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i n t e r v i e w

i like doing fusion music

He's just 27. And after the stunning success of Roja, A.R. Rahman is the most sought after music director in the business. Thiruda Thiruda, Gentleman and now Subhash Ghai's under production Shikhar have established him as something of a prodigy. Modest, religious and totally dedicated to his craft, Rahman spoke to Senior Correspondent NIRUPAMA SUBRAMANIAN in Madras last fortnight.

How does it feel to be on top?
I don't really think I'm at the top. Basically, I came into this field not to intrude on anybody else's success.

What made Roja such a hit?
It was Mani Ratnam's first film for K. Balachander, I was new, the singers were new, the actors were fresh faces. I tried to bring in good lyrics and more international music.

What music do you like?
Bach, Beethoven and Mozart, and Carnatic music. I was into rock and fusion. I like to bring all these into my music.

What offers are you getting?
I like to work only with dedicated film makers. I also take a long time. I thought that the Hindi film industry won't get used to this. So I made only the right choices.

How do you feel about having replaced Laxmikant-Pyarelal in Shikhar?
It was quite a tough job for me after they had given Ghai the Choli hit. Basically, Ghai wanted a new sound.

What's your view of the Hindi film industry ?
Hindi film music is going international. But Roja proved that traditional tunes can also be hits.

Where do you see yourself in the Hindi film industry?
I'll do only two to three films a year. And my music is completely different. But after Roja, I think I know what the Hindi crowd likes. Music is international, only cultures are different.

Is music the new driving force for movies?
Film music in India is like pop music in the West. Movies are the channels for this music.

How much are you paid?
I have read it written that I'm getting Rs 25 lakhs for a movie. It's under 10, actually. For Roja. I was paid Rs 25,000. I don't like to demand high amounts because I think that will rob me of my creativity.

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