The multiple award-winning music director, who has composed music for Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh, explains why he has become choosy
Celebrated musician AR Rahman - whose music is loved across generations, so much so that the fans could call Rahman's music a genre in itself - has become quite choosy about composing music for Bollywood projects.
The music composer, who was present at the music launch of Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh, in which he has rearranged Vaishnav Jan To, got candid with the media present.
Asked about what has made him choosy with Bollywood projects, Rahman answered, "I think there is a paradigm shift that has happened in the recent past. For example, a filmmaker like Rajkumar Santoshi would sit with me, decide a song, and if he does not like it, he would tell me and I would make more songs. See, I have no problem with making 10 songs for him and he could just choose two. It is about the story and the music. But these days, the business of filmmaking has become more about power."
He continued, "By power I mean a person can choose between 10 other composers and can do whatever they want with the music. It takes away the integrity of the music. This way, music becomes more like a marketing tool - how many views a song gets, etc. I was, in fact, discussing this with Raj ji that the songs of the film Shikari by GS Kohli, who was also the assistant of OP Nayyar, had such beautiful melodies. Whether you can sell them or not, that was pure music. Those melodies are beautiful because there is no manipulation in them; the composers are allowed to do what they need to as artistes. Those melodies were natural and organic. But these days, we (music composers) are forced to make certain kinds of music."
The iconic musician believes that such practices are spoiling creativity, especially in Hindi cinema. However, he does not want to generalise. "I am not saying that everyone is doing this. There is some good work happening in Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films and their music space. I feel like working with filmmakers who understand music and respect the use of every note I play. Giving solid feedback is important for us - it inspires us to do our best," explained the Oscar-winning musician.
The last time Rahman composed music for a Hindi film was Janhvi Kapoor's Mili. His next, Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh, directed by Rajkumar Santoshi, stars Deepak Antani, Chinmay Mandlekar, Pawan Chopra, Anuj Saini, Sharad Singh and Arif Zakaria. It releases in theatres on January 26.