regular-article-logo Thursday, 21 September 2023

A.R. Rahman: ‘Wrong movies are being sent for the Oscars’

Rahman had won an Oscar in 2009 for his song Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire

Agnivo Niyogi Calcutta Published 16.03.23, 11:45 AM
(L-R) A.R. Rahman, L Subramaniam

(L-R) A.R. Rahman, L Subramaniam Facebook

Two-time Academy Award winner A.R. Rahman feels wrong movies are being sent for the Oscars from India, resulting in Indian contenders losing in the final selection.

“Sometimes, I see that our movies go till the Oscar (but) they don’t get it. Wrong movies are being sent for the Oscars,” the singer-songwriter-music composer said in a candid chat with music legend L Subramaniam.


“And I am like, DON’T. We have to be in another person’s shoes. I have to be in Westerner’s shoes to see what’s happening here. I have to be in my shoes to see what they are doing,” he added.

A video of the conversation between Rahman and Subramaniam was uploaded on the former’s YouTube channel on Wednesday evening.

The video was shared hardly a few days after the Telugu song Naatu Naatu from S.S. Rajamouli’s RRR won an Oscar for Best Original Song. Rahman had won an Oscar in the same category in 2009 for his song Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire.

In the freewheeling chat, Rahman also talked about his own musical journey, his inspirations and the creative process behind composing timeless melodies.

Subramaniam mentioned how Rahman did things differently in his first movie itself. “Whenever one starts they take the path of proven success. They do not take the challenge of doing different things.”

In response, Rahman said he did it out of “boredom”. “I did not want to do what everyone else was doing. I wanted to be happy with it,” the maestro added.

Rahman also made a strong case for experimenting with sound. “We all need to get money but beyond that I had passion. I mean the West is doing it, and why can’t we? When we listen to their music, why can’t they listen to our music? I kept asking that and that ‘why’ became better production, better quality, better distribution, and mastering… that still drives me.”

When Subramaniam asked Rahman whether he had anything else left to achieve musically, the composer said musicians must constantly pull each other up. “I can go settle abroad, earn in dollars. But it’s like oil on water. I want to see the faces of our people. I want to enjoy my music, I want to take criticism and learn from them. There are so many possibilities of expanding what we could do,” the globally renowned musician suggested.

“The rest of our life should be for our younger generation,” he further said.

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