Music speaks a universal language. You have heard it. Now you can also watch it. The following videos show how AR Rahman's musical genius in Slumdog Millionaire has transcended boundaries and now touches lives across the world. Truly it's 'Jai Ho' for Indian music!
Spain is the latest country to fall under Rahman's spell. At the Gala 13 finals of the Generación OT (Operación Triunfo) 2009 in July, a television reality-show talent contest that is a cross between Pop Idol, Voces en Función, Star Search, and Big Brother, Spanish contestants created a sensation by performing 'Jai Ho!'. See why this performance has become such a rage.
American pop girl group Pussycat Dolls recorded their own version of Jai Ho! called You Are my Destiny in 2009 with English lyrics, a different key signature with all vocals from Nicole Scherzinger, produced in collaboration with AR Rahman and Ron Fair, and mixed by Peter Mokran. According to Scherzinger, the group's rendition is an altogether new interpretation rather than a remix. Initially released as a promotional single on February 24, 2009, the song has since become a full world-wide release, climbing the music charts in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. The video for the song was nominated for Best Choreography at the MTV Video Music Awards 2009.
Bharatnatyam group Sohinimoksha, led by Spain-based Kolkata girl Sohini Roychowdhury, performed Jai Ho! at the FNAC concert in Madrid earlier this year. Sohini's Spanish, Jamaican and French dance pupils were part of the performance. The group had previously performed at the Spanish premiere of Slumdog Millionaire at Cine Callao, Madrid, on Feb 12, 2009 and was congratulated by director Danny Boyle himself.
EAAB Youth, composed mostly of high school dependents of Philippine airforce personnel, has made a name for itself in cultural, Hawaiian, bellydance and modern dance performances in Zamboanga City. Trained by Janet Cordero and Riza Quinto, and choreographed by Andrew Cordero, the group is seen her performing 'Jai Ho!'.
Jason Glover and Caitlin Kinney performed Jai Ho! on dance reality show So you Think You can Dance.
Nicholas Nesbitt and company performing Jai Ho!
Asian 'Dance Goodess' and Filipino actor Lucy Torres Gomez performs Jai Ho! on the local version of the television celebrity dance challenge Shall We Dance.
Make no mistake, it is just not the celebrities and the professionals who are swinging to Rahman's tune. The 'Slumdog grandmas' video has some very senior ladies moving enthusiastically to Jai Ho! beats. And judging from the comments on the video, it is obviously a hit. One even describes this as the 'best Jai-Ho dance on YouTube'.
While Jai Ho! might be the current rage worldwide, other Bollywood music has also not failed to impress. Take this young man from China for example, who sang Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta Hai from the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi for a Chinese talent show on TV.
And while on the subject of Bollywood conquering hearts and minds the world over, how can we forget Portuguese Canadian singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress Nelly Furtado who hummed the title track of 'Kabhie Kabhie' during her Nottingham Arena Concert in February 2007. In an interview Furtado revealed her Indian connection: "I grew up with a lot of Asian and Indian friends speaking Punjabi and Hindi. And I grew up watching a lot of bhangra, Bollywood, religious music and we even had it on television on Saturdays. Actually sometimes while I would clean hotel rooms... my friends invited me to sing at their Indian cultural festival when I was about 18 years old, and my friend's father said I should sing in Hindi, and I really liked it. I learnt Kabhie Kabhie and I really like Lata Mangeshkar and of course Asha Bhosle who I did a little collaboration with..."