A. R.

Rahman

Allah Rakha Rahman
Birth name A. S. Dileep Kumar Also known as A. R. Rahman Born Genre(s) Occupation(s) January 6, 1966 (age 43) Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India Film score, Theatre, World Music Composer, record producer, music director, singer, instrumentalist, arranger, programmer

Years active 1985-present Website A. R. Rahman.com

Allah Rakha Rahman (A. R. Rahman; born January 6, 1966 as A. S. Dileep Kumar in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India) is an Indian film composer, record producer, musician and singer. His film scoring career began in the early 1990s. He has won thirteen Filmfare Awards, four National Film Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe and two Academy Awards.[1]

Working in India's various film industries, international cinema and theatre, by 2003, Rahman, in a career spanning over a decade, has sold more than 100 million records of his film scores and soundtracks worldwide,[2] and sold over 200 million cassettes,[3] making him one of the world's all-time top selling recording artists. Time magazine has referred to him as the "Mozart of Madras" and several Tamil commentators have coined him the nickname Isai Puyal (Tamil: Isaipuyal; English: Music Storm).[4] In 2009, the magazine placed Rahman in the Time 100 list of 'World's Most Influential People'.[5]

Early life and influences
A. R. Rahman was born in a musically affluent Tamil family. His father R. K. Shekhar, was a Chennai based composer and conductor for Malayalam films. Rahman lost his father at a young age and his family rented out musical equipment as a source of income. He was raised by his mother Kareema (Kashturi), who was from a Muslim family[6]. During these formative years, Rahman served as a keyboard player and an arranger in bands such as "Roots", with childhood friend and percussionist Sivamani, John Anthony, Suresh Peters, JoJo and Raja.[7] Rahman is the founder of the Chennai-based rock group, "Nemesis Avenue".[8] He played the keyboard and piano, the synthesizer, the harmonium and the guitar. His curiosity in the synthesizer, in particular increased because, he says, it was the “ideal combination of music and technology".[9] He began early training in music under Master Dhanraj. At the age of 11, he joined, as a keyboardist, the troupe of Ilaiyaraaja,[9] one of many composers to whom musical instruments belonging to Rahman's father were rented. Rahman later played in the orchestra of M. S. Viswanathan and Ramesh Naidu, accompanied Zakir Hussain, Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan and L. Shankar on world tours and obtained a scholarship to the Trinity College of Music where he graduated with a degree in Western classical music.[10]

Career
Film scoring and soundtracks
In 1992, Rahman began his own music recording and mixing studio attached to the backyard of his house called the Panchathan Record Inn, which was developed into India's most advanced recording studio.[11] He initially composed music jingles for advertisements, Indian Television channels and music scores in documentaries, among other projects. In 1992, he was approached by film director Mani Ratnam to compose the score and soundtrack for Ratnam's Tamil film Roja.[11] The debut led Rahman to receive the Rajat Kamal award for Best Music Director at the National Film Awards, the first time ever by a first-time film composer. Rahman has since then gone on to win the award three more times (for his scores for Minsaara Kanavu (Electric Dreams, Tamil) in 1997, Lagaan (Tax, Hindi) in 2002, Kannathil Muthamittal (A Peck on the Cheek, Tamil) in 2003, the most ever by any composer.[12]

Roja's score met with high sales and acclaim, in its original and dubbed versions, bringing about a marked change in film music at the time, and Rahman followed this with successful scores for Tamil–language films of the Chennai film industry including Ratnam's politically charged Bombay, the urbanite Kadhalan, Bharathiraaja's Karuththamma, the saxophonic Duet, Indira, and the romantic comedies Mr. Romeo and Love Birds, which gained him considerable notice.[13][14] His fanbase in Japan increased with Muthu 's success there.[15] His soundtracks gained him recognition in the Tamil Nadu film industry and across the world for his stylistic versatality in his pieces including in Western classical, Carnatic, Tamil traditional/folk, jazz, reggae and rock music.[16][17][18] The Bombay Theme—from Ratnam's Bombay—would later reappear in Deepa Mehta's Fire and various compilations and media. Rangeela, directed by Ram Gopal Varma, marked Rahman's debut for Hindi-language films made in the Mumbai film industry. Many successful scores for films including Dil Se and the percussive Taal followed.[19][20] Sufi mysticism would form the basis of Chaiyya Chaiyya from the former and the composition "Zikr" from his score of the film Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero for which he created large orchestral and choral arrangements.[7] Musical cues in scores for Sangamam and Iruvar employed Carnatic vocals and instruments such as the veena with leads of rock guitar and jazz.[21] In the 2000s Rahman created hit scores for Rajiv Menon's Kandukondain Kandukondain, Alaipayuthey, Ashutosh Gowariker's Swades and Rang De Basanti.[22] He composed songs with Hindustani motifs for Water (2005). Rahman has worked with Indian poets and lyricists such as Gulzar, Mehboob, Vairamuthu and Vaali. His collaborations with some film directors have always resulted in successful soundtracks, particularly with the director Mani Ratnam who he has worked with since Roja, all of which have been hits, and the director S. Shankar in the films Gentleman, Kadhalan, Indian, Jeans, Mudhalvan, Nayak, Boys and Sivaji.[23] Rahman attached and opened a developed extension studio to his Panchathan Record Inn in 2005 called AM Studios in Kodambakkam, Chennai — considered to be the most developed, equipped and high tech studio in Asia.[24][25] In 2006, Rahman launched his own music label, KM Music.[26] Its first release was his score to the film Sillunu Oru Kaadhal. Rahman scored the Mandarin language picture Warriors of Heaven and Earth in 2003 after researching and utilizing Chinese and Japanese classical music, and coscored the Shekhar Kapoor helmed Elizabeth: The Golden Age in 2007. His compositions have been reused in scores within India[27] and have made appearances in Inside Man, Lord of War and The Accidental Husband. In 2008, he scored the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack, for which he won a Golden Globe and two Academy Awards, becoming the first Indian citizen to do so.

