Music maestro A R Rahman says he would have hung up his boots as a composer if there was no market demand. Veteran artistes often complain about the dearth of offers for quality songs in films but the 50-year-old musician has a different take on the issue, saying creative people must find unconventional methods to express themselves.
When asked if film music is a limited career option, Rahman told PTI in an interview, "It is not limited, they are limiting it. You have to find unconventional ways to express, to evolve.
"I would have stopped doing music if CDs would have stopped selling. But things are different. Music is the same, but the way we express, the way people hear, it is different. We have to be in our zone. We have to evolve with time. I am still retaining that foundation."
Having composed songs almost across all genres, Rahman said he holds Sufi music close to his heart - like a "part of ibaadat (prayer)".
"When I was offered to do a qawwali 'Piya Haji Ali', I felt very very blessed at that moment. People used to come (up) to me for many years and tell me that the qawwali saved them from untoward situations.
"(Then) I did 'Khwaja mere Khwaja' post that and that is one composition which is loved by all, regardless of the community they belong to. I consider that to be my biggest achievement till date. Also, I have found that (the process of) learning goes on forever and I keep doing that," he said.
Rahman is set to perform here tonight at the CCI Brabourne Stadium as part of 'A R Rahman ENCORE - The Concert', a multi-city tour to celebrate his 25 years in music.
Talking about his gig, the Oscar-winning composer said, "After a while, one wants to have a good team. They (audience) can listen to a CD or an iPod (but) why do they come for live performances?
"So that they can see you in flesh and blood. We look forward to giving them that emotional experience. Singing live is more emotional for me.