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AR Rahman on music and his personal milestones

The Oscar-winner completes 25 years in the music industry and he’s throwing a celebratory music party in the UAE next week

  • Oscar winning music composer A R Rahman at a press conference at Bollywood Parks Dubai.Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News
  • Oscar winning music composer AR Rahman at a press conference at Bollywood Parks Dubai.Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News

Oscar-winning music composer AR Rahman, who completes 25 years in the entertainment industry this year, described his journey as a “blessed one”.

“I feel lucky that I got to work with people who pushed me to reach my full potential. Be it working with director S. Shankar, Mani Ratnam, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Danny Boyle, Imtiaz Ali or the lot of young directors, it has been one exciting journey,” said AR Rahman ahead of his celebratory concert in Dubai on January 26 at Bollywood Parks Dubai.

His laurels-filled career, including a Grammy win, Golden Globe win and four Indian National Award victories, is filled with milestones.

Ask him about his favourite moments in those 25 years and he says that his day of marriage, the day when his children were born, the release of the Maa Tujhe Salaam album (1997) and the launch of his classical conservatory for the underprivileged in Chennai were some of the highlights of his life.

“I never expected that I would get so much exposure throughout the world. With all that’s happening in the world today, I want to be that neutral voice who can bring people together with art,” said AR Rahman. His philosophy towards making a mark in the music industry is simple. The music maestro, dubbed the Mozart of Madras by Time Magazine, claims that you need to develop your own distinct personality.

“You have to be your own mirror. You need to gauge where you stand, how you stand out among the crowd and not disappear in it. Consider what will make you stand out and the kind of personality you need to cultivate to do so. It doesn’t happen instantly and it may take two or sometimes twenty years to come out with your own personality. There’s nothing called instant success.”

AR Rahman also chose to explore Dubai during his fleeting visit to the UAE. He attended Le Perle, an aquatic spectacle.

“It’s great to be here in Dubai. I see a lot of progress, more lights, more building and more entertainment,” said AR Rahman.

Tickets to his show in Dubai range from Dh157 and are available online.