If there’s an album that could be extra special for AR Rahman, it has to be that of 99 Songs, a film that he’s co-written and produced, apart from composing music for. No wonder then that Poorvi Koutish is thrilled to have sung not one, but three songs for the Isai Puyal in the multilingual. “I’ve sung Jwalamukhi in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu,” she beams. She’s also rendered Voice Without Words in English and Veere Kadh De in Hindi for the film.
But this is not the first time that Poorvi has associated with Rahman. “After my stint in the music reality show Indian Idol, in 2012, I wanted to learn Broadway music. But I didn’t find any course like that in Mumbai. Much later, I found out that Rahman sir’s KM Music Conservatory taught Western Classical and even Opera, which came very close to Broadway. So, I joined the course in Chennai, and simultaneously started doing demo work here,” she reminisces, “During my last year there, in 2017-18, Rahman sir saw one of the performances I put up and appreciated me. He asked me what my plans were and I told him I wasn’t sure and was considering studying music abroad. So, he suggested that I intern at his studio and take that time to figure out what I wanted to do. While that was very sweet of him, I told him I had no experience in music production and wasn’t sure what I’d intern as. He said I could explore my options, and I am forever grateful to him for saying that, because it’s only because of him that I understood the process of making a song. I learnt everything there — from music production to video production and even editing.”“Rahman sir initially called me to sing just one word in the song — Jwalamukhi. The rest of the lyrics were being written and he wanted me to sing gibberish of the composition for the lyricist to write. So, I kept singing different sets of lyrics in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu until things were finalised. But turns out, he used my voice for the final cut as well. I’m grateful to him for giving me the Tamil version as well,” she says, adding, “I think the emotions in the song are raw, and sometimes, I love the Tamil version more than the Hindi one.”