Few refer to him as a Mozart of Madras, while others prefer to call him the music maverick, regardless of his titles AR Rahman has been a towering figure in the world of music. Making his debut with Bombay, which went onto become an iconic album of the 90s, over the years Rahman has teamed up with the best in world music. The man has given us a song to hum in any mood or life situation.
After almost three decades in the industry, Rahman’s music has never been bound or confined by state borders. The man has been on a quest to continuously create music with new elements, technologies and talented musicians across the globe. Talking about some of his international collaborations, one ends up thinking of the popular Slumdog Millionaire. Well, the real deal is the associations with foreign artists that have resulted in some of his most innovative musical creations. One of them being acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi’s Muhammad: The Messenger of God. Besides scoring for the film, he also collaborated with over 200 musicians including Palestinian band Le Trio Joubran.
Collaborating for more than a decade now, his first big collaboration dates back to 2007 with the Scottish Hollywood composer Craig Armstrong for Shekhar Kapur’s Hollywood venture Elizabeth: The Golden Age. With time, he proved his brilliance and sensibilities that went beyond Tamil or Hindi plethora, and made his presence strong in the global music fraternity. One of the collaborations included Aishwarya Rai Bachchan starrer Provoked, where he teamed up with Karen David for a song. For the indie drama People Like Us, Rahman developed a song with singer-songwriter Liz Phair which was backed by Steven Spielberg. In Danny Boyle’s second film 127 Hours, Rahman worked with the British singer Dido for a song.
However, Rahman’s universal appeal doesn’t limit him to just few languages. He worked with Matt Dunkley, composer, for a song in a Chinese film Warriors of Heaven and Earth where Sadhana Sargam had a song too.
When he is not joining forces with international composers, his music composition pieces are frequently used in films around the world. Chhaiya Chhaiya was used beautifully in the beginning credits of Inside Man, while Chhalka Chhalka Re elated the mood in the film The Accidental Husband. Bombay’s theme was used in a sequence of Lord of the War. To say the least, Rahman has definitely managed to marvel audiences globally with ease.
The singer-composer has been churning out extraordinary tunes since the early 90s. The more you talk about his work, the more you find yourself in awe of his artistry and accomplishments.