Marketing in the Mozart of Madras
Rahman's music has streaks of genius in it, no doubt, but in addition, it has adapted to suit a global audience. And that goes a long way in gaining acceptability in global markets. Working with the likes of Andrew Lloyd Weber, Rahman has showcased his abilities to audiences outside India in a manner that has left them spellbound.
The Marketing lesson in Rahman is a lesson of openness and adaptability. Rahman's been open to experimenting, to altering what could be seen as moving away from purist forms. He's been a collaborator and has adapted to markets where Indian music in its natural form may not have been as acceptable. The key to Rahman lies in his combination of musical genius and a mind that has had no axes to grind, a mind free from the trappings of musical tradition and rules.
The results are out there for all to see. In winning a Golden Globe for his score in Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire" on Sunday, he has become the first Indian composer to strike gold at the annual Hollywood awards. Kudos to him.