“I felt numb when I got the Oscars!” – Rahman

rahmanishq - neeru

TIDU’s Neeru Saluja interviews A R Rahman via  a live screen in Sydney as he readies for a concert (Augsut 24) of a life time Rahmanishq – Feel the Love!

AR Rahman is a music legend. Never before have I fallen in a musical trance till I witnessed his ”˜Jai Ho’ concert in 2010. Neither have I felt so proud while watching Oscars till I saw him perform there and holding the Oscar statuette in both his hands. Not just one Oscar but two! Rahman charmed us all not only Indians but the whole world!

And it’s not often you get a chance to talk to a music legend. AR Rahman maybe a man of few words, but it’s his music that makes him start talking. The man who has changed the face of Indian music needs no introduction. As a music composer, he brings a unique flavour to all of his films. It’s the language of love, and his love and passion for his music.

At the Australian launch of Rahmanishq, the Indian Down Under got a chance to talk to AR Rahman about his upcoming concert. For this concert, AR Rahman will be accompanied by leading singers Shweta Pandit, Sukhwinder Singh, Neeti Mohan, Vijay Prakash, Harshdeep Kaur and Mano.

Keeping his gentle and down-to-earth demeanour intact, it was like going through a soft musical journey while talking to the maestro.

The last time we saw you in 2010 you did a free Sydney concert to build the bridges between Australia and India after the racist attacks. As a global icon, what message would you bring to your fans in your upcoming concert?

In the beginning of 2013, I launched an album called ”˜Infinite Love’. The album was released in 2012 as there were wrong predictions that the world will come to an end on 21/12/2012. Why wait for a disaster to unite us when there is so much love around? The album celebrates love, looks at the future, hope and celebrates India. With the same message, I want to have a great concert for people to enjoy, celebrate love and spread the message of joy and peace.

Every song of yours is a memorable success. For a concert, how do you choose your songs if all of them are chartbusters?

It’s always difficult to choose. This concert will though be a mix of all kinds of songs. I will try to have music that entertains everyone. People who loved the 90s will have their share of favourites. You will also be listening to a lot of film based songs that will make you nostalgic while there will be the latest hits from Ranjhana and Jab Tak Hai Jaan.

This year you have completed 20 years in the music industry. What would you term as your milestones and most memorable experience?

All I can say is that I’m enjoying life. Every project I have delivered I have given my best. Even if I feel worried on how to make a song melodious, I try to enjoy while composing.

Amongst my most memorable experience, there are too many. My first movie, my first album Maa Tujhe Salaam, Bombay Dreams, being at Oscars, getting personal letters from my fans and most of them are good ones (smiles). For example, someone telling me they heard my song and became a musician.

Talking about the Oscars, your presence was a proud moment for all us Indians. But how did you feel performing on the stage at Oscars?

I felt very good, but to be honest, I was numb. I had to perform on the Oscar stage and didn’t know the next moment if I’m winning or losing the award. I had to balance my feelings and kept telling myself I’m performing at the Oscars and need to enjoy the moment.

I actually felt numb for a month! When people started congratulating me after I reached home, that’s when reality hit me. It was a huge huge success for all of us.

You are an inspiration to music lovers all over the world. What inspires you?

I go with the flow. Creativity, hard work and motivation inspires me. When you are creative, you want to enjoy the experience. When everyone is working hard and on their toes to produce something well – that inspires me. These are the elements that push us and make us go. If I feel motivated and excited about something, I tend to excel well.

After opening a music school in India, would you consider opening something similar in Australia?

Right now my energy levels are focussed as a musician and composer. But there are children who need my direction. In future I may think of opening a new campus, it’s all about music after all.

Any unaccomplished dreams and future plans?

I’m living my dream right now. The cycle of life surprises me everytime. There are new parts to explore, new destinations to visit.

Regarding my future plans, I have a few projects ahead in India with established actors and directors. I’m also doing music for a movie from Dreamworks that will be released in December 2015.

Would you like to give any message to your fans in Australia?

I would like to thank my fans for the love they have given me from all these years. With this concert, they can expect more and we want it to be a joyful and loving experience.

So Australia we are coming back for real, don’t miss the opportunity! I don’t want to miss the opportunity to see you. God bless you all.

Rahmanishq ”“ Saturday 24 August 2013, 7.30 pm ”“ Allphones Arena, Sydney Olympic Park


Sathya Swaminathan, CEO, Techfront Australia promises that this concert will be unique. “This is the first time you will see an interactive concert in Australia. Rahmanishq is going to take place in seven cities in India but the launch is happening in Sydney. As we are a technology based company, we believe that entertainment is driven by technology and we are going to use latest technology for this concert to reach out to music lovers”.

“For the first time in the world, we would engage with our fans through an app ”˜Follow on’ in a concert environment. We are also offering student discounts and standies tickets  which will give a chance for music lovers to be close to the stage and dance. This concert is going to be a 150 minute non-stop musical concert where music will be the language of love”.


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