Fans of Indian music may be surprised to find the extraordinary Oscar-winning Indian composer, musician and singer AR Rahman singing exquisitely alongside Ali on this stunning homage to a war-torn region.
‘I’m a long-time AR Rahman fan,’ Ali says. ‘I grew up in India, so I have a great passion for Bollywood music, which has influenced the way I compose. The theme that AR wrote for the 1995 film Bombay has to be one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve ever heard, so I was honored to have him on this album.
‘Mazaar’ was, as Rizzo says, an ‘11th hour’ occurrence. After performing a number of shows together, Rahman ended up in Rizzo’s Los Angeles studio. He noticed a Niyaz poster and expressed his love for the first album. Rizzo later mentioned that the band should invite a guest of some stature to perform. After Ali suggested Rahman, one of the most renowned producers and composers in the world today, Rizzo put in the call, and the response was positive.
Like all of the album’s ten tracks, ‘Mazaar’ features a punchy low end and a strong emphasis on percussion. Electronic elements abound on Sumud. At the beginning of the process of recording, a collective decision was made to give the kick drum more kick after the acoustic-minded Nine Heavens.
“Working w/ AR Rahman on the new Niyaz album was really special to me, especially since the day we met in my studio in Hollywood, he noticed a poster of our first album saying he bought it in India and loved it”.
– Carmen Rizzo (Co-founder & member of Niyaz)
Video of Mazaar feat. AR Rahman
About A.R. Rahman:
A two-time winner of the Academy Award (Oscar), A. R. Rahman is popularly known as the man who has redefined contemporary Indian music. Hailed by Time magazine as the ‘Mozart of Madras’, Rahman, according to a BBC estimate, has sold more than 150 million copies of his work comprising of music from more than 100 film soundtracks and albums across over half a dozen languages, including landmark scores such as ‘Roja’, ‘Bombay’, Dil Se’, ‘Taal’, ‘Lagaan’, ‘Vandemataram’ and more recently, ‘Jodhaa Akbar’, ‘Delhi 6’ and ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. Read more at the AR Rahman website.