About AR Rahman

Allah Rakha Rahman (Born 6 January 1966 as A. S. