Sensational Performance by World Music Icon AR Rahman!



Photos: Dr. Nik Nikam & ROY Photography

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By Vanshika Vipin Varma

SUGAR LAND: Music has the power to uplift people emotionally. World without music will be a much quieter place and it is indeed difficult to imagine life without music. As quoted by international musical and cultural icon Bob Marley, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”, holds so true especially when it comes to music by renowned artists like A. R. Rahman. Similar experience was felt when the legendary A. R. Rahman performed at a recent concert.

Rajender Singh of Star Promotion organized yet another triumphant show – A. R. Rahman Live in Concert on Saturday, September 15 at the Smart Financial Center in Sugar Land. Rajender Singh is acclaimed for engaging Houstonians for decades but this year he had an enticing assortment of events to offer by personalities like Maestro Ilayaraaja, Stand Up comedian Atul Khatri, Shaan, and now the most preeminent artist and Legend, A. R. Rahman. Rajender Singh joined hands with 27th Investment, Glitzz Entertainment and Anand Entertainment to whip up the show in shape.

Rajender Singh with AR Rahman

Rajender Singh with AR Rahman

At the conclusive event of the 10-city tour, Rahman held the completely packed Smart Financial Center spellbound with his enthralling performance. The legendary musician was accompanied by eminent artists including Udit Narayan, Mano, Ranjit Barot, Linda Lind, Neeti Mohan, Javed Ali, Jonita Gandhi, Haricharan and many others.

Nicknamed as ‘Mozart of Madras’, and winner of numerous awards, A. R. Rahman is an Indian composer, singer-songwriter, music producer, musician, multi-instrumentalist and philanthropist. He was born in Madras (now Chennai, India) and is the son of Late R. K. Shekhar, a film-score composer and conductor for Tamil and Malayalam films. At a very young age, due to his keen interest in music, he assisted his father in his studio and his musical journey began thereon.

What made him the world’s most distinguished musicians is his skill of seamlessly blending Indian classical music with electronic music, world music and traditional orchestral arrangements, thus integrating the best of the East and the West. Rahman’s keenness in music emanates from his inclination towards experimentation. He is multi-skilled in Carnatic, Western Classical and Hindustani music besides the Qawwali style of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Even more interesting is his calibre in which he beautifully amalgamates the various styles through his compositions.

Organizers & Sponsors with AR Rahman & Rajender Singh in the center.

Organizers & Sponsors with AR Rahman & Rajender Singh in the center.

A. R. Rahman has not only earned accolades in the South Indian Film Industry and Bollywood, but is also a notable artist in International cinema and theatre and without doubt the world’s top selling artists and the highest paid composers of the motion picture industry. Rahman’s notable scores throughout his career spanning over two decades contributed towards the success of several films. Some of his outstanding contributions to the Hindi film industry include his compositions in Rangeela, Bombay, Guru, Taal, Dil Se and Lagaan. A.R. Rahman has been awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award, in 2010 by the Government of India. He has secured in his kitty, two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, four National Film Awards, fifteen Filmfare Awards and thirteen Filmfare Awards South, in addition to numerous other awards and nominations.

At the show, the overjoyed audience could not wait to welcome the Music Icon on stage. The three hour long concert had the audience cheering and singing along, irrespective of the language in which the songs were presented. Rahman, in his humble style, while addressing the audience said, “Music has no language and I want everyone to enjoy the music in all languages”. The performances were staged in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam.

There was an infectious esprit doing the rounds and it was a sight to watch. The arrangements like sound, lighting and backdrop were impeccable and the venue was as perfect, to honor such a phenomenal figure, kudos to Rajender Singh for bringing this concert to Houston and for selecting a perfect venue for this show.

As the humble, soft spoken, yet extraordinary legend took to the stage following an introductory video, the audiences were euphoric at the first sight of their star. The venue was brightened with gaiety and glee as the audience cheered for Rahman. As soon as he began presenting some of the most loved songs like Loose control, Fanaa and the likes, the audiences lost control and were absolutely in trance. With finesse, he took to the piano and displayed his mastery with some of his most famous songs, one of them being Dil se re, from the movie Dil Se. He was accompanied by a musician on sitar  and guitar, and the jugalbandi was a sight to watch.

