AR Rahman's daughter Khatija comes into her own with new song

Michael Gomes /Dubai
michael@khaleejtimes.com Filed on November 17, 2020

With her song 'Farishton', Khatija Rahman hopes to inspire peace and kindness.

While AR Rahman is considered to be one of the best musicians India has ever produced, he is not the only gifted artist in the family. His children also share a fair amount of the Oscar-winning composer’s musical genes, particularly his elder daughter Khatija who showcased her vocal prowess in her latest single Farishton. Composed by her famous father, the song that has a message of peace, has lyrics penned by celebrated writer Munna Shaokath Ali.

Farishton (meaning angel) is all about spreading peace and goodness. What I’m trying to convey through the song is that even the smallest act of goodness should not be ignored and we should continue doing it,” Khatija told City Times.

The animated music video of Farishton features Khatija’s angelic voice and follows the journey of a girl who undertakes a pilgrimage to Madina. On the way, she is shown helping people in whatever way she can. “The music video has a lot of elements (of good acts) like feeding a cat, moving a boulder, and other things acts of kindness,” the singer explained about the hidden messages in the video.

While there’s little doubt that Khatija is an extremely talented musician and possesses an enviable vocal range, she credits her father for her latest song. “The idea behind Farishton came to me from my dad. But he’s so humble, he wanted it to be our initiative, but the credit for the song goes entirely to him.”

For Khatija, who shares a common interest in philanthropy with her father, charity began at home at an early age and ‘giving’ is something she learnt from her family. She is now actively involved in social work and is the director of the AR Rahman Foundation, a non-profit organisation set up by the maestro to raise funds for humanitarian causes like providing funds for disaster relief, provide education to underprivileged children and many other good causes.

“Everyone in my family, be it from my paternal or maternal side, has been helping people selflessly. This has had a great influence on me and inspired me. Right from a young age, I’ve been seeing my family involved in humanitarian causes and social work. I recall my grandmother asking anyone coming to our house to at least have a glass of water before leaving. Instances like these drew me to a larger cause. I am not sure what I do is justified enough, because my family does a lot more, though they don’t publicise it. I’m just trying to do whatever I can in my capacity to make a difference.”

Khatija is an accomplished singer having undergone training with Hindustani and Western classical teachers. But she’s in no hurry to follow in her father’s footsteps and get into composing.

“I haven’t thought about composing anything yet. I have just started my career in music so right now, I want to focus only on my singing, and venture into other things later. My hands are quite full at the moment, I have a lot of stuff to do. I don’t want to jump into multiple things and would prefer to go step by step.”

A while ago, Khatija sang with the famous Irish rock band U2. She accompanied her father and sister Raheema for the maestro’s track Ahimsa when they performed for the U2 concert in Mumbai.

“Yes I collaborated with my dad and sister Raheema for a song at the U2 concert,” confirmed the singer.

Khatija was in the news earlier when author Taslima Nasreen trolled her with regard to her choice of clothes. The young singer took to social media, “I am happy and proud of what I do and thanks to those who have accepted me the way I am… Dear Taslima Nasreen, I’m sorry you feel suffocated by my attire. Please get some fresh air, cause I don’t feel suffocated rather I’m proud and empowered for what I stand for,” she wrote is response to the author’s post.

And just like her belief in good deeds, Farishton only goes to demonstrate causes close to Khatija’s heart.


Michael Gomes

Michael Gomes is a seasoned journalist with more than three decades in the industry, but he still retains his humour and common sense. He has written scores of articles covering music, concerts, food, gadgets and Bollywood. In his spare time, he picks up the guitar to strum a chord or two or play with fire in the home kitchen.

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