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Jai Ho: Was Sukhwinder The Composer?

May 04, 2024 14:00 IST

'When Rahman reached the studio, he heard Sukhwinder fooling around on the mike.'
'Rahman liked what he heard and incorporated it into Jai Ho.'

IMAGE: Dev Patel and Freida Pinto in a scene from Slumdog Millionaire.

Ram Gopal Varma refuses to take back his words regarding singer Sukhwinder's hand in the composing of the Oscar-winning song Jai Ho.

"Why would I speak about something I had nothing to do with unless I was sure of what I was saying?" Ramu reasons.

Although singer Sukhwinder has denied Ram Gopal Varma's claim that the Oscar-winning song Jai Ho was ghost-composed by Sukhwinder and not A R Rahman, RGV stands by his statement.

"Of course what I said is true. It was Sukhwinder who did the tune initially. Even Chaiyya Chaiyya in Dil Se... was originally Sukhwinder's idea," Ram Gopal Varma tells Subhash K Jha.

"I will tell you the exact chronology of what happened. When Rahman gave the tune to Subhash Ghai (for the film Yuvraj) Ghai rejected it angrily saying he doesn't pay Rahman in crores for such tunes.

"To this, Rahman replied that Ghai pays for Rahman's name, and not his output.

"It is true that celebrated composers give their signature stamp and their names to a tune for it to become famous.

"If it were not for the master's stamp no one would notice a product. A song or for that matter a film, has many creative people behind it.

"In my Satya, there was Anurag Kashyap's contribution. I can't pinpoint and say this or that is his contribution."

Coming back to the song Jai Ho, Varma says, "Rahman was on the way to the studio for the song recording. He was late, so he asked Sukhwinder to start warming up.

"When Rahman reached the studio, he heard Sukhwinder fooling around on the mike. Rahman liked what he heard and incorporated it into Jai Ho.

"As simple as that. There is no duplicity in this, no creative infringement, nothing of the sort.

"Like I said, it is common practice for a composer's team to provide inputs, sometimes whole song is by some assistant, or a singer or the lyricist.

"A finished product is not about who did it first, but who packaged it and whose name finally goes out on the product into the market."