At a personal level, it’s an absolutely great achievement for Rahman which he totally deserves. It’s another feather in his cap. Whether Indian music will be globally recognized after this is still speculation .We’ll have to be more pro-active.
Rahman has always thought out of the box where he didn’t limit himself to the mukhda-antara format or for that matter in his dance songs you won't have the typical music.
The aura of Rahman...what he created from his very first film was, "O my God, this is Rahman!"
He refused to shift to Mumbai, stayed in Chennai, recorded in his own way. That aura as a composer works for him. Honestly sometimes I may not be too attracted by a song but as soon as I know it’s a Rahman song, I want to hear it again and I let it grow on me.
Producers, directors would not give the same freedom that they give him to other composers. So it’s the aura of Rahman that has worked for him. We listen to him because it’s Rahman.
Also he does the big projects, so the songs are pumped heavily, because there’s a lot of money riding on the project, so they grow on you while another composer might have to hold your attention with one hearing alone.
My favourite Rahman song: The entire album of Bombay and Dil se was fabulous. I loved 1947 also.
I haven't worked much with him. But whatever I’ve seen is that the track you are singing on for most composers is the final track but, with Rahman, maybe the whole track will change and you yourself won't know what the final song will be like. He is interested in getting the best vocals from you and finally you may be surprised that, my God, did I sing it like this? He does something like an online editing and he picks out the good lines, drops the bad ones and before you know it the song is done.
There’s a lot of positive energy in his studio which is amazing.
As told to Lata Khubchandani
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine