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AR Rahman’s daughter stuns everyone with spiritual singing at Dubai Expo 2020

It’s Khatija’s first international performance

DUBAI: Khatija Rahman, daughter of Indian music maestro and Oscar-winning music composer AR Rahman, has stunned audiences at the Dubai Expo 2020 with her spiritual performance to Farishton.

Khatija first recorded Farishton in 2020 and it was released on YouTube with an animated video. The song talks about freedom and empowerment.


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Khatija Rahman, a 23-year-old budding singer, was often bullied online for covering her face. Although Khatija has stated time and again that wearing a burqa is her own choice, some people think that it is AR Rahman who “forces” his daughter to cover herself.

In an interview with Indian daily ‘Times of India’, Khatija admitted that having a famous dad gets you a foot in the door. “I’ve thought a lot about this. In my opinion, your entry is easy because of your background. But after a point, you can survive only if you are good,” she said.

The video of the song recently won the Best Animation Music Video award at International Sound Future Awards, and she credits its inception to her father. “We were watching some [Studio Ghibli co-founder] Hayao Miyazaki films as a family during the [COVID-19] lockdown and you know dad, he doesn’t just want to watch, he always wants to do something different. And it was that thought the video is inspired by that style,” she recalls.

Speaking about her debut performance in an earlier interview, the young singer touched upon her desire to share her art as a message.

“Yes, I’ve always wanted my art to have a message. This doesn’t mean one shouldn’t be an entertainer. Music is the medium understood by everyone and is a great influence on one’s heart and mind. I want to spread a message of unity, acceptance of diversity, co-existence,” said Khatija

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