, multi-platinum rock band Styx and rock legends of the 80’s, Night Ranger to China’s ‘King of Pop’ Liu Huan.

In the coming weeks and months, HARMAN will launch its advertising campaign, social media engagement and more, intended to challenge listeners to “Hear the truth,” a campaign designed to resonate with JBL’s long-time fans and music lovers, through the artists and songs they adore. Musicians across genres around the world will be inducted throughout this multi-year campaign.

During the course of the campaign, JBL will utilize social media channels to share unique behind-the-scenes video content and video shoots with the featured artists. These engaging clips will showcase the commitment, artistry and vision that the musicians bring to their craft so listeners and fans can “hear the truth.” HARMAN will also re-launch the JBL website ( featuring the brand tagline and introduce expanded e-commerce and multilingual capabilities.

“We are delighted with the fact that awe-inspiring international icon, AR Rahman, is part of JBL’s ‘Hear the truth’ campaign. The campaign is headlined by world-class musicians and AR Rahman brings with him the talent, absolute zeal and love for music and quality sound which we, at Harman, deem a necessity in today’s world. The JBL brand is renowned worldwide by musicians and sound engineers for its quality sound, and our mission is to ensure their musical integrity is faithfully recreated through JBL products,” said Dinesh Paliwal, Chairman, President and CEO of HARMAN.

“The ‘Hear the truth’ message from JBL is what I strive to achieve every day and I am proud to be part of this campaign,” said AR Rahman. “I’m very fortunate to have passionate fans who expect exciting music from me – and I sincerely believe music should be heard the way every musician intends the audience to experience it. For me, that means it should be heard on JBL equipment.” he added.

The JBL heritage reaches back more than 60 years and is a leader in developing audio equipment to maximize music for the digital area, developing iPad, iPhone and iPod speakers for the home and office, premium after-market sound systems for car audio enthusiasts and ground-breaking loudspeakers for home theaters and audiophiles.

“We welcome AR Rahman into our fold and are indeed ecstatic that he is now part of our JBL by Harman campaign. It is a terrific endorsement to have a great composer join Harman to promote the true meaning of ‘quality sound’. We look forward to encouraging people the world over to hear music the way it was intended to be heard.” said. M. Lakshminarayan, Managing Director, HARMAN International (India) Pvt. Ltd.

I’m trying to be strict with my chidren: AR Rahman

AR Rahman
Prashant Jadhav | DNA

He may be a global phenomenon, but music maestro AR Rahman is a very private person. You understand this when you ask the Oscar winner about his children venturing into singing career. His son Ameen sang a track for the Hollywood film, Couples Retreat, while his daughter Khatija lent her voice to a song for South hit Enthiran.

But Rahman laughs when you ask him if he trains them: “No, not really. I think when they learn they have to be very strict with the training. And I’m trying to be strict. How much that can work out in the end, we’ll have to see.”

In the city to present Bismillah of Benares, a 50-minute documentary on classical musician Ustad Bismillah Khan, with director Nasreen Munni Kabir, Rahman opens up about the genre:“He was one of my favourites from the time when I was working with Ilayaraja. I wanted to learn the instrument shehnai, so I bought it and when I played it, I started coughing for a week. It’s a difficult instrument, not meant for everyone. Then when I started listening to him, I realised he made it seem so easy. I invited him when he came for a concert in Chennai; he charmed us all. When I learnt that Munni was making a documentary, I knew I had to join hands with her.”

Rahman’s latest collaboration with Western rocker Mick Jagger on Satyameva Jayate was another feather in his cap. Would he work with Mick again? “The album’s just released and it depends on the reception it gets. Even then it’s a huge statement from India. I’m sure that more people will be inspired to do such cross-cultural collaborations. I was quite sceptical about it, I wasn’t sure people would like it. I’m so glad they did,” he says.

