This is A. R. Rahman:
A producer so talented, that even if you don’t know him (or Indian entertainment at all), you know his music.
Let’s put it to the test: remember that small-time film, Slumdog Millionaire? (You may have heard of it, once, twice, a million times). Well, he arranged the music for that film, and of course that included the famous, but now so annoying ‘Jai Ho’.
Actually the song itself is fantastic, but if I hear the Pussycat Dolls version of it at one more party, somebody gonna get a hurt real bad. (No shade at the Pussycat Dolls, whose music I’ve enjoyed, but jeez that is one annoyingly catchy song).
In more recent times, you may also have heard a will.i.am/Cody Wise track called ‘It’s My Birthday’.
It was EVERYWHERE for a while. Well, it didn’t surprise me then when my mum recognised the tune from a 1994 Indian Tamil song, ‘Urvasi, Urvasi’, composed by Mr Rahman himself. Perhaps the coolest thing about this, is that Mr Rahman co-wrote the will.i.am version too!
So now that we’ve established that he is indeed a recognisable fellow, let me tell you why I love A.R. Rahman.
In the darkness that is the 21st century music industry (only a slight joke), Rahman’s music shines brighter than Rihanna’s Swarovski diamon-crystal dress. They say music should make you feel, and with Rahman’s music, that’s never been more true. With every song I listen to, there’s a rush of emotions.
An extensive rush, because although there is a certain style to Rahman’s songs, it spans over a vast array of genres.
When I watch Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na (oooh, baby Imran Khan) and I listen to ‘Kabhi Kabhi Aditi’, there is nothing I want more than a Jai-Aditi kind of friendship; when I listen to the soft jazz in ‘Tu Bole Main Boloon’, I’m transported to a lazy summer’s day with the people I love the most. And when I watch Guru and l hear ‘Tere Bina’, I experience a romance that even Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan with their great on- and off-screen chemistry don’t.
And when I listen to ‘Lathika’s Theme’ in Slumdog Millionaire, my dreams are just about literally on fire (I know that makes no sense, but lyrics).
I love music. Whatever I listen to evokes emotion from me, from sadness to joy (thanks, One Direction), from anger to annoyance (thanks, Taylor Swift), but there’s nothing that takes me on so complex and wonderful a journey the way Rahman’s music does. Compelling, passionate, and a whole lot of fun, that’s what making music is about.
So now that I’ve finished gushing, I guess you’ve got some food for thought. Thanks for the feels, Mr Rahman! And to you, dear reader – go, listen, and be wowed.