I remain politically illiterate by choice and don’t want to compete with younger artistes: AR Rahman on making his debut as a scriptwriter and film producer with ‘99 Songs’


India's popular music maestro AR Rahman is ready with a new song, You got me. The Oscar-winning singer-composer, who has redefined Indian film music over more than two decades now, says he doesn't want to compete with younger artists, some of who are creating intense and amazing music. "When I was hearing all these artists, they were much more intense and they were doing some amazing songs, so I don't want to compete with them," laughed Rahman. About his new song, he added, "I wanted to take a generic route by creating a feel good dance song, and this hook -'You got me' - came in. Nirmika (Singh) penned this song beautifully, and that's how we got it. I want to create very simple and enjoyable songs."

You got me has been composed and arranged by Rahman and sung by Rahman along with Nisa Shetty, Simetri, Protyay (Heat Sink), Jonathan and Pelenuo, and Hriday Gattani. The colourful music video is directed by Uma-Gaiti. It is the new song launched by Nexa Music. The label has launched Nexa Experiences, a nationwide hunt for emerging artistes in a bid to promote indigenous talent. Asked if the initiative would be limited to Indian artistes singing English or if it would extend to international artistes, too, Rahman said, "This is mainly for Indian artistes because English Indian artistes don't get an opportunity. They are all underground. Some of them are coming up, which is great. There is nothing wrong with regional artistes because we all love them. But some of the expressions in the English language are simpler and more universal."

RECOMMENDED READ: Watch: The budget was like an Akshay Kumar film: AR Rahman on being extravagant with '99 Songs' that marks his debut as writer and producer

On the other hand, Rahman feels although the world is going through a socio-political turmoil, and every second person is expressing political opinion in an aggressive manner, he chooses to channelise his energy in making music, stories and art that can bring about a positive change in the mind of the youngsters. The Indian music maestro is all set to take a new step in creativity. He makes his debut as scriptwriter and film producer with the upcoming musical film, 99 Songs.

"I am politically illiterate by choice, because I rather invest my energy to create what I am creating. One of the reasons why I am making films, music and training kids in music is to offer them a space that they can explore away from politics, violence and all things that are negative. I see how everyone is getting into some political opinion and it is a grey area. It is complicated and probably I won't be able to articulate my thoughts as correctly as I can do it through music. For me, serving humanity through art -- that heals people, that is spiritual -- is more important when there is too much aggression out there," Rahman told IANS. His daughter Khatija was brutally trolled a while back by the Swedish-Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen on social media, for wearing the burqa, but Khatija's graceful and befitting answer to the author received huge applauds by netizens.


Been only a year and this topic is in the rounds again..there’s so much happening in the country and all people are concerned about is the piece of attire a woman wants to wear. Wow, I’m quite startled. Every time this topic comes the fire in me rages and makes me want to say a lot of things..Over the last one year, I’ve found a different version of myself which I haven’t seen in so many years. I will not be weak or regret the choices I’ve made in life. I am happy and proud of what I do and thanks to those who have accepted me the way I am. My work will speak, God willing.. I don’t wish to say any further. To those of you who feel why I’m even bringing this up and explaining myself, sadly it so happens and one has to speak for oneself, that’s why I’m doing it. . Dear Taslima Nasreen, I’m sorry you feel suffocated by my attire. Please get some fresh air, cause I don’t feel suffocated rather I’m proud and empowered for what I stand for. I suggest you google up what true feminism means because it isn’t bashing other women down nor bringing their fathers into the issue I also don’t recall sending my photos to you for your perusal

A post shared by 786 Khatija Rahman (@khatija.rahman) on

Rahman's 99 Songs is directed by Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy and the film features Ehan Bhat, Edilsy Vargas, Lisa Ray, Manisha Koirala, Ranjit Barot and Rahul Ram. Talking about what prompted him to take up filmmaking he said, “Not taking up challenges and feeling complacent due to success is boring! I mean, none of us are immortal. We all are going to die, but before death happens let us give new ideas a try. My drive is to explore human possibilities. Criticism is okay with me, so many challenges are thrown at us by life. It is worth taking up the challenges!"

The songs of his film were released on Thursday in Mumbai. Rahman has created the album with Dolby Atmos. Emphasizing on the collaboration, Rahman said, "When you hear music, good sound technology offers you an experience that is worth cherishing. We get to experience Dolby Atmos in cinema theatres. They are now collaborating with streaming platforms where you listen to music on the phone and still get the same sound quality, without those speakers. When you listen to a song on your phone, you hear a compressed file that tampers the sound, and the nuances are missed. When a 200MB file is made into a 1.5 MB file, usually you do not get the same quality. But now that is possible courtesy the new sound technology of Dolby Atmos. I am looking forward to it.”