It's difficult to make music maestro A R Rahman speak...he lets his music do all the talking. Our correspondent catches up with the Oscar winner during his Kolkata
visit. What made you decide to hold a concert in Kolkata almost after seven years?
It's great to come back to Kolkata. The last show was one of the most memorable concerts of my life till date...I got a standing ovation. There were over 90,000
people cheering for me. And this time, it's even more special because this time I am going to perform for a cause...the November 14 concert in Kolkata will be a
charity concert to raise fund for a proposed hospital to be set up by Liver Foundation of West Bengal. I hope Kolkata will support me this time as well. Is this concert part of the 'Jai Ho' tour?
Yes, it is. We get so many calls a day for concerts, but it's all about choosing the right people and the right cause. How are you preparing for this concert?
This concert, as I said, is a part of the musical tour of India. After Kolkata, we will be performing in Pune and Chennai. 'Live' concerts are as difficult as film...it
requires the same amount of intensity, emotion, energy. The most challenging part is to keep the audience booked for three hours; they shouldn't even realize when these three hours whisked by.
Now-a-days you are lending your voice more frequently in your compositions for films. So are you planning to try playback singing regularly?
"Oscar was difficult to handle..."
You know what, whenever I give a tune to a director, he always asks me: 'Why don't you sing this song?' And I always shriek away and say: 'No...no!' This happens with most directors. But I have to play objective. However, there are times when I feel that my voice will do better justice to a particular song. Given an option, will you sing for other music directors too?
At the moment Rahman, the singer, has signed his own films. But in future I might sing for other composers as well (smiles). You have often said that you are a great admirer of Kishore Kumar?
Yes, that's why every year on his death anniversary I don't sit and regret the loss; but celebrate it...I celebrate Kishore's voice; even his acting. With such a successful musical career, how will you define music?
There is no definition of music for me. It keeps changing as I keep exploring it. Do you consider 'Jai Ho' as your best creation?
Sometimes it's not about a best creation, but the best for a particular moment of the film. 'Jai Ho' was right for that particular moment, that particular mindset in
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE. I know there's lot of debate over this song winning the Oscars. But then, I didn't send the song to the Oscars, the makers did. I just composed the tune in three weeks and was done with it. However, I too feel 'Jai Ho' was apt for that particular moment in the film-the protagonist comes out of darkness and pain to light amid 'Jai Ho' hammering in the background.
How has Oscar changed your life?
A.R RAHMAN and SAURAV GANGUALY
Oscar was difficult to handle. The first three months after the award was crazy...I was flooded with people...the social etiquettes that I had to maintain. Then I went
for hibernation and spent quality time with my music. Now I am back to normal life. What is the inspiration of your music?
Mostly it's the scripts I am working on; at times there are particular directors who inspire me. Of all your creations, which one is your personal favourite?
I never try to answer that question or else people will get angry. But then, ROJA is my first love and all the songs of ROJA will always remain special to me. It was my first film and I worked on the music with so much love and passion; well, I still do that for all my films, but then ROJA is my first love. Now-a-days we are getting a new singing sensation every other day. But they are not sustaining for long. What should a singer do for making a sustainable
The only way out is to be original. What are your future projects?
BLUE just released. I am doing Mani Ratnam's next. There are a few others. What about an album?
I keep announcing new albums, but am not been able to make it happen due to time constraint. But I hope to start working on it afresh as soon as possible.