On Rahman’s B’Day, Javed Ali Shares His Journey with The Maestro

Javed Ali pays tribute to his mentor AR Rahman.

Published
Music
2 min read

It’s music composer extraordinaire AR Rahman’s 52nd birthday on Sunday 6 January and The Quint spoke to frequent collaborator and playback singer Javed Ali to get details on his experience working with the maestro.

AR Rahman has completed 27 years in the film industry beginning with his unforgettable soundtrack for the Mani Ratnam film Roja. The often-called ‘Mozart of Madras’ has received six National Film Awards, two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award among countless others. He has also been awarded the Padma Bhushan by the government of India.

Singer Javed Ali meanwhile, has been working in playback in films since at least 2000, but he rose to fame around the same time started working with Rahman. In 2007 Javed provided the vocals for the song ‘Jashn E Bahaara’ from Ashutosh Gowariker’s Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai starrer Jodha Akbar. And the rest is history (no pun intended).

Since then, Javed and Rahman have worked together on around 20 tracks over ten years across multiple languages including Tamil and Telugu apart from Hindi. Javed spoke to The Quint in this exclusive interview on the special occasion about what it is like working with the birthday boy.

Javed starts off with a rendition of one of his most popular and acclaimed tracks, the qawwali ‘Kun Faya Kun’ from Imtiaz Ali’s 2011 film Rockstar. He then tells us the story of how he managed to meet AR Rahman for the very first time and bagged his first song with the composer.

Javed shares a lot of anecdotes about Rahman including the fact that the musician has a unique sense of humour and why he legendarily only works in the night time. Javed dishes on the toughest song Rahman ever gave him and then closes with perfect birthday wish for his mentor.

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