Slumdog Millionaire - Rahman won two Academy Awards for the film's soundtrack.

Other works
Rahman has been involved in several projects aside from film. He made an album Vande Mataram (1997) on India's 50th anniversary of independence to commercial success.[28][29] He followed it up with an album for the Bharat Bala–directed video Jana Gana Mana, a conglomeration of performances by many leading exponents/artists of Indian classical music. Rahman has written jingles for ads and composed several orchestrations for athletic events, T.V. and internet media publications, documentaries and short films. In 1999 Rahman, along with choreographers Shobhana and Prabhu Deva Sundaram and a Tamil cinema dancing troupe performed with Michael Jackson in Munich, Germany, for his "Michael Jackson and Friends Concert." In 2002, he composed his maiden stage production Bombay Dreams (2002) following a commission from musical theatre composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, a success in London's West End. With Finnish folk music band Värttinä, he wrote the music for The Lord of the Rings theatre production and in 2004, Rahman composed the piece "Raga's Dance" for Vanessa-Mae's album Choreography.[12] In the last six years, Rahman has performed three successful world tours of his concerts to audiences in Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Dubai, UK, Canada, the US (Hollywood Bowl and 3d tour) and India.[12] He has been collaborating with Karen David for her upcoming studio album. A two-disc soundtrack, Introducing A. R. Rahman (2006) featuring 25 pieces he composed from his Tamil film scores was released in May 2006. His non-film album, Connections was launched on 12 December, 2008.

Music style and impact
Skilled in Carnatic music,[30] Western classical, Hindustani music and the Qawwali style of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Rahman has been noted to write film songs that amalgamate elements of these music systems and other genres, layering instruments from differing music idioms in an improvisatory manner.[7] Symphonic orchestral themes have accompanied his scores, where he has employed leitmotif. In the 1980s, Rahman recorded and played arrangements on mono, synonymous with the era of predecessors

such as K. V. Mahadevan and Vishwanathan–Ramamoorthy, but later his methodology changed. Rahman worked and experimented on fusing traditional instruments with new electronic sounds and technology.[7] His interest and outlook in music stems from his love of experimentation.[10] Rahman's compositions, in the vein of past and contemporary Chennai film composers, bring out auteuristic uses of counterpoint, orchestration and the human voice, evolving Indian pop music with unique timbres, forms and instrumentation. By virtue of these qualities, broad ranging lyrics and his syncretic style, his themes appeal to several sections of Indian society.[31] His first soundtrack for Roja was listed in TIME's "10 Best Soundtracks" of all time in 2005. Film critic Richard Corliss felt the "astonishing debut work parades Rahman's gift for alchemizing outside influences until they are totally Tamil, totally Rahman."[32] Rahman's initial global reach is attributed to the South Asian diaspora. Described as one of the most innovative composers to ever work in the industry, his unique style and immense success transformed film music in the 1990s prompting several film producers to take film music more seriously.[33] The music producer Ron Fair considers Rahman to be "one of the world's great living composers in any medium".[34] The director Baz Luhrmann notes "I had come to the music of A. R. Rahman through the emotional and haunting score of Bombay and the wit and celebration of Lagaan. But the more of AR's music I encountered the more I was to be amazed at the sheer diversity of styles: from swinging brass bands to triumphant anthems; from joyous pop to West-End musicals. Whatever the style, A. R. Rahman's music always possesses a profound sense of humanity and spirit, qualities that inspire me the most.[35]

Awards
Main article: List of awards and nominations received by A. R. Rahman Rahman was the 1995 recipient of the Mauritius National Award and the Malaysian Award for contributions to music. He was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for his first West-End production. A four-time National Film Award winner and conferred the Padma Shri from the Government of India, Rahman has also received six Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, thirteen Filmfare Awards and twelve Filmfare Awards South for his music and scores. In 2006, he received an honorary award from Stanford University for contributions to global music.[36] In 2009, for his score of Slumdog Millionaire, Rahman won the Critics' Choice Award, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score,[37] the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music, and two Academy Awards for Best Original Music Score and Best Original Song at the 2009 Oscars. Middlesex University and Aligarh Muslim University have announced that they plan to bestow honorary doctorates on Rahman.[38][39]

Personal life
He is married to Saira Banu and has three children, Khadijah, Rahima, and Aameen. Rahman is the uncle of composer G. V. Prakash Kumar, who is the son of Rahman's elder sister, A. R. Reihana. He is related to south indian actor Rahman. Rahman is a practising Sufi Muslim. He had become an atheist as a result of childhood struggles, he eventually converted in to Islam in 1989, the religion of his mother's family[40].

He is very devoted to his mother. During the Oscar Award, he paid her a tribute saying: "There is a Hindi dialogue 'mere pass ma hai' which means even if I have got nothing I have my mother here."[41]

Social service
Rahman is involved in various charitable causes. In 2004, he was appointed as the Global Ambassador of the Stop TB Partnership, a project by WHO.[12] He has shown support to charities including Save the Children, India, and worked with Cat Stevens / Yusuf Islam for his song "Indian Ocean" . The song featured a-ha keyboard player Magne Furuholmen and Travis drummer, Neil Primrose. The proceeds of the song went towards helping orphans in Banda Aceh, one of the areas worst affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. He produced the single "We Can Make It Better" by Don Asian alongside Mukhtar Sahota.[42] In 2008, Rahman opened his KM Music Conservatory partnered with Audio Media Education facility to tutor and train aspiring musicians in vocals, instruments, music technology and sound design. The conservatory – with preeminent musicians on its panel and a newly founded symphony orchestra – is located near his studio in Kodambakkam, Chennai, offering courses at Beginners, Foundation and Diploma level.[43] Rahman composed the theme music for a short film for The Banyan in 2006, in aid of destitute women in Chennai. In 2008, Rahman, along with percussionist Sivamani created a song titled "Jiya Se Jiya", inspired by the Free Hugs Campaign and promoted it through a video shot in various cities in India.

Filmography
Further information: A. R. Rahman discography

As music director

Year

Film

Language

Notes

Roja 1992

Tamil

Winner, National Film Award for Best Music Direction Winner, Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Music Director Winner, Filmfare Best Music Director Award (Tamil) Listed in TIME's "10 Best Soundtracks" of all time in 2005 [32]

Yodha

Malayalam

Pudhiya Mugam

Tamil

Gentleman

Tamil

Winner, Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Music Director Winner, Filmfare Best Music Director Award (Tamil)

1993 Kizhakku Cheemayile Tamil

Uzhavan

Tamil

Thiruda Thiruda

Tamil

Vandicholai Chinraasu 1994

Tamil

Super Police

Telugu

Duet

Tamil

May Madham

Tamil

Kadhalan

Tamil

Winner, Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Music Director Winner, Filmfare Best Music Director Award (Tamil)

Pavithra

Tamil

Karuththamma

Tamil

Pudhiya Mannargal

Tamil

Manitha Manitha

Tamil

Gangmaster

Telugu

1995 Bombay

Tamil

Winner, Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Music Director Winner, Filmfare Best Music Director Award (Tamil)

Indira

Tamil

Rangeela

Hindi

Winner, Filmfare Best Music Director Award Winner, Filmfare RD Burman Award

for New Music Talent

Muthu

Tamil

Most successful Indian soundtrack in Japan [15]

Love Birds

Tamil

Indian

Tamil

1996 Kadhal Desam

Tamil

Winner, Filmfare Best Music Director Award (Tamil)

Fire

Hindi

Mr. Romeo

Tamil

Anthimanthaarai 1997

Tamil

Minsara Kanavu (Sapnay)

Tamil

Winner, National Film Award for Best Music Direction Winner, Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Music Director Winner, Filmfare Best Music Director Award (Tamil)

Iruvar

Tamil

Daud: Fun On The Run

Hindi

Ratchagan

Tamil

Mona Lisa

Tamil

Vishwavidhaata

Hindi

Kabhi Na Kabhi

Hindi

Jeans

Tamil

Winner, Filmfare Best Music Director Award (Tamil)

