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Bollywood composer AR Rahman to perform ‘nostalgic’ set at O2 Arena

PUBLISHED: 15:00 11 July 2015

AR Rahman is set to perform at The O2 Arena in August. Picture: Anu Gunn

AR Rahman is set to perform at The O2 Arena in August. Picture: Anu Gunn

Archant

An iconic composer is set to capture the hearts of Bollywood fans in London once more as he performs his greatest hits.

A.R. Rahman with the Achievement in Music award (Original Score), received for Jai Ho in Slumdog Millionaire, at the 81st Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles. Picture: Ian West/PAA.R. Rahman with the Achievement in Music award (Original Score), received for Jai Ho in Slumdog Millionaire, at the 81st Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles. Picture: Ian West/PA

Indian multi-instrumentalist AR Rahman is looking forward to gracing the stage for his Greatest Hits Live! show at The O2 Arena, Greenwich, five years after performing in the capital on his 2010 world tour.

The performer made his mark in Indian film music with his debut score for Tamil film Roja in 1992 and has since gone onto international acclaim composing the music for Slumdog Millionaire in 2008 and 2010’s 127 Hours.

AR Rahman, who has two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award and a Golden Globe, has produced music for more than 120 films in languages including Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi, Telugu and English.

Speaking to the Recorder, he said: “We’re really excited about this show.

AR Rahman is set to perform at The O2 Arena in August. Picture: Anu GunnAR Rahman is set to perform at The O2 Arena in August. Picture: Anu Gunn

“London is a very important place to me because I was introduced to Slumdog Millionaire there, and it’s where I worked on Bombay Dreams with Andrew Lloyd Webber.

“It’s one of my favourite places in the world and it has given me a lot – it’s good to be back again after five years.”

With a vast catalogue of hits to choose from for the event on Saturday, August 15, AR Rahman says the show will encompass a “combination of nostalgia and what the band likes to perform”.

He added: “We have a tight band now and everyone knows what they are doing. It took me two years to choose everyone.

(L-R) AR Rahman, Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy arriving for European Premiere of 127 Hours marking the end of The 54th BFI London Film Festival at the Odeon, Leicester Square, London. Picture: Ian West/PA(L-R) AR Rahman, Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy arriving for European Premiere of 127 Hours marking the end of The 54th BFI London Film Festival at the Odeon, Leicester Square, London. Picture: Ian West/PA

“We just did a tour in the US and it was a lot of fun. For each show there’s a different highlight for everyone, I think we would all say there was a different song that we each liked performing.”

The guitar-playing pianist and vocalist puts his longevity down to being able to evolve in a fast moving musical landscape.

AR Rahman has been able to reach a whole new generation of fans around the world with collaborations featuring the likes of the Pussycat Dolls, MIA and emerging R&B talent such as Sid Sriram.

“I do music that I like to do and believe in, and the fans that follow me take me for what I am,” he said.

Actress Ayesha Dharker, who plays Rani leads the dancers during a rehearsal of AR Rahman's musical 'Bombay Dreams', produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber at the Apollo Theatre in Victoria, London. Picture: Yui Mok/PAActress Ayesha Dharker, who plays Rani leads the dancers during a rehearsal of AR Rahman's musical 'Bombay Dreams', produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber at the Apollo Theatre in Victoria, London. Picture: Yui Mok/PA

“Things are changing and evolving, and musically – as an artist – we are very conscious of it. It’s a constant process and it’s about being aware of what’s going on with other musicians around the world.”

The film composer, who started out making jingles for TV adverts, took the Indian film industry by storm in the 1990s introducing hip hop, jazz and reggae elements into many of his scores.

“I came at an early age, when things were really opening up,” said AR Rahman.

“It was organic, I was making music that I wanted to hear.”

AR Rahman is set to perform at The O2 Arena in AugustAR Rahman is set to perform at The O2 Arena in August

He added: “A lot of young people were listening to my music back then and they have followed my career ever since.

“I just want to thank everyone for their love.”

The show starts at 7.30pm and tickets cost between £45 and £100, with packages available for families.

Click here or call 084 4824 4824 to book.


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