14 tracks, 3 languages, seasons packed into ‘99 Songs’, says A.R. Rahman

14 tracks, 3 languages, seasons packed into ‘99 Songs’, says A.R. Rahman

Indian music maestro A.R. Rahman makes his writer-producer debut with ‘99 Songs’ this week, the album for which was released by Sony Music India and has already won the hearts of global audiences with tracks like ‘Jwalamukhi’, ‘Teri Nazar’ and ‘The Oracle’.

The film, which releases on April 16, features 14 tracks with musical talents such as Shaswat Singh and Bela Shende and in Rahman’s signature style, each song is devised to create a mood, a thought, drive the narrative and give meaning to every frame of the film.

99 Songs’ is releasing in three languages – Hindi, Tamil and Telegu – each demanding enormous effort to understand, translate and execute.

During a pre-release event, Rahman jokes: ‘If I knew earlier that we’d do three languages, I would have only made five songs and not 14!”

The Oscar-winning musician behind ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ was determined not to let the film simply be a dubbed, multilingual film. He wanted each melody to retain its essence in the languages they were making it in.

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He explains: “I wanted to be imaginative and do something I believed in. This movie has heart and soul. The film’s narrative and the music are like the seasons.”

The film follows a very creative arc, with its highs and lows mirrored by the music of the film.
When asked what audiences can expect from the film, he says simply: “An experience”.

Shedding light on the tough and unprecedented times that we are living in due to the pandemic, he reflects: “At a period where we are all unaware of the future, I think this movie will definitely bring hope into your lives. It talks about dreams; it talks about how you struggle and come out as a winner.

“It talks about the internal struggles of a creative person, which not a lot of movies deal with. Like the line in the trailer – music is the last magic left in the world.”

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