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i n t e r v i e w

expectations are scary - Interview by Uma Maheswari appeared in Sun T.V. On 15/1/99 on Pongal Night


According to us,A.R.Rahman is the No 1 Music Director with so many prizes and awards.From this place if you look back at A.R.Rahman as the Music Director of 'Roja' , How do you feel?

When I did 'Roja' I thought that should be my last movie and had a feeling that I should leave after that.I was not interested in movies because I was there already.Then when the film was a hit I saw the audience response and thought that I should do one more and then leave it.What happened was an evolution of a style, like 'this is my style,',which took a long time to get evolved.But now it was more or less defined.When people hear it they ask is this film music? and there is some kind of recognition to it.It is a little more simple but even if it is more, people tend to like it saying it sounds the same.So its more of a challenge, and I was more peaceful then, because of less offers.Now I think this year will be the highest no of films and I wish it also comes out well.


Before becoming a Music Director you were an excellent Keyboard player("not excellent!" ARR laughs).People have told that you were very good on the keyboard and then how did you get inspired to become a Music director because becoming one is not an easy task.

My father was a Music Director in those times.So mother felt that even I should take the same field.If you want to be a Music Director you should have certain amount of classical knowledge,so I learnt classical music.


What is the difference between Music Director A.R.Rahman and A.S.Dileep Kumar? .

When I was Dileep I was more of a person suffering from inferiority complex.But when Changed to A.R.Rahman evrything changed as though I was having a new birth and my entire past was washed out.

And, Now?

mm..its continuing (laughs)


After becoming popular, what have you gained and what have you lost?

The problem is too much of expectations.If you do some good work they will immediately see that.If we do 'X' amount of work they will think as '10X'.There is no limits for imaginations.That is too scary.Even now it is scary.

So, People's expectations is your minus point....

It is not a minus point it is rather a challenge.

Haven't you lost your privacy after becoming so popular?

Privacy is always there like when I'm praying I'm private and when I'm with my family its private.So, its with us.

Rahmanji can you differentiate sound and music?

I wish every sound is music(giggles)

Normally when you do a film you are too involved in it but why do people take it differently saying that it takes one year for you to do a film.

Thats because there was a rule.There was a concept that 7-1 two clients should be there.If you want to do something extra you need to break ordinary rules.A Song which must take a day may take 5-6 days.When the industry is rotating in a manner and you suddenly break the rules it doesn't work well.And if you don't deliver also they'll blame you.

How do you react to such criticisms?

I never hear it and I'm used to it.They are saying that from the beggining.Finally people buy the casstes and when they do, 'Its good' , 'Its bad' are the only two phrases they speak.Whether I have worked for 4 years or for 5 years ,that is not necessary for them.They have to get their money's worth for it.Thats what I think.

How Useful is the completion of Re-Recording for a film?

The Right kind of Re-Recording can elevate a film but if it is done wrongly it can destroy the film.

Rahmanji,In North India ,apart from movies people hear bhajans,classical music,pop,ghazals etc,but in the south people are confined to music from the films.Personally why do you think this difference arises?

In the north the production of a ghazal is like that of a movie in the sense that there is so much of money involved in it.But in the south Pop is very popular and Classical music is picking up as there are many people going to kutcherys and I am very happy to see that.

After your entry you have elevated tamil film music to the national levels and you have made the north indians hear tamil songs and elevated the status("Tamilnadu is lucky,thats all!" ARR laughs).No!I think you are sounding humble.I won't say it wasn't like that before, but you have definitely created an awakening.In fact we tamilians feel proud of it!What is your comment on this.

The main thing is the cultural difference between North Indians and Tamilians.If a hindi song is dubbed in tamil it is clearly noticable and similarly if a tamil song is dubbed in hindi it is clearly noticed.There are certain elements which everybody have to get because of the media and the numerous channels there is a common point which is coming ,so in another two years even an englishman will be able to appreciate a tamil song!

You are always working,so how do you find time to listen to other music to improve your knowledge?Is there time for you?

I have time and I have a system outside my studio and when we finish final mixing we listen to it in the system like any other listener to see if it sounds good.Sometimes the computer crashes and it takes 4 hours so we listen to other music.

A Simple question.You started with 'chinna chinna asai'('Choti isi asha').Can you tell some of your chinna chinna asais(little little wishes)?

Actually if you dont have asai(wishes) it is better because everything is a surprise for you

But there is no one without asais(wishes)!

Thats right but once we keep asais(wishes) it never happens.

No there will be lots of chinna chinna asais(little little wishes)!

You ask that to Vairamuthu sir (laughs loudly)

Which is your favourite musical instrument?

(Laughs uncontrollably and in the middle of fading laughter)lets shout KEYBOARD!)(Continues laughing)

Rahmanji your album Vande Mataram created a sensation especially among the youth.Have you created any other albums or will you create any other non-film albums?

We are postponing the albums due to existing commitments.Nearly 9-10 films are due and you know how much time I take (laughs).
I wish all Fans my heartiest Pongal Wishes.

Rahmanji,this is a common dialouge for all ,but makes special mention to you alone. 'Thanks for sparing some time from your busy schedule'

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