Mumbai: Music maestro AR Rahman said he has created the soundtrack for filmmaker Aanand L Rai’s upcoming film Atrangi Re keeping in mind the on screen and off screen persona of the lead actors.
The romantic-musical drama, written by Rai’s long-time collaborator Himanshu Sharma, stars Dhanush and Sara Ali Khan in the lead. Akshay Kumar features in a special role.
At the music launch of Atrangi Re, when Rahman was asked if he keeps actors in mind while working on a film’s soundtracks, the composer replied, “Yes.”
“Because I am working with a director so closely and he (Rai) keeps talking about the actors like what Dhanush, Sara and Akshay Kumar do. He told me Akshay has a collection of songs and I thought there is so much competition and that I need to make something cool as he has a lot of choices.
“Then the song came with keeping Akshay in mind. Dhanush’s song came from how he mixes some of English, Hindi and Tamil. We had a song for Dhanush. It was a tough one. The way Sara dances, we had to give her a dance song, which is ‘Chaka Chak’,” Rahman said at the event last night.
Crediting Rai for his vision, Rahman said he has been a huge fan of the filmmaker. The two had previously collaborated on 2013 romantic-drama “Raanjhanaa”, that also featured Dhanush in the lead.
“The musical journey always starts with the director coming and engaging and saying I want to do this crazy love story. I am a big fan of his (Rai) work, his screenplay, how he brings villages to life and makes it so international so the whole world can see our culture, our joy, sadness, hope, faith, everything.
“He is a very important director in my life. Working with him, Irshad and Himanshu has been an amazing ride,” the Oscar-winning composer said.
Rahman shared that it was during the coronavirus pandemic that the team, including lyricist Irshad Kamil, came together to create five songs.
Irshad Kamil, who has penned the lyrics of Atrangi Re, said Rahman would often ask him to describe the one hook word for the song.
“Whenever we work together, it is not like music comes first or lyrics, we just sit and chat, sometimes music comes first, sometimes lyrics. He (Rahman) tells me to give me one word that can be the anchor of the song, like I gave him the word ‘Chaka Chak’ and he created magic,” Kamil, 50, said.
Rai said the film’s album is all about love.
“To get a word (for a song) to describe the situation and character is the much tougher task than writing the full page.
“The song ‘Rait Zara Si’ is the soul of the film. The song that gives the entire emotion of my film in three-four minutes is this. The album is all about love, once you listen to the music you will fall in love,” he added.
Kumar, who has teamed up with Rai for the first time, said he instantly fell in love with the story of Atrangi Re. The actor said working with the filmmaker has been a fun experience.
“Aanand ji reminds me of my childhood. He is just like a child, he fights, he smiles, he laughs, he eats. It has been fun working with him and his team. I remember, when I heard the story, within half-an-hour…my role is not that big, the whole film belongs to Sara and Dhanush but I wanted to be part of it because if he can think of this story, why can’t I be a part of it,” he said.
Sara said she feels grateful to get an opportunity to work with Rai and senior actors like Kumar and Dhanush so early on in her career.
“Dhanush sir is an outstanding actor. He is so humble and supportive. He has worked with Aanand ji before and they know each other so well but I never felt out of place. They are such inspirations.
“I am grateful to have shared screen with Akshay sir. I have been a huge fan of his. His star power and energy are unparalleled. Even with his stardom, he is a humble person who is so easy to work with,” she added.
Atrangi Re, produced by Bhushan Kumar-led T-Series, Rai’s Colour Yellow Productions and Cape of Good Films, will release December 24 on Disney+Hotstar.