Rahman records first ever world music album

By Hindustan Times

Mumbai, July 15 -- If he blew people away by forming a band with the likes of music heavyweights Mick Jagger, Dave Stewart and Joss Stone among others, AR Rahman has sprung another surprise on the music fraternity by cutting his first ever world music album.

The Oscar-winning composer, in the twentieth year of his career has recorded the album, titled Rock the Table, especially for Egyptian percussionist, composer and music arranger Hossam Ramzy. The latter is known for his compositions for The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) and The Last Temptation of Christ (1988).

The album also features other known musicians like Billy Cobham, Manu Katche and Omar Faruk Tekbilek. Ramzy, who had earlier collaborated with Rahman on the music of Rang De Basanti (2006), met him in London to finalise the project. He was very keen to have Rahman bring in his signature musical flavour to the album.

Rahman's official aide has confirmed the story while another source close to the development adds, "It is very interesting that Rahman is doing such work on his twentieth year in the industry. Call it coincidence, but he is surely making his point by first forming an all-star band Super Heavy, and now a world music album."

Meanwhile, the artiste himself is not thinking about the milestone. "It's been a while doing the one thing that I truly love the most, which is composing music and I have enjoyed every bit of it. I feel blessed and humbled that people have loved my music. Nothing would be possible without their acceptance of my work," says Rahman.

His inclination towards composing more in the west, however, has led to rumours of him being "too expensive" for Bollywood. But Rahman refutes the theory, claiming, "It's not true. Indian films are my first love; I would never turn them down because of money. I'm only inclined to do exciting work and because of my world tour and other commitments, I haven't been able to dedicate too much time here. But I will never quit composing for Indian films. My country has given me recognition, given me everything. I can't think of working only in Hollywood and pass up films from my own country."

Rahman also confirms talks about him wanting to expand his music school. He says, "There is a plan to have a bigger campus and innovations on what we could do to our course. But these are all in planning stages and too early to talk about."

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