Jan 12, 2009

Entertainment - Q&A A.R.Rehman

Music composer AR Rahman on Monday became the first Indian to win a Golden Globe award and is already looking forward to bagging an Oscar for his soundtrack for British filmmaker Danny Boyle's Slumdog Milloinaire.

"For the people of India to get an Oscar is a big thing. So for their sake, more than mine, I hope my song Jai ho and my music score in Slumdog Millionaire win the Oscar," Rahman told IANS on phone before the Golden Globe Awards ceremony.

Hollywood music composers like Hans Zimmer, Howard Shore and Danny Elfman have been impressed by the score Rahman has composed.

"They made genuinely warm comments about my music in Slumdog Millionaire. I think they love the Mumbai that they have seen in the film and Danny has made terrific use of my music. The way he has mixed my songs, they are full on, like in a discotheque," the 43 year old music maestro said.

"If my music has made an impact in the West, it is because it has been projected so effectively in Slumdog Millionaire. Though some of the songs like Jai ho, O saya and Ringa ringa are in Hindi, the Americans love them," he added.

Excerpts from the interview:

I don't think any Indian musician has won the Golden Globe award?
I see it as an honour for India, not just for me. More to come, hopefully.

The Golden Globe is seen as a precursor to the Oscars.
Let's hope so. I've my fingers crossed. When a film and my music get acceptance, it's the equivalent of an Oscar for me. For the people of India to get an Oscar is a big thing. So for their sake more than mine I hope my song Jai ho and my music score in Slumdog Millionaire win the Oscar.

Slumdog Millionaire star Freida Pinto says of the four Golden Globe nominations for the movies, yours makes her the proudest.
That is really sweet of her. I was in Los Angeles to have lunch with all the panel members of the Oscars as well as to do press meets and promotion for Slumdog Millionaire. Some critics in the US say it's one of the best films they've ever seen. It's not just about my music. It's the way Danny has put together the film.

The throbbing pulse of Mumbai has been superbly captured in the film. Slumdog Millionaire is about suffering, hope and redemption. If my music has made an impact in the West, it is because it has been projected so effectively. Though some of the songs like Jai ho, O saya and Ringa ringa are in Hindi, the Americans love them.

Were you in the US to lobby for an Oscar award for Jai ho?
It's not about lobbying. It's about letting the jury members meet you, get to know you and decide if the person behind the creation is worth putting a vote for. As an artist, I need to be recognised on a human level. So I needed to go to Hollywood with my song. I met top Hollywood music composers like Hans Zimmer, Howard Shore and Danny Elfman.

And what did they have to say about your music?
They made genuinely warm comments about my music in Slumdog Millionaire. I think they love the Mumbai that they have seen in the film and Danny has made terrific use of my music. The way he has mixed my songs, they are full on, like in a discotheque.

Has Mumbai's image suffered a setback in the US after the Nov 26 terror attacks?
Everyone is a bit shaken. Security has been tightened even more in the US. But the way they look at India, our music and cinema is very positive. The image of Mumbai is still intact. I got the right vibes in Los Angeles. A lot of people want to come to India to collaborate in our entertainment industry. Akon and Nelly Furtago are interested. We just need to carry it forward.

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