My Wife is my Biggest Critic ~ A R Rahman

22 10 2008

In the city of much joy, music maestro A R Rahman is once again on a high after the music launch for Yuvraaj, his comeback venture with Subhash Ghai after eight years. The music launch of Yuvvraaj last week in Mumbai marked a number of firsts for its star players.

A R Rahman's mother launches Yuvvraaj music

Here’s why ; The film, which stars Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif,Anil Kapoor and Zayed Khan, saw the collaboration between Rahman and Subhash Ghai after nine long years. The last time the two worked together was in Taal.

The film also marked the first time Salman Khan is working with showman Subhash Ghai. And lastly, got a glimpse of A R Rahman’s mother, Kareema Begum who happened to be the guest of honor at the launch. Yuvvraaj is likely to release in the last week of November.

Music maestro AR Rahman is once again on a high after the music launch for ‘Yuvraaj’, his comeback venture with Subhash Ghai after eight years. MSN India hit the right chord with him in this free flowing chat.

Q. It’s taken you almost eight years to get back to work with Subhash Ghai. Why?

(Shrugs) We were working on other projects in the interim. There was ‘Motherland’, for instance.. fabulous story, six decent songs recorded. But he couldn’t get dates from his chosen hero. So the film and my tunes were shelved. He approached me for another film but this time I didn’t have the dates. After that, he got busy with his Whistling Woods institute.

Q. How would you describe the score?

Well, it was something of a challenge. ‘Yuvraaj’ is the story of an Indian family settled in Europe so Subhashji (Ghai) was looking for a western classical-meets-Bollywood kind of music. I think I delivered.

Q. The Bombay Dreams experience must have come in handy?

Bombay Dreams had eclectic Indian compositions. It was a stage musical with lots of ballads. No, it didn’t really help inspire ‘Yuvraaj’.

Q. What will happen to the Motherland tunes?

I don’t think I will use them. But Mr Ghai might wants to use a song or two in one of his forthcoming films.

Q. Subhash Ghai is known to take a special interest in the music of his films. Did he contribute this time too?

This film was a journey of discovery for both of us. We had long discussions before we zeroed in on a tune. The results on screen were gratifying. The songs look magnificent!

Q. You’re known ask for a share in the music sales. That’s why you didn’t do ‘Om Shanti Om’. Did Ghai agree to your conditions?

Sharing profits is every composer’s right. Those who approach me know that and 99 per cent of the producers are okay with it. It was unfortunate that I couldn’t work with Farah Khan on ‘Om Shanti Om’. (Smiles) The reason I didn’t do the film was well publicized and it made life easy for me. I didn’t have to put my conditions across.

Q. ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’ is a huge hit. Now expectations from ‘Delhi 6’ are sky-high.

‘Jaane Tu..’ was an out-and-out commercial score. “Pappu can’t dance saala” is a hot favourite with young people. I’ll do my best with ‘Delhi 6’ too.. then wait for the reviews.

Q. Slumdog Millionaire has got rave reviews..
(Laughs) I don’t think I contributed much there. I only worked with Sri Lankan artiste Maya. We composed more than 40 tunes in less than two weeks. Danny Boyle (the director) has used the music really well.

The CD is not out yet but some sound clippings are available online. The background score was heard on the festival circuit. I’m now waiting for the formal music launch. (Smiles) And more good reviews.

Q. You were going to collaborate with Akon. What’s the update?
The wait is on. There was a query but since then there’s been no news

Q. You’re back on the reality show circuit with The Big Band..

Yeah. New voices emerge every five years and as a composer and music patron, I should go looking for them. Otherwise my songs will sound monotonous. So on this show I’m going to launch a search for a band that’s ready to make it Big.

Q. You’ve introduced several newcomers over the years but after a couple of songs, they disappear.

I use a voice which can do justice to a song. I give breaks to newcomers but I can’t shoulder the responsibility of taking careers forward. I can give them a few hits but then they have to fend for themselves. Some keep going.. some go off track.

Q. When will Himesh Reshammiya sing for you? We have been waiting for two years now.

I’ve finally got him. He’s going to be singing for me soon.

Q. Have you seen ‘Karzzz’?

(Surprised) He’s done a movie? When did it release?

Q. What’s happening with ‘Ada — A Way of Life’?

The promotions are yet to begin but I’m getting positive feedback from colleagues. The music is complex but that shouldn’t hinder its sales.

Q. And ‘Ghajini’?

That’s a young and vibrant score. It’ll rock!

Q. So your career is looking up again?

Ups and downs are a part of life.. and work. There were some lows on the graph. But they are gone now.

Q. Do your children show signs of following in your footsteps?

They do. They are still studying but I plan to get them into the music industry by next year. (Smiles) They have always prayed for their abba.

Q. And is your wife Saira?
(Smiles) She’s my biggest critic. Sometimes, I think she has a better ear for music than I do.


The last song that impressed?

Spare me, I can’t remember even one.

A movie you can watch any time?

All the Majid Majidi movies.

A song you sing in your shower?

(Laughs) Pardon me?

Okay, the last book you read?

I have not read a book in nearly 20 years.

How about a film that made you cry?

I don’t watch sad films any more.

All right, an actor who keeps you hooked on his movies?

Aamir Khan.

An actress who inspires you to compose love songs?

Madhubala. Even though she’s long gone she’s a mesmerizing muse.

A director with the best ear for music?

Danny Boyle.

One of your songs which is your kids’ favourite?

Taxi from a south movie.. I can’t recollect the name.

One song that reminds you of your wife?

Taxi again.




7 responses

23 10 2008

nice nice nice…but we’re waiting for a review for Yuvvraaj’s Audio man..

24 10 2008

thankq… 😀

keeep smiling,

ciao ciao

24 10 2008

@ chichu92

Review posted on Yuvvraaj

@ Yali

Take care of your health ok ? Health first, programs second !

29 10 2008

good post.. if himesh sings for ARR… it might be like this

17 11 2008

Yuvvraaj’s music is soulfull and heavenly
it takes music lovers to another world
may be rahman’s music can create another galaxy in the milky way with another nine palnets whole of musical creatures

30 01 2009

Hiii Farzad.. Your website is really so nice and this is very useful to know about our askar king AR Rahman… I too love rahman’s music.. Keep in touch with me.. my email is

16 09 2009

It is very interesting and informative website.
You are most welcome to view a short video made by me on AR Rahaman’s Mother Kareema Begum with AR interviews.

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