Alla Rakha Rahman a.k.a A.R Rahman was born on January 6, 1966. In Madras now India is an Indian composer and singer and is regarded as one of most successful and one of the best music composers India has ever had.
Rahman’s father R.K Sekhar was very famous and prominent Score composer for Tamil and Malyalam Films and his mother, Kareema (born Kashturi)
A.R Rahman got married to Saira Banu and have 3 children with him.
A.R Rahman assisted his father in the studio, playing the keyboard. After his father’s death when Rahman was nine years old, the rental of his father’s musical equipment provided his family’s income. Raised by his mother, Kareema (born Kashturi), Rahman, who was studying in Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan had to work to support his family. Which led to him to routinely miss classes and fail exams.
Therefore, the Principal Mrs YGP summoned Rahman and his mother and told them that Rahman should focus on academics irrespective of family circumstances. Rahman attended another school called MCN for a year, and later joined Madras Christian College Higher Secondary School, where he was admitted on his music talent and formed a band with his high school classmates.
However, after discussing with his mother, A.R Rahman later dropped out of school to pursue a career as a full-time musician. Rahman was a keyboard player and arranger for bands such as Roots (with childhood friend and percussionist Sivamani, John Anthony, Suresh Peters, JoJo and Raja) and founded the Chennai-based rock group Nemesis Avenue. He mastered the keyboard, piano, synthesizer, harmonium and guitar, and was particularly interested in the synthesizer because it was the ideal combination of music and technology.
A.R Rahman began his early musical training under Master Dhanraj, and at age 11 began playing in the orchestra of Malayalam composer (and close friend of his father) M. K. Arjunan. He soon began working with other composers, such as M. S. Viswanathan, Vijaya Bhaskar, Ilaiyaraaja, Ramesh Naidu, Hamsalekha and Raj-Koti, accompanied Zakir Hussain, Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan and L. Shankar on world tours and obtained a scholarship from Trinity College London to the Trinity College of Music.
Studying in Madras, A.R Rahman graduated with a diploma in Western classical music from the school. Rahman was introduced to Qadiri tariqa when his younger sister was seriously ill in 1984.
A.R Rahman‘s mother was a practicing Hindu. At the age of 23, he converted to Islam with other members of his family in 1989, changing his name to Allah Rakha Rahman
A.R Rahman initially composed scores for different documentaries and jingles for advertisements and Indian television channels. In 1987 Rahman, then still known as Dileep, composed jingles for a line of watches introduced by Allwyn. A.R Rahman also arranged the jingles for some advertisements that went on to become very popular, including the popular jingle for Titan Watches, in which he used the theme from Mozart’s Symphony no. 25.
In the year 1992 Mani Ratnam gave an opportunity to A.R Rahman in the movie “Roja” to compose the score and soundtrack for Tamil Movie
During the filming, its Cinematographer Santosh Sivan signed A.R Rahman up for the Malayalam movie Yodha, directed by his brother Sangeeth Sivan released later in September 1992.
The debut led Rahman to receive the Rajat Kamal (Silver Lotus) award for Best Music Director at the National Film Awards, an unprecedented win for a first-time film composer. A.R Rahman has since been awarded the Silver Lotus three more times for Minsara Kanavu (Tamil) in 1997, Lagaan (Hindi) in 2002, Kannathil Muthamittal (Tamil) in 2003, the most ever by any composer. Roja’s score met with high sales and acclaim in both its original and dubbed versions, led by the theme song “Chinna Chinna Aasai“
Bringing about a marked change in film music at the time. A.R Rahman has worked with Indian poets and lyricists such as Javed Akhtar, Gulzar, Vairamuthu and Vaali.
A.R Rahman has consistently produced commercially successful soundtracks when collaborating with particular film directors such as Mani Ratnam, who he has worked with since Roja, and the director S. Shankar in the films Gentleman, Kadhalan, Indian, Jeans, Mudhalvan, Nayak, Boys, Sivaji and lately for Enthiran.
In 2005, Rahman extended his Panchathan Record Inn studio by establishing AM Studios in Kodambakkam, Chennai, thereby creating the most cutting-edge studio in Asia. A.R Rahman co-scored the Shekhar Kapur project and his first British film, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, in 2007.
A.R Rahman garnered an Asian Film Award nomination for Best Composer at the Hong Kong International Film Festival for his Jodhaa Akbar score. His compositions have been sampled for other scores within India, and appeared in such films as Inside Man, Lord of War, Divine Intervention and The Accidental Husband.
