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`All I have is my music'

A.R. Rahman speaks about his anti-poverty theme and his latest compositions



A R. Rahman reaches out through music

The year 2006 saw Rahman top the charts with Rang de Basanti. Masti Ki Patshala was voted `song of the year' by leading television channels. Rahman also composed the music of Deepa Mehta's Water, which has won an Oscar nomination. 2007 promises to be another eventful year with Guru reviving the magic of his earlier compositions.

Among his latest assignments is his anti-poverty theme Pray for Me Brother. The music video by filmmaker Bharatbala is the first to be shot on mobile cinemascope format.

The project is in association with Nokia and the video will be exclusively available on Nokia music edition.

"Music is my passion, profession, and hopefully my pension as well. It has given me a great deal and this album is my effort to give something in return. After a point of time, money is not everything. I cannot physically remove poverty. All I have is my music."

Dwelling on his forthcoming projects, he adds that the musical Lord of the Rings, which has music composed by him, will start playing in London from May 9. "I am also working on Ashutosh Gowariker's Jodha Akbar and Shankar's Sivaji." The success of Guru, he says, "has been reassuring. We needed it."

Talking about Rang de basanti, Rahman says it feels good to have two songs nominated as `song of the year'. "The director wanted me to make Masti ki the rebel's song." Something like Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall? "Yes. Michael Jackson's They don't really care about us is also a song like that. But while Masti ki falls into that category, it was not influenced by those songs," he explains.

His music has caught the imagination of youngsters who were earlier hooked on to Western beats. "I was also into a lot of Western music. I wondered why that kind of music could not be ours. The vibrancy of the tunes was catching. The negative side is that we seem to be in danger of losing the flavour of traditional melodies," says Rahman.

And, in true Rahman style, he says that the clones he has spawned in the music industry can only do a world of good as "there is a great deal of experimentation going and that is an interesting phenomenon."

SARASWATHY NAGARAJAN

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