List of AR Rahman’s Inspirations

I have been itching to write about this for such a long time.
Rahman is truly a genious. However he is not insulated from “being inspired”
Following is my observation of his “inspirations”. I will keep adding to this list. I spoke about this to a good old friend of mine who is a huge Rahman fan, and he said they are all tunes/loops available on the net for anyone to download. However, following are my observations

Luka chhupi (Rang de basanti): The intro Guitar is a straight rip from the intro that comes in a song called “Dogs” by Pink Floyd

Background score of Rangeela and a lot of the songs in there: Are a direct inspiration from music by Deep Forest (their first album, the one with a green color album cover).

Telephone (Hindustani) : is directly inspired from a song called “Happy Nation”

Updated : 7th May.
Ok, I just skimmed through the recently released Ok Bangaram and I have to say, just on the first listen, I found two tracks to have been ‘inspired’
They are either a direct lift off or have a beat or a tempo changed.
1) Yedho Adaganaa – Bhagwaan sun mere dard bhare naare
2) Maayedho Cheyyava – Who wants to live forever (Queen – 3.10 mark)
I will give it another listen when I get the time and point some more out.


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25 Responses to “List of AR Rahman’s Inspirations”

  1. ar rahman Says:

    yes.. ar copied many songs \tunes…

    best example …..

    “sangaman” movee margali charanam from one the famous song .. SONNADHU nee dhana sol…….

  2. arun Says:

    “Ay yay yo,phir bolo” from Rangeela and “Ramtajogi” from Taal has the beats inspired from Peter Gabriel “Of these hope”
    The beats of “Telephone” from Indian is from “All that she waants” from Ace of Base (Happy Nation) is also from them.
    Even though there are allegations against ARR,i feel that he works on the source a lot,i mean he performs it in studio and its not a direct lift.
    Also he travels a lot and gets inspirational stuff from many countries and that too not too popular artists who does not hav international reach and is not available onlins,so tracking down his sources is quite diffficult.
    Once in an interview ARR told he likes to hear Spanish flute.Guys search for Spanish music,u’ll get many results,but search for Sanish flute music,u may only get the very popular ones,nd not to mention they may be popular for Spanish people but Indians may hav a diff taste(nd that may be not Spainyards fav,so they may not be available online too)

    • navnith Says:

      Yeah.. good observations mate. At least we are having a healthy discussion on his ‘inspirations’. A lot of Indians are still insulated from ‘world’ music. you know. Most of them have still not got behind Quit playing games with my heart and summer of 69. 69, btw, is a sexual position.

  3. senthil Says:

    he background rythm and beats inspired from the song ‘rescue me’ by Fontella Bass. The song was part of the OST of the film ‘Sister Act’, released in 1965.

    The rythm has been used. However, the tune of the song remains original.

  4. VIGNESH Says:

    Dai idiots just shut ur mouth ok.Then ho did he get oscar and grammy .Answer this u useless freaks…….

    • navnith Says:

      Vignesh, all of us around are pretty well versed in atleast hearing different genres of music.
      First, some manners. None of us around are your friends, at least I am not. So before if you ask people to shut their mouths and before you call them ‘useless freaks’, I would want you to ask yourself, if you are qualified to do so ! This is just an intelligent exchange of thoughts. If you feel out of place, leave. 🙂
      We aren’t saying he is not a genius, he, as a matter of fact, is. All of us can at a certain level agree that the oscar he won was for a song which was a very ordinary song by Rehman. Probably he won because it was a D. Boyles movie. I am sure we can individually pick out his bests and say there is no music in the world better than this.

      cheers !

  5. Jack Says:

    Hi Guys… I have been researching on AR Rahman’s music. I was curious to learn about his inspiration. Thats when i found Rahman is a Genius! He is not like Anu Malik or Deva who copy the entire music with all the layers. AR Rahman may be only taking one layer of the music.

