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Indians deserve a place globally: A R Rahman

Last updated: 27 April, 2010
New York, Apr 27, (PTI): 14:53 IST

A R Rahman is leading a hectic life balancing work in India and Hollywood but the musician is not complaining as he wants to bridge the gap between East and West through his music.

In June, the music maestro will embark on his 'Jai Ho' tour across the US. Rahman says he may be doing more "Hollywood stuff" but he intends to keep up his Bollywood commitments of one or two films a year. The singer-composer, who is the only Indian to win two Oscars, a Golden Globe and two Grammys for his music in Danny Boyle's 'Slumdog Millionaire', says his concert is an extension of his philosophy.

"A lot of things have changed and I got a place here to work. I have a contract with Interscope Records...all these things are time demanding to fulfill so my time is divided almost half between India and here," Rahman told reporters. The 44-year-old musician, however, believes that since India has always embraced foreign cultures, they deserve a stage in the West.

"I wanted to do this concert for many reasons. In the beginning my intention was to extend the boundaries of what I was doing for music so we could do greater things. It probably is an extension of my philosophy," Rahman said.

"After my success I even feel stronger to do this stuff to make a bridge for other people to come and if one person succeeds then a lot of other people come," he added. Rahman is presently working with artistes like Usher, Nicole Scherzinger and Dido. Working abroad has made him realise that there is enough space for the two big film industries to produce work on the same platform.

"I don't know whether it is right or wrong but what is good is people recognising the potential of movies in India and are being more adventurous," he said. "We don't need acknowledgment from anybody but it's good to have it." Rahman also dismisses the lingering criticism that it took a foreign film 'Slumdog Millionaire', for an Indian to win the Oscar and then a Grammy.

"As long as it got recognised I don't bother about all this. It was such a small movie and became such a big hit, this is a blessing." Rahman has joined hands with Hollywood's creative director Amy Tinkham for his new concert in 14 cities across North America.

Tinkham, who has worked for pop-music icons, including Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys and Mariah Carey, says the concert will be a mix of Indian tradition and modernism. "The concert will keep in intact the heritage and traditions of India with a new modern presentation. The show will feature changing sets, large images on LED screens and a spectacular cast of musicians and dancers from across the globe," Tinkham said.

The high-tech, larger-than-life show may be completely opposite of his shy persona but the musician says it goes with the music. "The music is exuberant and it won't do justice to the music to lock it into a room...If you go to a Beyonce concert it's mostly about her but in this it's the music that is the hero."

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