Edited excerpts from an interview between Basu Shanker, Dinesh Karthik and Vetrimaaran.
Basu Shanker: How will you describe the impact of Illaiyaraaja and AR Rahman in your life?
Vetrimaaran: All of us in our generation grew up listening to Illaiyaraaja songs. It’s like whatever music you might end up liking, finally if you want to relax, if you want to feel at home, if you want to feel safe or if you want to feel secure, you listen to Illaiyaraaja songs.
Dinesh Karthik: (Laughs) No matter how much we like Mexican or Japanese food, eventually it doesn’t give us the satisfaction thayir sadham gives us.
Vetrimaaran: His music gives me so much comfort. Anything unknown comes my way, I listen to his songs and I’m ok. If there’s a problem that cannot be solved, again listen to Illaiyaraaja songs and you’ll be able to push through. You’ll be able to see it to the end.
I really admire AR Rahman for reinventing himself so many times. It’s going to be nearly 30 years since he started. I’m not talking about the market because no one has come to replace him yet. That’s a different thing. I’m just talking about the music and the journey he has taken and how he reinvents himself every five years. All said and done, an Oscar is everyone’s dream. And you get there and your market becomes bigger, wider and your expectations are sky high. He reaches there but he still starts from scratch. He’s not just trying to keep going up. He has his basics sorted so he goes back there again and he starts building himself up to another height. That is something I really admire in him. And the kind of work he puts on himself in the process of rediscovering and in the process of keeping him grounded is something I really admire.
Here’s the link to the full interview here: