A.R. Rahman on the culture of remixing songs: 'Who are you to re-imagine? I am also careful about taking someone's work'

'You have to be respectful and I think it is a grey area, we need to sort it out,' the maestro stated.

FP Trending September 29, 2022 11:10:50 IST
A.R. Rahman on the culture of remixing songs: 'Who are you to re-imagine? I am also careful about taking someone's work'

A.R. Rahman

As the controversy over Neha Kakkar’s remake of Falguni Pathak’s Maine Payal Hai Chhankai refuses to die down, music maestro AR Rahman has expressed his own opinion about remixes. The Jodhaa Akbar music director, who is busy promoting his next Ponniyin Selvan-1, spoke to India Today about the remix culture prevalent in the music industry today. Speaking to the media outlet, Rahman said that people need to be “respectful” of others’ work. He also stated how he deals with requests for remaking his tunes.

“The more I see, the more it is distorted. The intention of the composer gets distorted. People say, ‘I am reimagining.’ Who are you to re-imagine? I am also very careful about taking someone else’s work. You have to be respectful and I think it is a grey area, we need to sort it out,” AR Rahman said.

He also talked about his relationship with Mani Ratnam, with whom he is collaborating once again for PS-I. “The other day, we had the Telugu music launch and the producers said every song that you two (AR Rahman and Mani Ratnam) make sounds fresh now because it is all done in digital mastering. It already has that quality and everyone appreciates it. So, if I need to do that, I need to recreate it. Of course, people take permission, but you cannot take something recent and remake it again. It feels weird”, he added.

AR Rahman himself has recreated songs. In 2007, the composer had created a new rendition of the 1970 hit Ponmagal Vandhal The original chartbuster was from Sivaji’s film Sorgam.

This is not the first time that the Academy Award winner has hit out at the remix culture dominating the industry. In 2020, when a recreated version of Rahman’s iconic song Masakali was released, the legend took to Twitter to express his views in a cryptic post. While he did not mention Masakali 2.0 even by name in his tweet, Rahman shared the link to the original song and talked about the efforts that go into making “music that can last generations”.


Apart from PS-I, AR Rahman has projects like Aadujeevitham, Pathu Thala, Maidaan, Ayalaan, and Maamannan in the pipeline.

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