In 2008, A.R Rahman scored his first Hollywood picture, the comedy Couples Retreat released the next year, which won him the BMI London Award for Best Score. A.R Rahman scored the film Slumdog Millionaire in 2008, for which he won a Golden Globe and two Academy Awards, becoming the first Asian to do so. The songs “Jai Ho” and “O…Saya” from the soundtrack of this film met with commercial success internationally.
In 2010, A.R Rahman composed scores for the romance film Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa, blockbuster sci-fi romance film Enthiran and Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours. Rahman started off the year 2011 by scoring Imtiaz Ali’s musical film Rockstar. The soundtrack became a phenomenal success and earned A.R Rahman immense critical praise.
Many successful scores for films including Dil Se and the percussive Taal followed. Sufi mysticism formed the basis of Chaiyya Chaiyya
For the former and the composition “Zikr” from A.R Rahman‘s score of the film Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero for which he created large orchestral and choral arrangements.
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.
In the United States, the soundtrack topped the Dance/Electronic Albums chart and reached #4 on the Billboard 200 chart. The song “Jai Ho” reached #2 on the Euro chart Hot 100 Singles and #15 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
A.R Rahman also gave a major break to many musical artists one of them is Benny Dayal , he gave him an opportunity to sing in one of his movies.
Rahman released a 19-minute orchestral composition The Flying Lotus in 2017 featuring the demonetization. This musical piece is an open interpretation of this major stance against black money which also includes Narendra Modi’s speech.
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.
A.R Rahman had written and Co-Produced the film 99songs which featured various artists.
One cannot forget mentioning about Oscar award won by this legend Rahman.
Oscar are the world’s best awards for the film and music industries.
AR Rahman with his talent and impeccable music experience had directed the Music in the movie Slumdog Millionaire (English) Slumdog Crorepati (Hindi).
International Tours of Rahman
Rahman has put his shadow all over the world not only India. Since 2004 Rahman has performed three successful world tours before audiences in Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Dubai, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and India, and has been collaborating with Karen David on her upcoming studio album.
A two-disc CD, Introducing A. R. Rahman (featuring 25 of his Tamil film-score pieces), was released in May 2006 and his non-film album Connections was released on 12 December 2008 Rahman performed at a White House state dinner arranged by US President Barack Obama during an official visit by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 24 November 2009. He is one of over 70 artists on “We Are the World 25 for Haiti”, a charity single to raise relief funds in the wake of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
In 2010, Rahman composed “Jai Jai Garvi Gujarat” in honour of the 50th anniversary of the formation of Gujarat State,”Semmozhiyaana Thamizh Mozhiyaam” as part of the World Classical Tamil Conference 2010, and the theme song for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, “Jiyo Utho Bado Jeeto“
A.R Rahman Charity Work
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. 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 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.
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. 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.
Famous Bollywood tracks by Rahman
Taal se Taal (Taal)
Yuhi Chala Chala (Swades)
Khalbali (Rang De Basanti)
Jashn-E-Bahaara (Jodha Akbar)
And who can forget…
Jai Ho (Slumdog Millionaire)
Collaboration With Other Artists
Rangeela – Hariharan, S.P Balasubramaniyan, Kavita Krishnamurthi, S. Janaki.
Dil Se – Udit Narayan, Sukhwinder Singh, Kavita Krishnamurthy.
Taal – Sonu Nigam, Alka Yagnik, Richa Sharma, Shoma, Madhu Vaishali.
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose – Vijay Prakash, Sapna Mukherjee, Satyanarayan Mishra.
Rang De Basanti – Harshdeep Kaur, Daler Mehndi, Naresh Iyer, Mohammed Aslam, Mohit Chauhan, Lata Mangeshkar, Naresh Iyer.
Rockstar – Mohit Chauhan, Sapna Awasthi, Harshdeep Kaur, Javed Ali, Tanvi Shah, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Suzanne D’Mello, Clinton Cerejo.
Guru – Shreya Ghoshal, Udhai Mazumdar, Bappi Lahiri, Chinmayi Sripada, Alka Yagnik, Mohammad Aslam.
Jodhaa Akbar – Bonnie Chakraborty, Mohommad Aslam, Madhushree, Bela Shende.
Awards and Honours
Academy Awards –
Best Original Score and Best Original song – Slumdog Millionaire – 2009.
BAAFTA Award –
Best Film Music – Slumdog Millionaire
Golden Globe Award – Best Original Score – Slumdog Millionaire – 2009.
Grammy Award – Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media – Slumdog Millionaire – 2009.
World Soundtrack Award – The Public Choice Award – Viceroy’s House 2017.
The Public Choice Award – 127 Hours 2011.
National Film Awards –
Best Music Direction – Roja 1992
Minsara Kanavu 1996
Kannathil Muthamittal 2002
Kaatru Veliyidai 2017
And Many More..