December 23, 2008 / 12:31 PM / 10 years ago

"So far so good" for "Slumdog" composer

MUMBAI (Reuters Life!) - He is the first Indian composer to get a Golden Globe nomination and there’s an Oscar buzz around his score in “Slumdog Millionaire,” but A.R. Rahman is unfazed by talk of awards.

“The more you expect, the more frustration comes,” Bollywood’s most famous musician said when asked if the thought of holding an Oscar statuette had crossed his mind.

“It’ll be a surprise if it comes but so far so good,” Rahman said in a telephone interview.

Known for his musical versatility — from romantic compositions to foot-tapping numbers, Rahman has innovated with different instruments and sounds to create some of India’s best-known musical hits for nearly two decades.

Despite earlier international credits such as the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Bombay Dreams,” it is Rahman’s work on British director Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog” that endeared him to Western critics.

The film, nominated for four Golden Globes, is about an orphan from a Mumbai slum who gets a shot at winning millions on the Indian version of the television game show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.”

“I just did the score because I liked Danny Boyle and because it’s (about) India, so I thought it would be good to be associated,” the 42-year-old composer said.


Not that Rahman was desperate for accolades. His stature as “India’s Mozart” means even international celebrities want to work with him.

Australian star Kylie Minogue, chosen from a list of pop divas, will sing for Rahman in his next Bollywood film “Blue.”

“There was Beyonce (Knowles) and a couple of other people but we thought Kylie would be the correct choice,” the composer said.

“I don’t know whether I will just be composing or singing with her as well.”

Hollywood may be knocking at his door but Rahman has no plans to leave the Indian film industry.

“Both of them are merging,” he said. “It’s all connected in a way.”

Among his new projects is a Walt Disney co-production — an Indian film featuring a Japanese actor — and “Paani” (Water) by “Elizabeth” director Shekhar Kapur.

Writing by Tony Tharakan; Editing by Matthias Williams

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