Dil Se 1998

Hindi

Winner, Filmfare Best Music Director Award "Chaiyya Chaiyya" was 9th in BBC World Service top 10 songs of all time
[44]

Earth

Hindi

Doli Saja Ke Rakhna

Hindi

En Swasa Kaatre 1999 Padayappa

Tamil

Tamil

Kadhalar Dhinam

Tamil

Taal

Hindi

Winner, Filmfare Best Music Director Award

Sangamam

Tamil

Winner, Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Music Director

Jodi

Tamil

Takshak

Hindi

Mudhalvan

Tamil

Winner, Filmfare Best Music Director Award (Tamil)

Taj Mahal

Tamil

Pukar

Hindi

Alaipayuthey

Tamil

Winner, Filmfare Best Music Director Award (Tamil)

Kandukondain Kandukondain Tamil 2000

Fiza

Hindi

1 song (Piya Haji Ali)

Rhythm

Tamil

Thenali

Tamil

Zubeidaa

Hindi

One 2 Ka 4 2001 Nayak: The Real Hero

Hindi

Hindi

Love You Hamesha

Hindi

Lagaan

Hindi

Winner, National Film Award for Best Music Direction Winner, Filmfare Best Music Director Award

Star

Tamil

Parthale Paravasam

Tamil

Alli Arjuna

Tamil

Kannathil Muthamittal

Tamil

Winner, National Film Award for Best Music Direction Winner, Filmfare Best Music Director Award (Tamil)

2002

The Legend of Bhagat Singh

Hindi

Winner, Filmfare Best Background Score Award

Baba

Tamil

Kadhal Virus

Tamil

Saathiya

Hindi

Winner, Filmfare Best Music Director Award

2003 Parasuram

Tamil

Boys

Tamil

Warriors of Heaven and

Mandarin, English,

Earth

Hindi

Enakku 20 Unakku 18

Tamil

Kangalal Kaithu Sei

Tamil

Tehzeeb

Hindi

Udhaya 2004 Lakeer - Forbidden Lines

Tamil

Hindi

Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities

Hindi

Aayitha Ezhuthu

Tamil

Yuva

Hindi

New

Tamil

Naani

Telugu

Dil Ne Jise Apna Kahaa

Hindi

3 songs

Swades

Hindi

Winner, Filmfare Best Background Score Award Nominated, Filmfare Best Music Director Award

Kisna - The Warrior Poet

Hindi

2 song

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: Hindi The Forgotten Hero

Mangal Pandey - The Rising 2005 Anbe Aaruyire

Hindi

Tamil

Water

Hindi

5 songs 1 song longlisted for 2007 Academy Award for Best Original Song nomination

Rang De Basanti

Hindi

Winner, Filmfare Best Music Director Award 2 songs longlisted for 2007 Academy Award for Best Original Song nomination [45]

2006 Sillunu Oru Kaadhal Tamil Winner, Filmfare Best Music Director Award (Tamil)

Varalaru

Tamil

Guru 2007

Hindi

Winner, Filmfare Best Music Director Award Winner, Filmfare Best Background Score Award

Sajni

Kannada

Provoked

Hindi

Sivaji: The Boss

Tamil

Winner, Filmfare Best Music Director Award (Tamil)

Azhagiya Thamizh Magan

Tamil

Elizabeth: The Golden Age

English

With Craig Armstrong

Jodhaa Akbar

Hindi

Winner, Filmfare Best Background Score Nominated, Filmfare Best Music Director Award Nominated, Asian Film Award for Best Composer [46]

Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na

Hindi

Winner, Filmfare Best Music Director Award

ADA: A Way of Life

Hindi

Sakkarakatti 2008 Yuvvraaj

Tamil

Hindi

Ghajini

Hindi

Nominated, Filmfare Best Music Director Award

Slumdog Millionaire

English, Hindi

Winner, Academy Award for Best Original Music Score Winner, Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Jai Ho" Winner, BAFTA Award for Best Film Music Winner, Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score

Delhi 6

Hindi

Nair San

Japanese, Malayalam, Filming Mandarin, Mongolian

Blue

Hindi

Filming

Puli

Telugu

Filming

Ashokavanam

Tamil

Filming

2009

Raavan

Hindi

Filming

Chennaiyil Oru Mazhaikalam Tamil

Filming

Manavar Dhinam

Tamil

Filming

Sultan The Warrior

Tamil

Filming

Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya

Tamil

Filming

Couples Retreat

English

Filming, Hollywood Debut

The Desire

English, Chinese

Filming, Only Background Score

Endhiran 2010

Tamil

Filming

The 19th Step

English, Tamil, Japanese

Filming

Urimai Kural

Tamil

Confirmed

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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