All the applauds, the Oscars, the larger-than-life image that AR Rahman has cleverly achieved so far is not the whole story. In fact, there is no story, there is little creativity and originality. Most of his songs and music are not products of his imagination, but taken from other songs and compositions. A R Rahman takes inspiration from others, repackages the song with his own little twist and presents it to the world as his very own. The outcome is so hypnotizing that we ignore the details; we don’t care where it has come from.
AR Rahman has, over the years, spent a great deal of his time exploring music that is not very popular, especially in India where he plies his trade. He identifies songs sung in different languages from distant lands, copies the music and adds ‘desi tadka’ to it.
There is a perception that AR Rahman is great at original compositions. It is a carefully crafted facade behind which lies the hard work and creativity of composers who live and die in anonymity. Sharks in the music industry, like AR Rahman, will go to any and every length to ensure that their music remains on top. He takes advantage of the high probability that it is unlikely that an Indian will have listened to a song from Botswana with melodious tune. It’s clever, but unethical. He may be a commercial success but as an artist, he is undeserving of all the respect he commands.
The dark side of the movie and music industry is that people are willing to do anything to gain stardom and they will go to any lengths to maintain that stardom. AR Rahman would be wrong in thinking that he creates magic. Crude as it may sound, doesn’t he steal tunes?
He picks up forgotten, unpopular musical pieces and mixes it with his own brand of music to create what he claims is original. Not revealing the real source of music also amounts to cheating.
Some of the AR Rahman songs which are a sure-shot copy are:
Aaromale from Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaaya resembles Dave Mathews Band No.27.
2. Challa from Jab Tak Hai Jaan resembles Save Tonight by Eagle Eye Cherry.
3. Telephone Manipol from Indian resembles Ace Of Base Song.
4. Puthu Vellai Mazhai from Roja resembles Vangelis “Chariots Of Fire”
5. Ennai Kaanavillayae from Kaadhal Desam resembles Enigma’s Sadeness.
6. Endrendrum Punnagai from Alai Paayuthey resembles Backstreet Boys.
7. Hello Mister from Iruvar resembles Memphis Stomp by Dave Grusin.
8. Poo Pookkum Osai from Minsara Kanavu resembles Rhythm Of The Pride Lands by Kube.
9. Thenmaerkku Paruvakkaatru from Karuthamma resembles Dr. Alban’s Om We Rembwe Ike.
10. Paakathe Paakathey from Gentlemen resembles Osibisa’s Kelele Kelele.
This is amazing. It is all before our eyes, yet, we don’t bother.