HIS music has touched many hearts but his extraordinary talents gained an even bigger international attention in 2008, thanks to the success ofÂ Â Slumdog Millionaire. Now, Bollywood composer A.R. Rahman is soaring even higher.
With countless memorable Tamil and Hindi tunes decorating many films from India, Rahman has long been a legendary figure within the region.
His songÂ Chaiyya Chaiyya from the award-winning Hindi filmÂ Dil Se is an example of the many songs that have remained unforgettable, and cherished by music lovers until today. Songs by A.R. Rahman have also broken language barriers.
Recently, the maestro was in Singapore as part of his latest project – ‘The Jai Ho Concert: The Journey Home World Tour’.Â It is no surprise that this world renowned composer/singer attracted not only Indian locals in Singapore but also foreign fans. They just could not miss the opportunity to experience his music live.
Since music is universal and language is out of the door, that’s definitely the case with Rahman’s concert.
The concert proved to be a psychedelic experience as it showcased his various influences. Fans were entertained with a range of sound – from classical-influenced tunes, to songs that are laced with hip hop, reggae, as well as dance beats and ballads.
His ability to fuse Eastern classical music with Western sensibilities is evident at the concert, that would definitely be the reason for Rahman to cross over easily as a great composer from Mumbai’s own Bollywood, to Chennai’s Kollywood and most recently all the way to Hollywood.
Those at the concert were obviously in awe of his talent in concocting hisÂ massala of music. The songs presented in the Singapore gig were catchy and upbeat, and some of the ‘tear jerkers’ really made the audience emotional. The entire experience was pretty dramatic.
The stage for the concert was simple with band members framing the stairs in a very laid-back style. The same stairs were also utilised by dancers and singers as they made their entrances and exits.
The mood changed accordingly as suggested by the creative and colourful visuals on a huge screen that became the backdrop for the entire evening. As a result, the concert was a total audio-video sensation for viewers.
It was a remarkable moment when legendary veteran Hindi singer Lata Mangeshkar appeared on screen to sing a duet with Rahman. Their song wasÂ Luka Chuppi from the filmÂ Rang De Basanti, an Academy Award nominee for Best Original Song in a film in 2006.
The audience were ‘assaulted’ with hits after hits, and no one was complaining for sure!
Another interesting segment was when the troupe did a medley which compiled all Rahman’s classic hits from various films. As the singers lined the steps, Rahman walked on stage to begin the ‘journey through films’.
In another captivating segment, Rahman performed a composition of songs based on prayers that represented his Hindu and Muslim background, which was pretty spiritual.
Over 20 songs were performed including many in medleys. Rahman and his supporting singers also sang some of his electro-infused tracks such asÂ Nanan, Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera, Rang De Basanti, Latikka’s Theme, Barso Re, Dil Se, Bombay Theme andÂ Ringa.
That night, Rahman did everything. If he didn’t sing the lead, he’d be playing an instrument Â- the piano, keyboard, guitar as well as the accordion. Song number 21 wasÂ Chaiyya Chaiyya, and that got the crowd even more excited.
As he left the stage after finishing the song, the crowd just stood still in anticipation for the biggest hit of all. And yes, the maestro knew that too, and immediately appeared with the entire cast to complete the concert withÂ Jai Ho – the song that was part of theÂ Slumdog Millionaire craze. That really got the crowd even wilder as they sang and danced along.
The end of the concert was also like watching a movie. During the opening, Rahman made an entrance through a huge ‘brass door’ projected on the background screen. That was also his exit.
HONOURED FOR HIS MUSIC
According to Wikipedia, In 2009, for his score inÂ Slumdog Millionaire, Rahman won, among others, the Critics’ Choice Award; the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score; the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music and two Academy Awards for Best Original Music Score and Best Original Song at the Oscars.
His work for the filmÂ 127 Hours garnered him Golden Globe, BAFTA and two Academy Award nominations for Best Original Music Score and Best Original Song this year