    Rahman did not win Oscar for Roja. Was disappointed with it. But my studies told that Rahman copied a layer and composed his own tune. For example, listen to ‘Puthu Vellai Malai’ in comparison with ‘Chariots of Fire’. You can find this song here

    This comparison tells us that Rahman copied the base and other percussion layers for his song ‘Puthu Vellai Malai.’

    There are several songs like this. However he won Oscars for ‘Jai Ho’ because it was his ‘Original Composition.’ He created all the layers on his own.

    AR Rahman deserves it. Proud to be Indian… Jai Ho!

  6. iamalfan Says:

    Poda Patti!!! :@

  7. VP Says:

    First, AR Rahman does copy, as do other music directors from the Indian music industry. “Inspired” is just an euphemism for “plagiarism”. I used think Rahman was a genius till I went to one of his concerts and found out that he was actually lip-syncing most of his songs. A man who cannot replicate his own songs before a live audience does not deserve praise. Imagine going to a Pink Floyd concert and come out knowing they lip synced through the entire concert!!

    Speaking of Pink Floyd, they have been the “inspiration” for many of Rahman’s creations, the latest being “Aromale” from a Tamil movie called Vinnaithandi Varuvaya (VTV).

    I appreciate good music and I understand that creating new music can be tough, but in that case, maybe he should be signing on exclusive movies and churning out original music instead of doing multiple movies and giving only 25 % to each movie!

    Last, but not the least, I do not think he deserved an Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire – the music, along with the movie, was just barely mediocre.

    • navnith Says:

      PF lip synching… lol.. that would throw the audiences off their chairs. You cant fool a live audience for long.
      Many telugu, hind, and english tracks (couples retreat) are so much more similar. Just having the songs sung on a different key wouldnt make it a new composition. Many many many of his tunes are reused, or shall I say recycled. That seems to be the in-word these days. lol.

    • So called Idiot Says:

      MR.VP… you mean to say the entire Aaromale song was copied… or just a bit was inspired… so did pink flyod invent the guitars and singing…

      They did it becos they heard someone sing and got inspired by music…

      You comment becos someone inspired you to do this…
      You didnt invent this… didnt u…??

      its hightime you check a dictionary and findout whats inspiration…
      and btw… Only half-baked cracks talk so much of bullshit…

  8. Anand Says:

    i heard the song happy nation.. there are many songs having the beat similar to this one. Anyway arr has not taken the beat directly…he gave very good changes to it if u are saying that he had copied from them…. Inspiring from others music is not a crime….Usually when arr gets inspiration from others’ songs he used to dedicate them to the original composer like he did in aromale of VTV. i didn’t see any resemblence of lukka chuppi to pink floyds dogs except the first guitar part. But it is just a 5 sec bit and please don’t say that the whole 6 minute song is a copycat…

  9. esh Says:

    Actually i feel in VTV, the song mannippaya is a pucca copy of titanic’s celine dion’s my heart will go on.
    all his tunes are similar to that ” ma thuje salam” tune… it goes into that high pitch…
    but the reason why arr is very famous is that inspite of his copy work, we hav been able to enjoy his songs…… but now a days he is repeating his tune too much

  10. So called Idiot Says:

    Wow… some one says this is an intelligent conversation… wow…
    You sit idle, doing nothing, listen to multiple genres of music and you blatantly call someone copycat…and all crap stuff without any kind of analysis or confirmation…. wow wow… how intelligent is this…

    And of all you guys, how many are of you are atleast profound in music (not hearing alone… obviously)… Just becos you have some freespace in wordpress and an option to comment, you cant type bullshit…

    Think before you guys comment… You guys are desperately trying to find fault with someone whoz already proved his greatness (time and again)… both nationally and internationally… HIS ETERNAL MUSIC WILL CONTINUE TO SPEAK and you bullshit comments too will keep flowing 😉

  11. kiran Says:

    oh oh ,, he composed lot of songs ,, mannipaya is copied from Titanic what a joke ,,listen to both the songs feel may be same but not tune, now a days he is repeating please give the songs list and tunes copied ,, please… when a song is composed in same raga it may look like the other ,, if he inspired from beats and the same beats used as they were then ok but dont say he is repeating all other stuff..

