This artist is passionate, a musical genius and definitely one of a kind. A treasure trove of creativity that constantly inspires those around it. This legend is none other than the very talented Mr AR Rahman, who celebrates his birthday on January 6. BizAsiaLive.com decided to choose five musical masterpieces from the 90s that we felt deserved special mention. Of course, it was a difficult task as there are so many choices, but here are our five legendary masterpieces.
Chikku Bukku Rayile from ‘Gentleman’ (1993)
To enjoy this song, it is necessary to increase the volume because when the beat hits, it is difficult not to dance. Suresh Peters and GV Prakash Kumar did a great job with their vocals. Peters begins to sing as if he’s whispering, but when the bass hits he becomes more alive with emphasis on certain words. Rahman is simply a brain who likes to use everything around him, take this song for example. The song takes place at a train station and he cleverly used the sound of a dragging train for background music in parts of the song. Also noteworthy was how he used a traditional instrument, the shehnai, and used it with various types of drums.
For this Gautami song, Prabhu Deva and his brother Raju Sundaram made a special appearance in the film. Hats off to the choreographer for this song as the dance steps for Deva and Sundaram were breathtaking. Not only that, there were elements of comedy where they used effects. Even after so many years, this Tamil song is still very popular.
Kya Kare, Kya Na Kare from ‘Rangeela’ (1995)
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the entire ‘Rangeela’ album in itself is a listener’s treat. It was Rahman’s first Hindi soundtrack album that won him two Filmfare awards.
It was as if Rahman really wanted to experiment with this soundtrack because he was using instruments in such a powerful way that you were left mesmerized. The use of percussion instruments such as the flute and the violin is amazing. In one part of the song, he has Udit Narayan sing along and cleverly uses the drum in the background, making it sound like a gong.
The beginning of the song begins slowly but as it continues it builds up with the sound of the saxophone and backing vocals. Then, forty seconds after the song starts, Rahman hypnotizes the listener with his powerful melody, such is the impact of his music.
Ek Bagiya Mein by ‘Sapnay’ (1997)
Once we hear this song, we are unable to forget it. What Rahman did in this song is unheard of in the ’90s because he created music that sounded so different but worked. The voices of Shankar Mahadevan, Srinivas and KS Chithra match perfectly with the energetic rhythms of Rahman’s composition. It’s almost as if the song goes through various transitions from a happy carnival atmosphere to Rajastan rhythms and then to the kuthu dance part that could get anyone dancing. With artists like Kajol, Prabhu Deva and Nassar seen in the groove of this song, they have all done justice to its creation.
Ishq Bina 2 by ‘Taal’ (1999)
There were two versions of this song, the first being a more joyous version set at a wedding.
The second is a more dramatic version where the main character Mansi (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) performs the song in front of a large audience with a full orchestra. This particular piece has both traditional and western sounds mixed together in such a beautiful way, that it is impeccable. The sound of the tabla and harmonium in the first section is so calming to hear, then as the song progresses the listener is struck by the western rhythms. The violin and the flute played a very important role in this song without them the song would have been incomplete.
The best way to describe this version would be grandiose as the music is rich and the sounds of the orchestra really make you feel like you are sitting in a theater listening to this musical piece live.
Kavita Krishnamurthy sang with such power and emotion that her voice synchronized perfectly with the music. Also a special mention to the great Sukhwinder Singh who accompanied the voice of Krishnamurthy.
Latka Dikha Diya from ‘Hindustani’ (1996)
The song was illustrated by both Kamal Haasan and Urmila Matondkar who were definitely the right people to have for this song. The song has such energy that a confident dancer would be needed to match the beats and in this case, they did well in terms of the cast.
The late Swarnalata sang for Matondkar in this hip-shaking number. Rahman is to be commended for the music he created for this film as he is simply out of this world. In Indian cinema, it was something new that we had never heard of before. More than twenty years later, people still listen to this song, they have the impression that it is something well ahead of its time as the music is so fresh.
The team of BizAsiaLive.com wish Mr AR Rahman a very happy birthday!