MUMBAI: As the Oscar and Grammy-winning Indian musician A.R Rahman celebrates 25 years in the music industry, he professes that his religious beliefs have helped him define and shape his career.
Rahman converted to Islam in his 20s, and is currently in London for a show called “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.”
In an interview with Reuters, he said on Thursday that the interpretation of the Muslim faith meant living a life that was simple with humility being key.
“Islam is an ocean, you know, it has different sects. More than 70. So I follow the Sufi kind of philosophy which is about love. I am what I am because of the philosophy I’m following, my family is following. And of course, many things are happening, and I feel it’s mostly political,” said Rehman.
Taking inspiration from folklore, poetry, and spiritualism, Sufism is a non-violent form of Islam based on rituals that reflects the religion’s mystical side.
The 50-year-old artist has two Oscars, two Grammys and a Golden Globe along with over 160 film soundtracks to his name, as well as the Oscar-winning “Slumdog Millionaire” and Bollywood film like “Lagaan” and “Taal.”
He sings, writes songs, plays instruments and composes music and lives a history of teaming up with international artists including Mick Jagger, Sara Brightman, and the Pussycat Dolls.
Rahman’s latest tour kicks off at Wembley SSE Arena in London on July 8 and will take his fans on a journey through his music for the last quarter of a century.
The softly spoken artist who has a powerful stage presence, says he still has more to achieve and hopes his music will help bring more people together.
“If you take an orchestra, you have the underprivileged and the privileged, playing together. We have different races playing together. We have different religions playing together. But one sound comes out,” he said. “You work towards one harmony.”