Sindhu Vijayakumar | Camera : Vivek | Text - Jyothsna
Bhavanishankar | Video Editor : Kader
sister of A R Rahman and mother of G V Prakash is
creating a space for herself as a music composer in
the upcoming Malayalam film Manchottile Veedu. In
an exclusive interview to behindwoods.com, she talks
about her career, her legendary brother A R Rahman
and her talented son G V Prakash.
Reihana the Singer
Kannathil Muthamittal was Rahman’s music and I
have sung in it. I have not collaborated in it. I have
also done Aadatha Aattamellam, Machi, Pesuvadarkillaya
and then Kaadhalaagi.
When I started as a composer, I just took whatever came
in my way and was not very picky. I was less experienced
and did not have a vision. When opportunities came my
way, I realized I could compose. But I think one should
not do that. I learnt that later from my son (G VPrakash)
and brother (A R Rahman) that you have to wait for the
project that will really platform you properly and you
should be prepared for that.
After so many
years, I have prepared myself so well and realize
that there is a composer in me. Now I have a
vision as how I have to come out. And this particular
movie I accepted because this director saw one
of my movies Pesuvadharkillaya where the songs
have turned out well and unfortunately the film
did not do well. The director told me that he
liked my work in the film and wanted me to work
with him in the Malayalam film. It was nice
because he saw my work in a film that did not
do well but still wanted me as a music director.
I did not even talk about remuneration and agreed
I did not even talk about
foray into Malayalam music
Now I have a vision as to how I should present my
music and it will be a different experience for the
audience. The songs have turned up really well suiting
the film rather than suiting my taste. And also the
RR would be very special. As the director really likes
my work and gives me full freedom, the music has turned
out really well.
Veedu, the Malayalam film
It is a different type of story about love, family,
rivalry, goodness, intelligence etc. I am looking
forward to this movie as I have done a good job. It
is basically in Malayalam; it will also be in Tamil
I would love to put Madhushri,
Sadhana Sargam ji, Shreya
Ghosal or even Chithra ji
your favorite singers for the film
cannot sing all the songs in the film. The writer
asked me to sing one particular number which
is a very sad one. I really don’t know
why he said that because I am a cheerful person.
Anyways, I hope people appreciate it. I have
many favorite singers. One of them would be
Javed Ali for sure. I think Atif Aslam would
be suitable if he is available. I would like
him to be part of my music because he sings
Western and Indian very well. I would love to
put Madhushri, Sadhana Sargam ji, Shreya Ghosal
or even Chithra ji
Kadappuram sir and Damodaran Nambiyar are doing the
lyrics. I think in Tamil, Vairmuthu sir would be doing
the lyrics. I am yet to confirm that. In Kannada, you
will have someone who is as famous as Kadappuram and
as a stage singer
stage, I am very clear that it should be the
thumping kind of songs where I need to shout.
I want to show the audience what a powerful
voice I have got. When it comes to recording,
I want to experiment with my voice with different
genres like western, melody, folk, Sufi, Khawali
and so many.
I want to show the audience
what a powerful voice I have got
Rahman was a genius kid
your Academy Award winning brother A R Rahman
Rahman was a genius kid. He used to help
my dad in composition occasionally when he
was learning music. I was just learning music
along with him. I never took music seriously
then as it was fun for me because in my house
it was like the male had to earn and the women
have to get married. Fortunately for me I
realized the passion in me and understood
that this is my direction and I went ahead
in a family of musicians
is great and a blessing to be in a family of
musicians. Prakash treats me as equal and we
generally share a lot of tips and it is more
from his side to me rather than the other way
round. Prakash is an angel. He is ready to help
me in any ways be it from technical side or
from voice side or from composing side.
Prakash treats me as equal
I would love to criticize
a critic of G V Prakash
I would love to criticize his work. He is
a complete musician; I don’t need to
criticize him. Sometimes I would suggest something
but he always has an answer for everything
and so it is better to appreciate him.
are not many female composers in Kollywood
moment I am going to become successful, there
are going to be umpteen number of female music
composers. Of course there is Bhavadharini and
Shruthi Haasan. But right now I am lonely. Since
I come from a family of music directors, I am
inspired to become one. Music is passion; if
you are passionate, you can succeed. But you
need to learn technology, music, orchestration
and sounds. Everyday technology is improving
and it is a challenge to learn.
I am lonely right now
For Prakash, he has been learning computers right from
when he was five years old. But for me it’s not
like that and for people like me, it is a pain to sit
in front of the computers to learn. After so many years
of learning, I am now comfortable with computers.
you handle the pressures as a music director?
When you are looking at it as a job that has to be completed
within a deadline, you are pressured. But when you enjoy
and start appreciating it, it is not pressure. In the
case of Manchottile Veedu, he gives me ten days and
asks me to compose- which could be one tune or ten tunes.
Then I give 2 tunes and then I go around the place as
I have ten days.
favorite place and inspiration for music
One of my favorite places is where I sleep where I get
tunes when I go to sleep and where I get tunes when
I wake up. I would like to go to nature to get inspiration.
Birds might inspire you to get a sound or weather or
travel. I love my house very much. I also like Switzerland,
Malaysia and all of Europe.
world tour with A R Rahman
Experience of singing with him on stage along with singers
is really great and they are all my friends and we gel
As a successful
RJ in FM radio
I am happy that I am successful, its news to me. I should
thank my M.D for this. For the first time when I went
live on air, I was shouting and craving for attention.
And as soon as my first link was over, I got a call
from my M.D who said “extraordinary”. It
still stays with me. It is not for the payment they
give, it’s not for anything else but that word
he said, I am so grateful to him. And I am an R J now.
G V Prakash, Shreya