Abu Dhabi: World-renowned music icon AR Rahman will delight fans with a special live concert on Saturday at the Etihad Arena on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
Speaking to the media, Rahman expressed his excitement about performing in Abu Dhabi for the first time, saying: “I am delighted and honored to be performing live at the Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi for the first time. . I’ve always worked hard to celebrate music on a global scale and connect with fans and music lovers all over the world!”
He revealed a lot about his upcoming projects and ongoing developments, including his favorites and use of technology in the music industry…
Q: You have given a lot of concerts in Dubai and there is always a theme. What is the theme of the Abu Dhabi concert? Will it be different this time or something we’ve never seen before?
Rahman: You should wait and see. Of course, because performing songs is good. But if you have an impact on something, you can go back and involve them. I think it’s the best success. So, you can remember that experience. So, we are always thinking about what experience we can give. But this concept we really thought about for three months and didn’t get any ideas, then we had a set list on fire, and then I thought my daughter’s marriage was done and the whole team was there. That day, everything came together.
Q: Every time there is a concert, there will be some songs that really move the audience, such as “Jai ho”, “Chaiyyan Chaiyyan”, there are these songs. So, do you do those songs because the audience wants them, or are there songs that are very close to you, like “Ma tujhe Salam”?
Rahman: There are things we have to do, but there are things we don’t even anticipate, and sometimes people like it and show it for it, it’s tough. We did 23 tours in the US this year, and I had a different vibe in each place. Each venue has its own options. So, after we’ve all come together, it’s hard to gauge how we decide what we love is what we should be doing.
Q: From an industry perspective, has technology reliance took away the melody that is the essence of our music? Will technology replace human sense of touch?
Rahman: Technology has always been around. You know, even though I bought my first computer in 1985 and then I kept working and then bought my first sampler in 1987. My foundation is technology, but the challenge is how to infuse the soul into technology. How to make technology speak your language? Because if it pulls you in, that’s what technology can do, it doesn’t make sense. But what you want to do with technology makes sense. Are you telling a story? Does it contribute to the storytelling of music?
This dialogue has been going on since 1985. Humans are humans, and humans can always beat technology because they find new ways to strive for excellence. I mean, it’s a good thing and a bad thing. It’s good for some things.
Q: There’s a scene in “Tamasha” where Ved proposes to Tara, but she says no. The background soundtrack for the scene has subtle psychedelic elements, in which the synthesizers stand out as Ved’s subconscious changes due to Tara’s rejection. What was your thinking behind the soundtrack for that scene and how did you approach it?
Rahman: When Imtiaz (Ali) told me the story, the second part was very dark. That’s what I like about certain directors, they go deeper than others. Imtiaz is such a director who goes deeper than others, reflecting on his own experience. So the music here needs to match the requirements of the scene, and it’s for the whole movie.
Q: With the last hit movie “Ponniyin Selvan: I (PS1)” itself, I noticed a resurgence of the rights to the historical storyline behind it, when you talk about your experience please be aware that anything you can do fairly The pressure of you’ve achieved so much in your life. So how do you set high standards?
Rahman: “PS1” is like the Lord of the Rings in Europe, it is a great work. For us in South India, PS1 is one of them. I think because you have to see that the audience is new and the expectation is, you know, they’re watching the best thing in the world, it’s not a good thing to suddenly get the whole tradition and get stuck in making them feel like it’s them tradition, but it’s a cool way to showcase important content.
Q: Whether it’s streaming numbers or marketing numbers like revenue, it’s important to you. Do you see any competitors?
Rahman: Each of us caters to what we come across, if you take GV Prakash or even Shankar, they are doing their thing and people love it. So, for me, I have to love my job first. I have a lot of my own markers like music, tunes, lyrics, productions, etc. So, it’s exhausting to take away everything I hope to optimize myself in the first place. In my free time at that hotel, I saw the work of many others and appreciated it.
Q: What’s the biggest change you’ve seen at AR Rahman from the 90s to 2022?
Rahman: What happened in the 90s, when I started making music, I had only three people on my team because no one could understand what I was trying to express. Literally, it’s one-way traffic, and each person has to go through a small tube. Children are much smarter now. We have a school where we’ve been training kids and we’re recording productions. A lot of kids do internships with us. They are part of the process and part of a young, dynamic and talented team.
Q: What do you think of Bollywood’s emerging artists?
Rahman: I like new talent. Even in indie British music, there are many artists. We’ve been doing something called Mexican music and we’ve had almost two thousand entries, very difficult, very, very difficult. From 13 to 24, I spent 6 to 7 days breaking people’s hearts.
Q: You’ve written over 300 songs, have you ever thought about making it?
Rahman: I’m still doing it and it’s better paid…
Q: What is your favorite Bollywood song?
Rahman: Aap Ki Nazron by Madan Mohan
Q: You were recently in the UAE, working closely with Expo 2020 Dubai on a special concert, Firdaus, an all-female choir. Very successful, please tell us about your love for the Middle East.
Rahman: I think I’ve been here for 25 years. At the first concert I had a fever and we had a problem with the promoter. They don’t even come and you don’t have to be on stage, but the public is chanting “AR, AR.” I guess I wouldn’t mind not having a promoter if it was the first concert and then we sang with Javed Jaffrey and we all remember that show.
Our people built this country with our sweat and soul. You will feel connected to all things that consider life, soul and dreams in buildings. So that connection and the way we coexist with everything, they want peace, regardless of religion. So, I think all these things make me more comfortable here.
Q: There are so many remixes and remasters at a time when this aspect is so prominent. One of your songs that you don’t want to be remixed?
Rahman: Recently “Khwaja mere Khwaja” was mixed with completely wrong chords, so I asked the producers to remove it.
Q: How do you see the future of the Indian music industry?
Rahman: I think there’s a revival of singers and songwriters. It gives us more energy to do better things. It’s a good feeling that so many good people come from different regions and Hindi.
Q: How did you push the boundaries of language? Making great music for films in multiple languages?
Rahman: Respect, I respect all languages. I don’t mock any language. Of course, I was born in Tamil, but I respect every language, culture and tradition. I’ve been a student for a new song. Wondering what progress made them make this change. So this got me curious. Even now I’m working on a Punjabi movie with Imtiaz called “Chamkila”, there’s a lot to learn and a lot to give, why don’t we do that, or why can’t I get used to the tool? This is so pretty.
I think my job is to understand the tradition, to have a director and a lyricist, and in that combination, I’m just one element. Although I am driving. I have the right intentions and the right people.