Come February 22, and all eyes will be on how Slumdog Millionaire will fare at the Oscars. But something Indian stars will be seen in at the man, it’s only Western clothes. Says his stylist Vijayeta Kumar. “Rahman has zeroed in on two outfits for each of the parties – the Oscars’ red carpet and the post-awards party by vanity Fair. He’s sticking only to Western wear and nothing really Indian or traditional. He wore traditional attire at the BAFTAs and given the strict dress code at the Oscars, he’s opting for a suit.”
Another source reveals that it’s a black tuxedo and a grey tux shirt by Lanvin that Rahman has chosen for the red carpet. He was shown a lot of options – some seven to eight outfits – to be worn for the main ceremony and he finally decided on the grey tux shirt as it has a classic air to it.”
Rahman will be accompanied by his wife Saira Bano, who will be wearng a Sabyasachi Mukherjee creation.
Read out the exclusive interview with A R Rahman afer the Baftas
It’s heartening to see you representing India at BAFTA and Golden Globe?
Thanks. I had no idea I’d win. See, each member of the jury had his or her opinion. It was a very international jury. I think they’ve been very kind to the music of Slumdog Millionaire (SM). I just heard that after Golden Globe the music has gone to No 1 in the US charts. That’s great news.
How has the Golden Globe changed your life?
Everyone from Andrew Lloyd Webber to Danny Elfman, Craig Armstrong (who worked with me on Elizabeth: The Golden Age ) got in touch. Now I feel a lot more freedom beyond film music, as a musician. I can do my own thing now, things what I wanted to do.
Hip-hop artiste Akon wants me to write something. He wanted to me to do a music videowith him. But I want to compose or write, not be in his video.
You looked very shy collecting your awards?
In that one week I received three awards in the US. The first was the Critics’ Awards. When I got that, the American media wasn’t interested in me. They didn’t want my solo photographs. ‘Can you please stand next to Danny Boyle?’ they’d say.
I think it was a glamour thing. By the time I came to the third award the Golden Globe they said, ‘Can we have your solo pics, please?’
Did you see a discernible change in the way people looked at your music?
Yes. I remember when my Roja happened there was a genuine smile on people’s faces. I sensed a déjà vu with SM.
Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorcese, (the musician) Sting….they all said they loved the film and music. And they meant it. It was a great change for them. Change is always welcome.
Would you say SM is the most successful Indian music score outside India?
It’s not an Indian score, because it’s not an Indian film. But it certainly doesn’t sell Indian poverty to the West. I know a lot of people are saying that. But I don’t agree.
If I thought that for even a second I wouldn’t have done it. There are so many films that I’ve refused to do because I objected to them on ethical, moral or other ground.
I’m so finicky about these things. As I see it, SM clearly says India is developing fast and is no longer a third-world country. And why should we hide our darker side?
The world is no more about the haves and have-nots. It’s a global community. We need to know about one another. In fact the A R Rahman Foundation is working towards eradicating poverty. And we need global co-operation for that.
Has SM contributed to your Foundation?
I think the very fact that it’s made my way into the West and Hollywood easier, is contribution enough. The film has generated a lot of interest in my music and Hindi music.
Why was there so much secrecy while you were working on the score for Slumdog Millionaire?
I was working with Danny Boyle for the first time. I wasn’t sure I wanted to work with him. I wasn’t sure of the sound. When two new people work with each other the output can go either way. Fortunately it worked. The main composition and mixing was done in twenty days.
I had no choice but to work fast. See, when you’re doing something new it’s much easier to speed up the process. It’s when you are asked to bring in a variation in the same format that you need more time.
The west may be enamoured of your Bollywood packaging in SD. But we’ve heard a lot better from even as recently as in 2008?
See, that’s a matter of opinion. A music score has to suit the theme and content. I’ve tried to match the mood of the film. The music is designed for SD. I’m very proud of my music in SD. I was given just about twenty days to do the score.
Likewise I got just about 20 days to do the background music of Ghajini. I virtually had to work at the speed of sound.
That, in spite of the fact that we lost the sound engineer and 26/11 happened. So I’m learning the virtues of speed finally (laughs).