Tuesday, February 24, 2009



Padma Shri Allah Rakha Rahman (born January 6, 1966 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India) needs no introduction. He is a musical icon who single handedly changed the musical
sounds in Indian Film Music. He is the first Indian to win two Academy Awards He has this obsession towards awards that he won the National Award for his very first movie
Roja. Since then including four National Film Awards, a BAFTA Award, Golden Globe and two Academy Awards.

Rahman, in a career spanning over 17 odd years has sold more than 100 million records of his film scores and soundtracks worldwide and sold over 200 million cassettes making
him one of the world's all-time top selling recording artists.
A.R.Rahman is always referred kindly by several names like "Mozart of Madras", "Isai Puyal", "Musical whizkid(in his early days) or "Music Dynamo"....

A. R. Rahman was born to a Tamil Hindu family. His father R. K. Shekhar, was a composer and conductor for Malayalam films. Rahman lost his father when he was 9 years old,
and his family rented out musical equipment as a source of income. He converted to Islam from Hinduism in 1989 along with his sisters.

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. Rahman is the founder of the Chennai-based rock group, "Nemesis Avenue". 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". He began early training in music under Master Dhanraj. At the age of 11, he joined, as a keyboardist, the troupe of Ilaiyaraaja, 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, Oxford, where he graduated with a degree in Western classical music.

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. He initially composed music jingles for advertisements, Indian Television channels and music scores in documentaries, among other projects. Some of the
memorable jingles he composed was for Leo Coffee, Sunrise,MRF Tyres,Garden Sarees, Cinthol, Premier Cooker,Boost,Remanika Sarees etc...Recently he also composed for Airtel...

Roja's score was a landmark in the history of Indian film music that it almost swept allmost all awards in the industry. Time Magazine rightly described Roja's score as ""Top 100
Movie Soundtracks of All Time"".
Many felt Rahman was a one film wonder. But he proved the trade pundits wrong by scoring hits after hits like "Puthiya Mugam", "Thiruda
Thiruda", "Kizakku Cheemaiyile", " Kadhalan", "Bombay", "May Madham" and so on till the recent Delhi-6....
The list is endless... If one starts to list his hit songs, then almost 85% of his songs will top the list.

When Bharathi Raja approached A.R.Rahman for the village subject "Kizakku Cheemaiyile", everyone excepted Rahman to fail miserably. There was a popular comment "Computer
vachhu music poduraaru avaru...Avaraala graamathu subject poda mudiyaathu"
But the sound track proved detractors wrong. All the songs were super duper hits. The movie marked the association of A.R.Rahman and Bharathi Raja. Later ARR became a regular for Bharathi Raja movies.
Apart from Mani Ratnam, A.R.Rahman shares an equally grandeous partnership with Bharathi Raja, Shankar, Kadhir and other few directors. A.R.Rahman always reserved his best
for these directors. Or may be they know how to extract from Rahman. Mani Ratnam has used Rahman from Roja and all their albums were great evergreen hits. The much awaited "Ravan" is in the making and internet resources say it has the usual jaw dropping Rahmanish scores.

Shankar has always preferred Rahman except for Anniyan, he used Harris Jayaraj. The much awaited science fiction thriller "Robo" is in the making and Shankar has revealed Rahman has given some out of the world tunes for the movie.
Kadhir except for his first movie(Idhayam was a blockbuster musical hit) had used only A.R.Rahman for all his movies. Rahman's score for Kadir's movies was always melody
oriented. Whether it was "Pennala Pennala" or the recent "Sonnalum Kettpathillai", Rahman's tunes for Kadhir was always sweeter than honey..

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. In 2006, Rahman launched his own music label, KM Music. 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 co-scored the
Shekhar Kapoor helmed Elizabeth: The Golden Age in 2007. His compositions have been reused in scores within India 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 two Academy Awards and many other awards. He became the first Indian to win two Academy Awards.

Rahman made an album Vande Mataram (1997) on India's 50th anniversary of independence to commercial success.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.

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.
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. 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 latest non-film album, Connections was launched on 12th December, 2008.
Rahman was always blamed to be a sound engineer and he could not compose without music softwares. But people known to him very well know that he has a complete
knowledge in Western Classical, Hindustani, Carnatic and World Music. He is a modern day Vangelis or a Peter Gabriel. His influences can be traced back to Vangelis, Peter
Gabriel, Dave Grusnin, Mozart, Carpenters and Bach.
He has successfully presented tamil music in a complete international style that only a few can even dream to execute.

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.

The famous composer Hans Zimmer says about A. R. Rahman “Like any good artist, A.R. is not a traditionalist, he’s a revolutionary. He uses all the revolutionary things that come from all over the world in his stuff … hip-hop beats, electronics .. and there’s an incredible inquisitiveness and playfulness in his music, Plus he writes a bloody good tune ,,, and at the end of the day it comes down to can the guy write a tune or not and obviously he can”.

A.R.Rahman is blessed with three children, Khadijah, Rahima and Aman. Rahman is related to the southern Indian actor Rashin Rahman. Rahman is the uncle of composer G. V.
Prakash Kumar.

The one striking aspect of Rahman is he has remained the same ever since his first sound track. He is so humble and down to earth that todays composers had to emulate him.
Hard Work pays rich dividends...

"His story is almost like Slumdog Millionaire...He started supporting his family at the age of 11 when he started playing keyboard and due to his ever supporting mother and sisters and due to the divine blessings from his father Shekar he has reached the pinnacle of glory that no other Indian has ever reached....
Perhaps the Oscars were a little late....He should have got it for his first score in Roja itself......Unfortunately it was not an English production. The West has now taken notice of this musical genius.... Rahman please be here...We have already lost you to Bollywood. We don't want you to lose you to Hollywood too......

Jai Ho.

Additional Source: Wikipedia

1 comment:

'jothi' said...

My Boy

I want more from you my angry boy.... i mean your creativity..... your music....your hidden talent or which you inherit from the family..ofcourse music and the relgion are opium of the man kind..Keep it up...your blog is interesting