A R Rahman, the only Indian musician to ever receive Oscars, has been an inspiration to many across the globe. He has worked with international artists and Hollywood movie directors, and his debut soundtrack, Roja, featured in Time magazine’s '10 Best Soundtracks of All Times'. The artist Will.I.Am was so inspired by Rahman's song 'Urvasi', that he introduced the same tune in his soundtrack 'It's My Birthday'. All of which goes to show that Rahman's appeal has spread far and he is not just the 'Mozart of Madras'.
It is only natural that music students too find inspiration in Rahman. Last year, Berklee College of Music's Indian Ensemble covered some of Rahman’s best songs, ranging from Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera to Dil Se Re.
This time around, they have covered yet another Rahman classic – the contemporary Sufi song ‘Kun Faya Kun’ from the movie 'Rockstar'. A beautiful rendition of the song by Berklee students was presented at the Symphony Hall in Boston.
Although there are remarkable differences between the original song and the cover version, which features added musical instruments, the result will leave you mesmerised.
Annette Philip, the producer of the concert, founded the Indian Ensemble at the Berklee music school in 2011.
“Initially, as choral director for Berklee's education outreach City Music Program, I brought Balkan, African, and Indian music to high school students. The response was so amazing, that I suggested the creation of an official Berklee Indian Ensemble at the college level too," Philip had told The Hindu in an earlier interview.
Under a programme called the Berklee India Exchange (BIX), they first invited Mumbai-based Clinton Cerejo in 2013, then A R Rahman in 2014 and Vijay Prakash in 2015. The musician Shankar Mahadevan is this year's guest.
Watch the song and be prepared to get goosebumps.
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