Happy Birthday Allah Rakha Rahman !

9 01 2010

Some 18 years ago, singer Unni Menon was given a call way past midnight, awoken in his slumber, and was told that accomplished director Mani Ratnam is recording songs for his new film and Menon’s voice was required for one of those numbers. Who works at this hour, Menon asked himself.

Happy Birthday ARR

But due to the fact that the name involved was called Mani Ratnam, Menon freshened himself up and rushed up to the mentioned recording studio, where he saw a young composer calling the shots.

Mani Ratnam, who so often works with Maestro Ilayaraja, has discovered a new talent to associate with in the music department. Menon wondered continuously if this young guy- whose name is AR Rahman, could really live up to the humongous expectations of having to compose for a Mani Ratnam film. He was given the song lyrics, the tunes were discussed, and on the wee hours of that one day back in 1992, Menon recorded a song called ‘Pudhu Vellai Mazhai’ (A new white rain), and went back home, back to his slumber.

The doubts that he had before recording the song existed even after that- he didn’t think he had sung the catchiest of tunes. Little did he know, that when he went to sleep that day, just like lyrics of the song proclaims, he has witnessed a new white rain, that will reign the Indian music arena over the following two decades.

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Kolkata all set to rock to Rahman beats.

14 11 2009

Come Saturday,November 14 2009 and music lovers are in for a star-studded treat. A R Rahman will be in town with an entourage that reads like the who’s-who of Bollywood playback music.

Kolkata A R Rahman Jai Ho

The winner of two Oscars has some great plans up his sleeves, and helping him conjure a magical evening at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan will be some of the country’s best singers Sadhana Sargam, Hariharan, Javed Ali, Rashid Ali, Shweta Pandit and Neeti Mohan, not to mention renowned percussionist Sivamani.

The thousands of Rahman fans who will turn up for the evening are certain to be mesmerized at the concert organised by the Liver Foundation, West Bengal, which will build a liver hospital in the city from the proceeds of the ticket sales. During a trip to Kolkata on October 13, his first to the city since winning the Oscars, the music genius signed guitars which will be auctioned off within a few days.

The revenue so raised, too, will be spent on building the hospital. Most paintings and portraits creations of Liver Foundation vice-president Kalyan Bose that Rahman signed during that visit have been auctioned at a gala dinner.

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A R Rahman’s Jai Ho Concert | Live in Pune on May 31, 2009

8 05 2009

For the first time ever Double Oscar Winner AR Rahman will be performing live in the city of Pune on Sunday, May, 31, 2009. This concert is part of AR Rahman’s Jai World Tour with over 70 artists and dancers which includes India’s best singers such as Hariharan, Sadhana Sargam, Blaaze, Benny Dayal, Rashid Ali amongst others.

A R Rahman concert in PuneThe concert is also AR Rahman’s first concert in a major metropolis after the Oscars. The Pune concert will be hosted at the sprawling Balewadi Stadium complex which recently hosted the Youth Commonwealth Games.

To announce his arrival in the great city of Pune, AR Rahman will address the public and media in Pune on Friday, 8th May, 2009 at 5pm at the MAEERs MIT Campus, Kothrud, Pune. AR Rahman will host the Jai Ho flag amidst a large gathering and speak to the media about this new world tour and the Pune concert in particular.

The proceeds of this concert will go to the Lata Mangeshkar Medical Foundation and the Alandi Dehu Vikas Parisar Samiti. The concert will feature all of AR Rahman’s latest super hits and is designed in a manner which appeals to one and all. The concert is also AR Rahman’s first concert in a major metropolis after the Oscars. The Pune concert will be hosted at the sprawling Balewadi Stadium complex which recently hosted the Youth Commonwealth Games.

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A R Rahman thrills Calicut to the helm

7 05 2009

At least more than fifty thousand of the Keralites was mesmerized by a show of a life time, when Maestro A R Rahman came up with his pack of the best for premiere of the ‘Jai Ho’ show, here at the Corporation Stadium, Calicut. The euphoric atmosphere at the venue lasted for around four hours, with the crowd ARR sings O Sayacheering with thunderous applause’s for the maestro, his singers and his troupe in every intervals.

The galleries were getting filled even before four p.m, hours before the function, to witness one of the best of the shows of the nation. Even with a little over priced ticket rates, the natives of Calicut thus once again proved beyond any doubts that they are the best of the hosts, be it for music of Football.

