Industry News

AR Rahman launches ‘MAAJJA’-Platform for independent South Asian talents

The platform aims to give independent artists their creative liberty and global reach. Read to find out more.

Phalguni Gupta | BeatCurry Team


AR Rahman was four when he started studying piano, at the age of 25 he debuted as a film composer for ‘Roja’ for which he won his first national award, and since then there has been no stopping. The Oscar-winning composer is nowhere to give it back from where he started.


Rahman along with three Canadian entrepreneurs Noel Kirthiraj, Sen Sachi and Prasana Balachandra came up with a platform called Maajja (apparently derived from “Majestic”) for South Asian musical talent. He released a video announcement of the same which also showed a massive coming together of numerous independent musicians like M.I.A, Leon James, Karthik Devaraj, Gaana Muthu, Tenma, Maalavika Sundar, Arivu, Mugen Rao, NXT Sister duo, Cartel Madras etc. “Sometimes you have an idea-a call within you. You keep trying it again and again until it succeeds.” says Rahman. The platform aims to give independent artists their creative liberty and global reach.


What also sets this platform apart is the fact that Maajja will not own the rights to the music the artists make under its banner. It will allow musicians to retain creative control and copyrights to their music. This is one of the ways through which it aims to create a difference for new voices in the South Asian independent music scene. “Maajja will be giving a window of hope to indie musicians in the country. People won’t be discouraged from participating in counter-culture. That’s a huge thing,” says Tenma, a Tamil indie musician and Co-Founder of the band The Casteless Collective who is also associated with the new initiative as quoted by the Hindustan Times.


Rahman, in the year 2008 founded the KM Music Conservatory to train aspiring musicians along with starting a Sunshine Orchestra, which offers free musical training to children who are not able to afford it. What lies in the centre of all of this is the city of Chennai, in the unveiling video he explains “Being born in Chennai, I have grown up with the four South Indian languages together… as an industry, working with musicians, filmmakers, actors, together. Because it all started here in Chennai, I felt like we could do something to revive that unity. By doing this, we are expanding our industry, our viewership, the joy we create. We are unifying better,” states the maestro.


In addition to Maajja, Rahman also announced YAALL-a premier global musical fest to create what is being said as a cultural renaissance for independent music. Curated by Rahman himself, the fest will feature a line-up of names, led by luminaries of the Tamil film industry alongside up-and-coming Indian and global talent that will be  The name YAALL is basically a mixture of ancient Tamil words where Y stands for ‘yatra’ (journey) A for ‘adhi’ (beginning), A for ‘agam’ (inside), L for ‘lokam’ (world) and finally L for ‘latchiyam’ (ambition).


Enjoy Enjaami by Dhee ft. Arivu is the first track to be backed up by Maajja. The song has its political subtext which mainly talks about discovering roots and celebrating equality, it has over 191M reviews to date. Overall, it’s just the beginning and many talents are yet to come out from the South Asian music scene with the help of this AR Rahman venture.


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