Updated March 22nd, 2024 at 12:39 IST

When AR Rahman 'Irritated' Songwriters With His Adamant Behaviour

AR Rahman is regarded as a legendary music composer in the industry. However, not many know that he broke a rule, leaving songwriters irritated.

AR Rahman | Image:Pinterest
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AR Rahman is a legendary music composer who has given many soulful songs to the Indian music industry. In his career spanning over 3 decades, the Oscar-winning composer has created new records and even broken a few rules including the existing template of film music composition. Filmmaker Rajiv Menon, in a recent interview, opened up about the time lyricists were irritated by Rahman.

When AR Rahman irritated lyricists

During an interview with O2India, the filmmaker explained how AR Rahman "allowed a tune to happen" and how this irritated the lyricists. He revealed that the composer changed the way music was created in cinema. "You know what was happening in commercial cinema before is that you went to a hotel and the lyric writer sat and the music director sat and there was a jam and a tune was finished in half a day. Or a tune was done in two hours and then they would do the next tune, so in one session, they used to do six tunes," he said.

 

(A file photo of AR Rahman | Image: Instagram)
(A file photo of AR Rahman | Image: Instagram)

 

Elaborating further, Menon said that it was "very difficult" for that tune to be completely different from what was happening. There was a template in the tune. However, Rahman wanted to make a different music so he broke the template. He said, "Rahman said, ‘Why should I do that?’ So the first thing he did was he stopped jamming with the lyric writer. He said, ‘I’ll make the tune, give it to you, we’ll write the lyrics and we’ll rephrase after that.’"

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(A file photo of AR Rahman | Image: Instagram)
(A file photo of AR Rahman | Image: Instagram)

 

"This used to irritate the songwriters to no end. However, what Rahman was doing was, that he first tried to make a groove with the rhythm and bass. Once he got the groove, he let some thoughts happen. "If it works, ok, then try and work on the next groove, let some thoughts flow, works, (now next)…” he added.

AR Rahman never likes working under pressure

Explaining Rahman's process of making music, Menon revealed that the composer never liked working under pressure. "A typical composing session of Rahman would have something like eight grooves. He would say, ‘If you find anything interesting, you say.’ So if you say you find this interesting, then he would edit it, structure a tune and add some fillers and that’s what would go to the lyric writer." Menon believes that because of this change,  Rahman has been able to survive in the industry longer than the films. 

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Published March 22nd, 2024 at 12:39 IST