He’s also here to launch his album Connections. But as of now, Rahman is busy building his academy back in Chennai, where he teaches classical and Sufi music, into a rock solid one.Wouldn’t he want to open an academy in Mumbai? “Once I perfect the one back home, things might change. Till then I’ll enjoy the Chennai heat!” he signs off.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Rajini is like celestial being: SRK

Shahrukh Khan, who is extremely thrilled that Superstar Rajinikanth shot a cameo for his forthcoming film 'Ra.One', has sung paeans on the South Indian star, saying that he is like a celestial being and he (Shahrukh) was blessed by his (Rajini) presence.

"Sitting with Soundarya (Rajini's younger daughter) and seeing the edit of Rajini sir's shoot. He is like a celestial being...the whole office is beaming with happiness. WOW," Shahrukh posted on microblogging site.

The King Khan of Bollywood feels his mega budget film 'Ra.One', which is set to hit the screens this Diwali, has been blessed by Rajinikanth, who shot a cameo for the movie in Mumbai on Gandhi Jayanthi (Sunday).

The scene with Rajinikanth will showcase him in his 'Robot' (read Endhiran) avatar. It is said to have SRK trying to magnetically attract guns from the goons but when he is unable to do so, Rajini saves the day for the Bollywood Badshah.

Rajini does a cameo in 'Ra.One'! SRK confirms

Whether Superstar Rajinikanth will do a cameo or not in Shahrukh Khan's Diwali release, 'Ra.One', has been the talk in the film industry for many days now. Finally, through his microblogging page SRK confirmed that Rajini graced the sets of 'Ra.One'.

SRK wrote, "Misconcepts, misunderstood, stressed and then Rajini sir walks in the sets of Ra.One and you know why God made films! Thanks Soundarya for making our dream come true. Ra.One completed today, Rajini sir blessed it. I have tears in my eyes of gratitude and only prayers and love for his whole family. You complete us sir".

Quite a touching statement from the King Khan isn't it?

The shoot took place yesterday (Gandhi Jayanthi) at Whistling Woods Studio in Mumbai, although the scenes were supposed to be canned at Hyderabad, the location was changed by the team. The scenes were shot at a fast pace and were completed within three hours time!

A cameo featuring Superstar Rajinikanth is definitely going to fetch much audience for 'Ra.One' in the south and internationally this Diwali and will enable the film get a grand opening pan India and not just in the north! Post your expectations on 'Ra.One' and Superstar's cameo this Diwali. More reasons to celebrate, we'd say!

Rajinikanth's 'Rana' to roll soon - Eros

Good news for the Asian superstar Rajanikanth fans. The shooting dates of superstar next most awaited magnum opus 'Rana' will be December 2011.

Eros International the producers of the film have issued an official statement mentioning the reasons for the delay thus keeping all the so called rumours of the dropping of the project to rest.

In the official statement received by IG, director K.S Ravikumar says on the resumption of the shooting, "Though Rajinikanth has recovered fully well and is keen to start shooting; we have delayed the start of the shooting. We don't want to rush him to start the film shooting immediately, as the film has Rajini playing triple role and has some stunning stunt sequences."

Sunil Lulla, Managing Director, Eros International Media Ltd added, "It is a proud project for us and we don't mind waiting to be a part of this ambitious project with Rajinikanth as we want him to rest for some more time. Hence we have decided to take the decision on the shooting dates in December 2011."

Announced earlier this year, 'Rana' is a live action magnum opus with Rajinikanth playing triple role and will be released in Tamil, Hindi and Telugu. Along with the Asian superstar Rajinikanth , the film stars Deepika Padukone and Sonu Sood.

The music for the film is being scored by A R Rahman, director of photography Ratnavelu. The technical director is Soundarya Rajinikanth, of Ocher Visual effects UK, renowned visual effects luminary and an Emmy award winner, is the creative and special effects director on the film.

Needless to add, we all are eagerly waiting to see the most loved superstar Rajinikanth back in action and hoping December arrives sooner and faster this year.

AR Rahman Supports 'Hear The Truth' Campaign

What: Harman International signed Indian music icon, AR Rahman as the brand ambassador for the JBL India brand campaign. The Academy Award and Grammy Award winner will be part of JBL by Harman's 'Hear The Truth'- a global marketing campaign featuring evolving roster of international musicians.

Where: Grand Hyatt, Mumbai

When: 30 Sept