AR Rahman is currently gearing up for the release of his maiden film production 99 Songs which is set to release on April 16 in theatres. He marks his debut as a producer and a writer with 99 Songs which will also see him composing the soundtrack and the original score for the film. Besides releasing in Hindi, 99 Songs will also be released in Tamil and Telugu languages which means AR Rahman juggled several responsibilities including composing the entirety of the soundtrack for the Tamil and Telugu versions for the film. In an interview with a leading daily, he reveals why 99 Songs is India's gift to the world.
In an interview with Mid-Day, AR Rahman spoke about what drew him to produce and co-write 99 Songs. He said that working among Hollywood's best and being an Academy member gave him an insight that India should reach out to the world with a film "that matched the sensibilities of all". He added that the film is a new voice that represents the Indian film industry and is a movie from "India to the world".
On being asked about why Indian musicals fail to be recognised worldwide, AR Rahman added that he did a "pre-visualisation" of 99 Songs before changing anything, but regardless, he wanted to stay true to the script. He described the nature of the 99 Songs plot as one having an arc that comes full circle; with the leading protagonist's music evolving and becoming "deeper". AR Rahman's team sent debutant Ehan Bhat to the KM Music Conservatory (Rahman’s music school in Chennai) for a year-long training and subsequently to Hollywood for a four-week acting workshop, where the actor was taught by Rahman's friends.
AR Rahman also revealed which singers in the film he was most impressed with, stating that his supervisor Dilshad [Shabbir Shaikh] heard about 20-25 singers before narrowing down which of them "sounded right" for the film. He revealed the most surprising pieces of work was from Arijit Singh who sang Jwalamukhi and Armaan Malik, who rendered Humnawaa. AR Rahman also added the 99 Songs soundtrack has a lullaby, and a "god bharai" song and several songs that people can use in real life inclusive of Indian culture. He added that creating the soundtrack in three different languages "was a torture", with him going back to at least 11 to 12 times on each song. Besides that, he assures that he has seen the Tamil version of the film, which is 99 per cent accurate to the native language.
The music composer concluded by revealing what creative decisions he had to make in order to make the film cohesive in structure. He said sometimes he had to cut his own songs for as much as 15 bars, or one minute. He revealed the editing process for the film with a metaphor saying that a movie is like food, it's an emotional ride. If you have too much, you are uncomfortable. He said that with films; you must cut out the most favourite scene if they obstruct the flow of the film.
99 Songs is directed by Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy and introduces Ehan Bhat and Edilsy Vargas in lead roles, alongside Aditya Seal, Lisa Ray and Manisha Koirala in supporting roles. 99 Songs plot is about the self-discovery of a struggling singer who wants to be a successful music composer. Take a look at its trailer below.
Promo Image Source: AR Rahman Instagram
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