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Sony to launch A R Rahman as international artiste on Independence Day

While celebratory plans hot up for India's Independence Day all over the country, the local branch of Sony Music revealed its ace for the special day. They will launch whizkid music director, A R Rahman, as their first international artiste from India.

The launch will be marked by the release of Vande Mataram, Rahman's new non-filmi music album that claims to have an inspiring mix of Indian tradition and spirit of world music.

According to Vijay Singh, managing director, Sony Music, India, Vande Mataram is being released to earmark the beginning of the 50th year of Indian independence. The album, he said, is targetted at Indians and NRIs and is a musical expression of this momentous event.

Vande Mataram, the opening line of the celebrated patriotic song, first found public expression in the movement against the partition of Bengal by the British in 1905. Very soon, it lost its regional identity and went on to become a pan-Indian phenomenon. It echoed as a mantra across a nation that was ready to shed its shackles.

Rahman, who conceived this album in conjunction with his friend, Bharat Bala, said, "I dedicate this album to the future generations of India and hope it will inculcate in them the wealth of human values and ethics that forms the fabric of this country."

Singh added that Vande Mataram is meant to invigorate in every one of us the spirit of a new India and unify the entire country under one voice and one tune. Rahman has composed and sung all the numbers -- which are a mix of Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit, Tamil and English.

In addition, a special track features a duet between Rahman and Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan of Pakistan. This is supposedly the first time that an Indian and Pakistani artiste have come together to create this kind of music. Proof of the fact, Singh says, that Vande Mataram is a meaningful concept in the subcontinent.

Another legendary musician who has contributed to the making of this album is Dominic Miller, best known for being Sting's guitarist.

Of the seven tracks in the album, Maa tujhe salaam, Revival, and Gurus of Peace represent the three colours -- red, white and green -- of the national flag. The other tracks are Tauba tauba, Only you, Missing and Thai Mannai.

When asked about inspiration for Vande Mataram, Rahman said, "All these years, I have been totally involved in film music. Lately, though, I have feel the need to do something different. I was waiting for the right occasion to do an album. And what could be more inspiring than 50 years of independence?"


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