‘Writing even one song is very difficult,’ says AR Rahman as he discusses creativity and hardship for his film 99 Songs


Oscar and Grammy Award-winning musician A.R. Rahman is all set to debut as a producer and writer with his upcoming feature film 99 Songs. Ask him about when it all did began? A.R. Rahman takes us through the idea of how 99 Songs got conceptualized, "The world was changing and the distance between producing a movie and being a composer shortened because of me being in Hollywood, involved in Broadway. And also I feel there’s another part of the world, part of life that needs to be told, and in a way, I see it, part of society, part of the musical sensibilities.”

When asked if 99 songs inspired by his real life? Why the title 99 Songs?

A.R. Rahman shared, " I think we have seen all these things happen. I have heard many stories about people who say that they had lost hope in life but music saved them. But in cinematic language, how can you show that. We were trying to crack the code. You’ve seen fairytales like Cinderella, Alladin, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty… they all have this quality that’s very special and common in all fairytales, which is that something magical happens that also brings with it a lot of challenges. So, I felt like what if the same happens in music? I definitely wanted to make a musical because that’s how people have found me and followed me over time."


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He continued, "So, I thought that if I ever tap into storytelling, let it be through music. I wondered, what if a person had to write 100 songs to meet the challenges they were faced with? It sounds very easy, as if you just have to sit by the piano and the songs will just come. Even when you’ve been composing music for over 100 movies, very few songs come to you easily and very few songs have that quality where they resonate with people the way they should. Some people appreciate the hard work, but it’s also many things coming together like the lyrics, the tune, the emotion. So, writing even one song is very difficult. It’s like a blessing for us as human beings, as creatives. So, I thought, what if someone had to write 100 songs? Songs that are potent, deep and real? They wouldn’t be writing just about any song. So, in fact, one of the dialogues from 99 Songs even meditates on this hardship. I know this is not all that important because the stakes are not as high when a common person thinks of it. But as every creative person will know, there’s a certain kind of honour in accomplishing this feat, even if it kills you — to be able to write 100 songs.

99 Songs will release in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu on 16th April, 2021. Presented by Jio Studios, the film is produced by A.R. Rahman’s production company YM Movies and co-produced by Ideal Entertainment.

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