Much before A R Rahman won his Oscars for his music in the multiple Oscar winning movie Slumdog Millionaire, Ron Fair, chairman of Universal Music Group’s Interscope Geffen Records, decided to release an English-language pop version of Jai Ho!
“I watched the movie a year ago for the first time and watched it two more times since then and immediately I realized the potential of Rahman’s music and its universal appeal,” Fair told Financial Chronicle. The remix version, titled Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny), with a rough English translation of the Hindi lyrics, is sung by Nicole Scherzinger.
According to Fair, the producer of the remix, he was ready to have the release immediately after the Oscars whether or not the original won at the ceremony. True to his promise, the day after the Oscars, the remix version was released by the Santa Monica-based record label and Fair is hoping Rahman can conquer the US pop-music charts.
“In fact, the remix number is already among the Top 20 pop songs in iTunes,” said Fair. The remix was created with artists working in three different continents. “When recording began, Rahman was in Los Angeles twice with my team of song writers and he gave significant direction to the project.
After that he helped us directly from his studio in Chennai,” said Fair. Meanwhile, Scherzinger, who was then touring England, recorded her vocal parts in various studios in England.
With the song’s original electronic dance beats and uplifting percussion in place, the remix English version’s chorus goes like this: “You are the reason that I breathe/ You are the reason that I still believe/ You are my destiny/ Jai ho!”
According to Fair, the challenge in creating a remix version was to make something that would appeal to contemporary music fans but at the same time be true to the story of the film.
“He is incredibly talented. He has great imagination, new vocabulary and an absolutely wonderful sense of sound. In fact, he has everything as a musician,” said Fair about Rahman and his music. “I hope my version of Jai Ho touches and connects people all around the world,” said Scherzinger in a statement.
With multiple wins by Slumdog Millionaire at the Oscars and with an English remix version already doing well on US pop charts, there is a buzz about how the little movie that did wonders at all international awards might build a bridge between Hollywood and Bollywood. “Indian music has the potential to be a major force in the world. And there is a whole new world opening up there. “What Slumdog has done is exposing the Indian music talent to the world. And the world has seen what India has in terms of dance and music,” said Fair, who considers Rahman as one of the world’s greatest living composers in any medium.
Fair will travel to India soon to meet Rahman and discuss with him the possibility of working together in some international music albums. “I will be visiting India for the first time and I am sure, I will have to visit the country several times to understand and learn. But I am eager to go through that learning process,” said Fair. During his India visit, he is also scheduled to meet several other producers and representatives of music labels. He has already initiated discussions with Rajeeta Hemwani, vice president, A&R (artists and repertoire), Universal Music India for possible future projects.
Hope you enjoy it, enjoy the day with us,” Nicole Scherzinger says as behind-the-scenes footage from the set of The Pussycat Dolls’ “Jai Ho” music video starts off. The singer then says that the video, shot at a Vienna trainyard, will capture scenes “from every point of people around the world and represent from every place.”
Giving a sneak peek into the music video, the footage reveals Thomas Kloss as the man behind the lens and A.R. Rahman making a cameo. Highlighting a crowded market scene, it shows all the members of The Pussycat Dolls sporting Bollywood-themed costumes and performing a dance sequence, which is similar to the one seen in movie “Slumdog Millionaire”.
“It’s an honor to be able to collaborate with A.R. Rahman and be a part of the ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ project in any way,” Nicole says in a statement. “The movie, the story and the music [were] a gift and very spiritually uplifting for me. I can only hope and pray ‘Slumdog Millionaire,’ and my version of ‘Jai Ho’ (‘You Are My Destiny’) touches and connects people all around the world.”