Performances by rest of the singers were splendid too. Performance by Neeti Mohan was commendable, as she sang beautifully, songs from before her era, like Muqabala, Jiya jale, Tanha tanha, Rangeela re, Dil hai chota sa. The icing on the cake was the LED screen displaying beautiful 3D backdrop images complementing each song.

The audience was grooving to songs like Tu hi re, sung by Rahman in Tamil, Ae Ajnabi by Udit Narayan and some of the most popular songs like Taal se taal mila, Mere paas hai tu, Bas tum tak, Jiya re. The trailer for the yet-to-be released movie Robot 2, followed by its latest song was played as the music is composed by A. R. Rahman.

Through a song from the movie Mom, Rahman paid tribute to the late actress Sridevi. It was an overwhelming moment for both, the audiences and Rahman himself.

He then got the crowd pepped up through a medley, an amalgam of Hindi and Tamil songs sung by all the singers on stage. It was truly an enjoyable experience to listen to some of the most melodious songs like Ye tara, Ye hasi wadiya, Jashne bahara, Chanda re, Sass mei teri, O re chore, Sun mitwa, Mujhe rang de.

Taking to the harmonium, Rahman seamlessly switched to Sufi music with songs like Faya Kun and Khwaja mere Khwaja, with Javed Ali and Haricharan accompanying him. It was a treat to the ears and the eyes as well, to watch the serene ambience that was created with the backdrop of a mosque, paying tribute to the sacred month of Muharram.

Rahman elegantly ended the show with some of his memorable songs like Mutafa mustafa, Urvashi urvashi, Humma humma and lastly Jai ho. The audiences could stop themselves from capturing these moments on their cellphones. It was a show that every one hoped, could last forever.

Rajender Singh thanked the organizers and Houston sponsors for their outstanding support. He was so delighted that he took to social media to express his gratitude and joy the following day. His Facebook page read,  “I want to thank each and every one for your presence at the Concert and for making it a Sold Out event. It was a pleasure to witness such a beautiful and spectacular crowd. I am thankful to Mr. Rahman for giving me the opportunity to work with him. He is truly a legend. A special shout out to Pria Haider, Mehboob Haider, Kazim Kazi and all my partners Anil Damani, Bhavna Anand, and Mumtaz ji. A big round of applause to our Houston Sponsors Karya Property Management – Swapnil Agarwal, New York Life – Amiralli Dodhiya, and Udipi Cafe – Sathish Rao. Also special thanks to our Consul General of India Dr. Anupam Ray and Deputy Consul Surendra Adhana for supporting the event.”


The overwhelmed attendees of the concert also congratulated and thanked Rajender Singh through his post. Some of the posts read as follows:

Asha Pai Dhume: “Congratulations on a very successful show! It was fantastic!”

Devanshi Shah: “Kudos and a big congratulations to Rajender Singh. Thank you so very much for bringing such amazing concerts to H town. It was obvious that when AR Rahman, the music legend would perform in Houston, there would be magic. Arriving at the entrance of the venue, one could feel the excitement that is reserved solely for the most famous musician of India. The stage was amazingly put together. It was a concert that had a heavy dose of nostalgia. Hearing Rahman sing Khwaaja Mere Khwaaja was trance-inducing. The production and the concert was flawless, the Oscar-winner laced the three-hour show with a mesmerizing display of his keyboard mastery. The night came to a truly fitting end with the surreal “Jai Ho”… This is a real concert… U R the real Show man of Houston, god bless !!!!”

Latafath Hussain: “Congratulations. It was a great entertaining event. We thoroughly enjoyed it. Great job Rajender.”

Neeta Patel: “Perfection at its best ..AWESOME show …Congrats

Nisha Mirami: “Congratulations for hosting an amazing show of Oscar winner A R Rehman. What a performance of all artist and back wall digital production was just mind blowing. Congratulations to Whole team of Star Promotions.”

Upcoming events include Javed Akhtar on November 2, 2018 and  also coming soon is MUGHAL-E-AZAM: THE MUSICAL.

For further information call Rajender Singh at 281-222-4500 or visit