Tuesday, January 09, 2007

In conversation with AR Rahman

By Sneha Hazarika - The Statesman - Kolkata,India
Friday, January 5, 2007

Roja, Bombay, Taal, Lagaan, the Broadway musical Bombay Dreams, Rang De Basanti… AR Rahman is here to stay. Little needs to be written about Rahman’s achievements. He is news once again, this time for his compositions for Mani Ratnam’s Guru.

Sneha Hazarika in conversation with AR Rahman.

On the music of Guru
When we started work on Guru, I experienced a degree of restlessness, for I didn’t want to repeat the sounds heard in a musical I worked on ~ Alaipayuthey.
I was in Toronto when I did the “scratch”. Soon after, I sent it to Mani, who liked it and called on Gulzar Saab to pen the lyrics.

The first song was recorded in Toronto itself. Then I was asked to work on a love song. I began thinking on the lines of a Sufi number, one that had the feel of what Nusart Fateh Ali Khan did.
And that’s how Dum dara dum dara was born.

It’s dedicated to the Ustad, whose tenth death anniversary will be observed soon.

Moving ahead, I had to visit Hong Kong to perform at a concert. The trip led me to visit a store selling musicals instruments. The idea of using the accordion in Guru struck.

Usually I purchase keyboards. But this time I settled for something vintage and took time to learn the instrument. The sway of the accordion can be heard in almost all the tracks.
And there is the Yaman kalyani melody I have tuned to the lyrics of Hazrat Amir Khushroo (modified by Gulzar).

On his favourite song in Guru…Maiya Maiya
I went to Haj year last year and heard a guy near the river who kept saying “waya waya waya”.

I learnt that waya, waya meant water and felt it was an interesting sound, which is also very Indian. And so was born Maya maya.
The interesting thing in the track is the Gujarati bit at the end. It was Mani’s idea.

On replacing the song that has been picturised with Ash riding a bicycle
Mani said he wanted to shoot Ash’s introduction song in a sequence that featured her on a bicycle. Once I received the lyrics from Gulzar Saab, it was set to to match the energy of cycling. Mani said Aishwarya would learn to cycle before shooting begins. Unfortunately she met with an accident… she fell down from the cycle and the song did not work out. Na na re replaced it.

On his association with Mani Ratnam
It’s been an interesting journey. More than us, fans must be speculating as to what we are going to do next. Our thought process has the same wavelength. Whenever I see one of his shots, I take on the task of creating something different as a challenge. I guess he feels the same way when he listens to my music.

In Guru we are dependent on each other.
This time around the songs were ready before he began shooting.

On his rapport with Gulzar
We have not worked together in many films but I think we share a good rapport. Gulzar Saab and I have a common interest ~ inspiration from Sufi songs. It’s a pleasure working with him and it’s amazing to see him take on heavy work at his age.

On Bappi Lahiri singing in Guru
Mani wanted a “bhang” song. Incidentally I was at attending a music award ceremony where Bappida performed. I felt he performed beautifully. We wanted someone to sing Bolo Guru and Gulzar advised Bappida should be approached. His voice also suites Abhishek.

On his singing in Guru
I can be heard on Tere bina and the theme song, Jage Hain. I can also be heard now and then on the other tracks.

On singing for superstars
Every time I sing, whether for Shah Rukh in Dil Se or for Abhishek in Guru, I feel my voice doesn’t match the stars. Only after listening to the recording 20 or 30 times, I can convince myself about the performance.

In fact, the first time I listen to the track after recording, I get shocked. With time I get used to it. Hopefully others don’t think the same way about the tracks (laughs).

1 comment:

Nirmal Simon said...

I love bollywood songs! Check out this site… it has awesome lyrics from thousands of songs

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

In conversation with AR Rahman
By Sneha Hazarika - The Statesman - Kolkata,India
Friday, January 5, 2007

Roja, Bombay, Taal, Lagaan, the Broadway musical Bombay Dreams, Rang De Basanti… AR Rahman is here to stay. Little needs to be written about Rahman’s achievements. He is news once again, this time for his compositions for Mani Ratnam’s Guru.

Sneha Hazarika in conversation with AR Rahman.

On the music of Guru
When we started work on Guru, I experienced a degree of restlessness, for I didn’t want to repeat the sounds heard in a musical I worked on ~ Alaipayuthey.
I was in Toronto when I did the “scratch”. Soon after, I sent it to Mani, who liked it and called on Gulzar Saab to pen the lyrics.

The first song was recorded in Toronto itself. Then I was asked to work on a love song. I began thinking on the lines of a Sufi number, one that had the feel of what Nusart Fateh Ali Khan did.
And that’s how Dum dara dum dara was born.

It’s dedicated to the Ustad, whose tenth death anniversary will be observed soon.

Moving ahead, I had to visit Hong Kong to perform at a concert. The trip led me to visit a store selling musicals instruments. The idea of using the accordion in Guru struck.

Usually I purchase keyboards. But this time I settled for something vintage and took time to learn the instrument. The sway of the accordion can be heard in almost all the tracks.
And there is the Yaman kalyani melody I have tuned to the lyrics of Hazrat Amir Khushroo (modified by Gulzar).

On his favourite song in Guru…Maiya Maiya
I went to Haj year last year and heard a guy near the river who kept saying “waya waya waya”.

I learnt that waya, waya meant water and felt it was an interesting sound, which is also very Indian. And so was born Maya maya.
The interesting thing in the track is the Gujarati bit at the end. It was Mani’s idea.

On replacing the song that has been picturised with Ash riding a bicycle
Mani said he wanted to shoot Ash’s introduction song in a sequence that featured her on a bicycle. Once I received the lyrics from Gulzar Saab, it was set to to match the energy of cycling. Mani said Aishwarya would learn to cycle before shooting begins. Unfortunately she met with an accident… she fell down from the cycle and the song did not work out. Na na re replaced it.

On his association with Mani Ratnam
It’s been an interesting journey. More than us, fans must be speculating as to what we are going to do next. Our thought process has the same wavelength. Whenever I see one of his shots, I take on the task of creating something different as a challenge. I guess he feels the same way when he listens to my music.

In Guru we are dependent on each other.
This time around the songs were ready before he began shooting.

On his rapport with Gulzar
We have not worked together in many films but I think we share a good rapport. Gulzar Saab and I have a common interest ~ inspiration from Sufi songs. It’s a pleasure working with him and it’s amazing to see him take on heavy work at his age.

On Bappi Lahiri singing in Guru
Mani wanted a “bhang” song. Incidentally I was at attending a music award ceremony where Bappida performed. I felt he performed beautifully. We wanted someone to sing Bolo Guru and Gulzar advised Bappida should be approached. His voice also suites Abhishek.

On his singing in Guru
I can be heard on Tere bina and the theme song, Jage Hain. I can also be heard now and then on the other tracks.

On singing for superstars
Every time I sing, whether for Shah Rukh in Dil Se or for Abhishek in Guru, I feel my voice doesn’t match the stars. Only after listening to the recording 20 or 30 times, I can convince myself about the performance.

In fact, the first time I listen to the track after recording, I get shocked. With time I get used to it. Hopefully others don’t think the same way about the tracks (laughs).

1 comment:

Nirmal Simon said...

I love bollywood songs! Check out this site… it has awesome lyrics from thousands of songs