You are already familiar with Keba Jeremiah, the passionate guitarist whom you have seen on television in Vijay TV Airtel Super Singer or may be in MTV Coke Studio. In this interview, Keba Jeremiah talks his heart out about his experiences working with AR Rahman, his passion for the string instruments and his first love! Meet Keba Jeremiah, who in the last 3 years, has accumulated an impressive repertoire of Tamil and Hindi films including Paiya, Pasanga, Engeyum Kadhal, Savari, 3 Kings, Avan Ivan, Mangatha, 3, Action Replay, Rockstar and Ek Deewana Tha.
You are quoted as saying “As a musician, [Rahman] gives me absolute freedom and hence there is a lot of scope for improvisation.” Please describe the process of composing a song with AR Rahman. Have there been instances where the song took a different direction because of your influence? How is it working with AR Rahman?
With Rahman sir, usually the reference tracks are laid down which I just have to go and replace with live guitars unless we decide to jam on a specific song and come up with something different. Jamming on a song can always take you in a different direction like what happened with a song called Yenga Pona Raasa from the film Maryan. Working with Rahman sir is an absolute pleasure because you are never paying anything but always learning something.
I primarily started off on the guitar but had my brothers playing other instruments too. This got me playing the keys and the drums and what started out as just a fun exercise really contributed to my musical capabilities. Having access to instruments other than the guitar certainly helped, it broadened my horizons and helped me push beyond my limits. The guitar pretty much chose me I guess..it was my first love and always will be!