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Listen, it’s got Connections

A new model that has an exclusive music composed by A. R. Rahman

Photo: R. Ravindran

Music matters A. R. Rahman at the launch of Nokia 5800 XpressMusic

The new Nokia 5800 XpressMusic phone comes with one very enticing hidden jewel that should give it an edge over many other music mobiles flooding the market these days — an exclusive album composed by none other than A.R. Rahman. (Pretty impres sive, as marketing coups go).

The maestro was obligingly in attendance at the recent launch of the phone at ITC Park Sheraton, Chennai, looking mildly embarrassed as he, along with a model of the phone as tall as him were dramatically ‘unveiled’ to loud fanfare and thumping music. But once the conversation shifted to the new album, “Connections”, he was clearly in his comfort zone. “The idea of doing an album exclusively for mobile phones came from the realisation of how the way music reaches people has changed in the last few decades,” he said, adding with a smile, “It used to be vinyl records, then it became tapes and CDs… and then people started downloading!”

Nine tracks

“Connections” consists of nine new tracks composed by Rahman, on which he’s collaborated with a number of artists such as Blaaze, Sivamani and Sukhwinder Singh. The album is an eclectic collection of styles, he revealed, to cater to a variety of tastes: “It was basically conceptualised as a collage of albums, so that there’s something for everyone.”

So there’s the uplifting “Jiya Se Jiya” with the incredibly infectious beats of Sivamani (the music video is already airing on music channels) and, at the same time, the sombre, almost hypnotic “Kural” (featuring rapper Blaaze) that’s based on the “Tirukkural” and speaks about honour and respect. Both songs were played at the launch, with Rahman introducing “Kural” as “the special track that’s close to my heart,” as he was joined on stage by Blaaze. Other tracks on the album include “Mylapore Blues” and the Rajasthani folk-music based “The Mosquito”, plus a series titled “Silent Invocation”, he revealed. “In terms of mobile music, there’s always been a synergy between Rahman and Nokia,” said T.S. Sridhar, regional general manager south, Nokia India. “This is a very proud moment for us.” Naturally, “Connections”, which has been specially mixed for optimal sound on a mobile, will only be available through the Rs. 21,389 touch-screen phone for the next six months. “We’ve not decided what will happen after that,” Rahman said. See what I mean by a coup?

DIVYA KUMAR

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