A.R. Rahman made a dramatic entry to the concert stage just before eight, singing “O Saya” his Oscar nominated song, to kick off his world tour following two Oscars. In his soft voice he also thanked the support of his fans and expressed this happiness for being in the state where he was longing to perform for the last 15 years.

It was perhaps an experience of a lifetime for over 40,000-music lovers as Oscar winning music maestro A R Rahman launched his worldwide ‘Jai Ho’ tour here, holding them enthralled with a range of popular hits from Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam movies.

It was a musical extravaganza this Kerala town has never seen before as music lovers from across the world thronged the corporation stadium last night to see their idol perform for the first time after winning a double Oscar for his score in ‘Slumdog Millionaire’.

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The Insiders of A R Rahman Team

27 03 2009

Meet the reclusive managers, technicians and singers who make up Team Rahman.

The Insiders of A R Rahman Team

The Insiders of A R Rahman Team

NOEL JAMES, MANAGER

Over two decades ago, Noel James was playing the piano as a lounge musician at a hotel in Chennai when a certain jingles composer walked in. “Rahman heard me play and asked if I was interested in working with him.” James agreed. That was the beginning of a partnership that has lasted to this day. James has since grown to become Rahman’s manager and chief public relations officer. He occasionally assists the composer in stage shows and handles much of his coordination — with musicians, clients, talent and even the media. The road to Rahman, it could be said, goes through James.

Born and brought up in Mumbai, James got hooked to music at an early age. After graduating from Loyola College, Chennai, he got a degree in violin from the prestigious Trinity College of Music, London. “I played in a band called Jumping Jewels, handling the vocals and guitar. That was before I went solo,” he says. He worked part-time with Rahman initially but became a permanent member of the team, singing the jingles and helping him with production.

Being Rahman’s manager has meant that James does not get much time for his own music—except when he plays at church. He has no regrets though. “God sends messiahs to earth, whether it is Jesus Christ or Prophet Mohammed. It has been quite a while since He sent someone. I believe A.R. Rahman is such a messiah who works through his music,” says James, for whom familiarity has only brought more appreciation towards Rahman, the musician and the man.

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When Mani Guru blackmailed A R Rahman

24 07 2008

At the time of recording the songs of Guru, Rahman was black mailed by his master Mani Ratnam. A funny blackmail though. Being an ardent fan of Nusrath Fateh Ali Khan, Rahman dedicated the song “Tere Bina” to Nusrath Fateh Ali Khan. When Rahman began working on the soundtrack of Guru, he happened to listen to one of Nusrat saab’s softestARR songs called Sajna Tera Bina. He was really inspired by it and started composing Tere Bina.

Originally, the song was about 25 minutes long. ARR often write six or seven mukhdas and then there are many variations. He also recorded the song Ay Hairathe for the film but Mani Ratnam felt it was too heavy to be at the start of the film. So Mani thought of using Tere Bina.

Suddenly, the song got a life of its own. But there was one hurdle for Rahman. He had recorded it in the voice of Qadir Khan and Qadir did an excellent job, according to Rahman . But Mani wanted Rahman to sing it. Rahman added “I said, Qadir will get hurt, and I did not want to hurt him. But there was no way of getting out. It became something like: Either you sing it or it won’t be there.”

Asking whether it was a black mail from Mani Ratnam, Rahman replied “But in a good way (chuckles). I also told Mani sir that I was fasting then and didn’t have the energy to sing it. He said he would wait.

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Persons who took Vande Mataram to heights

24 06 2008

Whenever India celebrates Independence day, the first song that plays all over the radios and televisions will be that of Rahman’s Vande Mataram. Talking about Vande Mataram, two people redefined the sound of patriotism. And the names we thank is Bharath Bala and A R Rahman. Hardly, when the new generation of Indians seems to forget the great lines of Rabindranath Tagore, it was Bharath Bala who felt that it must not happen. So he brought up the idea and Rahman gave complete justice to it.

Bharath Bala shares his experience with Rahman on Vande mataram for an exclusive interview for a leading news portal.

A R Rahman and Vande Mataram
: Rahman is my schoolmate and a friend. We have worked together in over more than a hundred commercials. When the idea of Vande Mataram came to me, I created a CD cover with the tricolour and presented it to him. I said to him, “This is your first music album.” Till that time he was scoring music only for feature films.

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