  12. Abinand Says:

    probably some of the rahman’s works could resemble others’. think mathematically and the probability of coincidence is high. and let aside the oscars. a mere copycat, as you suggest, wouldn’t have transcended and time’s magazine wouldn’t have titled him “THE MOZART OF MADRAS”. i hope u know who mozart is.
    and are you suggesting me the greatest musical wizard and thus obviously all the others just copy from english or other foreign works?
    grow the stomach for accepting the musical virtuosa that he is.

  13. Abinand Says:

    probably some of the rahman’s works could resemble others’. think mathematically and the probability of coincidence is high. and let aside the oscars. a mere copycat, as you suggest, wouldn’t have transcended all else and time’s magazine wouldn’t have titled him “THE MOZART OF MADRAS”. i hope u know who mozart is.
    and are you suggesting me that the greatest musical wizard and thus obviously all the others in india just copy from english or other foreign works?
    grow the stomach for accepting the musical virtuosa that he is.

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  15. Hiran Says:

    There are commercially available samples which all composers use worldwide..Rangeela beat is one such sample. It is being used by deep forest also.Even they are not the people who created that sample.

    Eg. Rahman used a drum sample in ‘Mukala’ song from kadhakan.The same loop is being used in Dr.Alban’s songs.The sample is created by none of them.

    You should know one thing that the beat patterns are not copy right protected to any composer. Those are universal and any composer can use them.There might be some mere coincidence in some songs.That is what happened in Telephone song.

    The initial guitar strumming in ‘Lukka chuppi’ and the one used in ‘dogs’ song by pink floyd is just chords.Chords are universal. This chord is used as a prelude or interlude in thousands and thousands of songs all over the world!

    @Author of this blog

    May be you should learn more about music and the way one composer creates music, before commenting about copy, inspiration n all! 🙂

  16. Ajith Says:

    This list is endless. I started to maintain a list like this until about 1998 but then it became kind of a full time hobby. Rahman has to be one of the most prolific copy cats & is bloody lucky to be so popular! And to top it he got an Oscar for an absurd song! Some people have all the luck.

    • Yaja Sri Says:

      Can I get this? Especially I need the originals for Roja movie songs. I mentioned to itwof site about we used to have bigger list of ARR copies in 90s. He was saying that 90s internet could not be trusted. lol!!!

  17. sns123 Says:

    You people keep mentioning about the song “Aramole” copied from pink floyd’s “wish you were here”.There are some similarities but not a copy. On the other hand, the title song “Vinnaithandi varuvaya” totally reminds me of one of pink floyd’s lesser known album though i just can’t remember which one.Nevertheless, the song was very well made. Brilliant vocals by Kartik (similar to Roger Waters) and excellent guitar work. I am referring to the below song

  18. Indianmessiah Says:

    Well, for a person who spent half of his time, listening, & half of his time composing, its very feasible that while composing, he may be inclined towards getting inspired by a tune unknowingly. That is not plagiarism. Again as someone told about probability of co incidence, that a very possible phenomenon too. We can’t rule that out. Composing is not as easy as listening and incorporating, Guys who don’t have any idea about the niceties of the process should not comment. Grow up. As someone said” We don’t live in a vacuum, we grow and move on by geeting inspired from each other”. Look the sound A R Rahman created. Breaking grounds of the old beaten about songs of Bollywood, where composers, occasionally tend to only change the lyrics and present d entire English song with a Hindi lyrics as his own work. Even then the quality of sound was laughable. God lies in the detail, if you are his fan you will be familiar with the subtle geniuses in his songs. ARRahman has put India in the world map of music, when ppl outside India laughed at our music. We don’t love him for no reason.

  19. Udayan Says:

    The intro to Luka Chuppi is nothing like Dogs. There is one simple way to confirm this (if you can’t hear it): try playing them.

    However, Luka Chuppi does sound like some other guitar intro that I can’t for the life of me remember.

    As for most of your other inspiration-evidence, it is very thin friends, very thin indeed.

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