In his latest offering, ‘Yuvraaj’, AR Rahman pays what can only be assumed as a subtle tribute to his South Indian roots.
By Aravind Ramachandran
To the average Indian, AR Rahman denotes the divinity of South Indian music. But to be fair to a talent that breeches geo-cultural boundaries, he is the definition of innovation.
Rahman’s family, which lived on music, was orphaned at an early age. RK Shekhar was a well known name in Malayalam music, but success remained limited even at his death. His son, the young Dileep, had no real legacy to fall back on except for the inheritance of talent. Adopted into Islam in his teenage, Dileep Kumar started answering to the name, Allah Rakha Rahman.
Accompanying aspirant rock bands and classical greats, the AR Rahman familiarised himself with the world of music. Armed with a scholarship, he graduated in Western classical music from Trinity college. Having set up a studio in his own backyard, ARR started composing music for ad jingles. The timing couldn’t be better for his entry into Kollywood. Ace director Mani Ratnam had just had a spat with legendary music director Ilaiyaraja, when he spotted the new face.
‘Roja’ saw the rise of the new star. Songs from ‘Tamizha Tamizha…’ to ‘Kadhal Rojave…’ broke the barriers of conformism and boundaries of language. For the first time in history, a debutant took home the Rajat Kamal – National Award for Best Music Director. TIME magazine listed the movie among the Top 10 sound tracks of all time. The AR Rahman era in music was just beginning.
Super hits followed hits, so much so that some movies survived at the box office on the sheer strength of his tunes alone. A new chapter was written in the history of music – not of a new legend, but of how the very definition of filmy music was being overhauled by one young man.
AR Rahman never had to knock on the doors of Bollywood. The land of dreams was honoured by his very presence, bringing in whole new blends of genres and pushing technology to unheard limits.
The hallmark perhaps was his rendition of India’s national song on the 50th anniversary of her Independence. ‘Vande Mataram…’ became the anthem of Modern India. The Rave Circuit let go of the West and latched on to the ARR loop. He was no more merely making music.
In his latest offering, ‘Yuvraaj’, AR Rahman pays what can only be assumed as a subtle tribute to his South Indian roots. For the intensity demanded by the movie, the maestro has given a classical feel to the tunes. His greatest competitor is himself, having set his own unsurpassable standards. But the genius lives on, his charm intact.
And for the Aaj ka Fankaar crown, who deserves it more than the Yuvraaj of maestros, AR Rahman.
Source: India Syndicate