I want an Oscar now: Rahman
Music composer A.R. Rahman Monday became the first Indian to win a Golden Globe award and is already looking forward to bagging an Oscar for his soundtrack for British filmmaker Danny Boyle's 'Slumdog Millionaire'
I don't think any Indian musician has won the Golden Globe award?
A.R. Rahman: I see it as an honour for India, not just for me. More to come, hopefully.
The Golden Globe is seen as a precursor to the Oscars.
A.R. Rahman: When a film and my music get acceptance, it's the equivalent of an Oscar for me. For the people of India to get an Oscar is a big thing. So for their sake more than mine I hope my song "Jai ho" and my music score in 'Slumdog Millionaire' win the Oscar.
'Slumdog Millionaire' star Freida Pinto says of the four Golden Globe awards, yours makes her the proudest.
A.R. Rahman: That is really sweet of her. I was in Los Angeles to have lunch with all the panel members of the Oscars as well as to do press meets and promotion for 'Slumdog Millionaire'. Some critics in the US say it's one of the best films they've ever seen. It's not just about my music. It's the way Danny has put together the film.
The throbbing pulse of Mumbai has been superbly captured in the film. 'Slumdog Millionaire' is about suffering, hope and redemption. If my music has made an impact in the West, it is because it has been projected so effectively. Though some of the songs like 'Jai ho', 'O saya' and 'Ringa ringa' are in Hindi, the Americans love them.
Were you in the US to lobby for an Oscar award for 'Jai ho'?
A.R. Rahman: It's not about lobbying. It's about letting the jury members meet you, get to know you and decide if the person behind the creation is worth putting a vote for. As an artist, I need to be recognised on a human level. So I needed to go to Hollywood with my song. I met top Hollywood music composers like Hans Zimmer, Howard Shore and Danny Elfman.
And what did they have to say about your music?
A.R. Rahman: They made genuinely warm comments about my music in 'Slumdog Millionaire'. I think they love the Mumbai that they have seen in the film and Danny has made terrific use of my music. The way he has mixed my songs, they are full on, like in a discotheque.
Has Mumbai's image suffered a setback in the US after the Nov 26 terror attacks?
A.R. Rahman: Everyone is a bit shaken. Security has been tightened even more in the US. But the way they look at India, our music and cinema is very positive. The image of Mumbai is still intact. I got the right vibes in Los Angeles. A lot of people want to come to India to collaborate in our entertainment industry. Akon and Nelly Furtado are interested. We just need to carry it forward.
As I see it- Whole India is proud of Rahman. Which is not strange at all. I remember when Polish director, Andrzej Wajda was awarded with Oscar, we were all proud.
But why Rahman's achevement makes ME proud?
Well first I used to watch Indian movies because they were so colorful. Then it was the actors who caught up my attention. Nowadays I watch Indian movies because of the music. And if Rahman's name appears -no matter how bad the movie could be I would still watch it with delight.
But still, why am I proud?
Being a muslim convert myself I am extremely happy to see a muslim convert, being so talented, so modest, hard-working and inspiring. Being in love with India, I know how much it means for Indian muslims, especially after the Mumbai attacs. In short, Rahman proves that muslims are not terrorists, that after all we are normal people. And it means a lot. We, as muslims suffer a lot because of labelling us as dangerous and violent, primitive and thoughtless. And here he is -A R Rahman, being just the opposite. Here he is for everybody in the whole wide world to see.
God bless you A R Rahman for everything you do.