Composer AR Rahman, at a recent press conference in New York, said that he needed to become a better singer before he could release an album of songs sung by him.
“I want to do that but before that I want to become a better singer,” he said at the press meet. The Oscar-winning composer had performed to a packed audience at the iconic UN General Assembly hall on August 15, becoming the second Indian artiste after legendary Carnatic music vocalist M S Subbulakshmi to perform there. The concert was also a tribute by Rahman to Subbulakshmi on the occasion of her birth centenary. This year marks the 50th anniversary of her performance at the UN in 1966.
In the concert, jointly organised by the Indian mission in association and Chennai-based civil society group Sankara Nethralaya, Rahman performed Subbulakshmi’s music, Sufi songs and his Oscar-winning number Jai Ho.
In his homage to Subbulakshmi, Rahman said that she was the inspiration behind his Sunshine Orchestra, which teaches eastern and western classical music to underprivileged children. “It is one of my duties to come here and celebrate her,” he said, adding that he considered Subbulakshmi a “God of my culture”.
Last month, at the press meet of Mohenjo Daro, Rahman had admitted that as he got older, it was becoming harder for him to do the culture-blending in music. “I used to do it better before, I can’t do it anymore; I am getting older. I want to go deeper into things,” he said.
The singer-composer’s performance at the Assembly hall, however, met with a thunderous applause by the audience in the hall. He was conferred the Tamil Ratna Award by New York-based America Tamil Sangam.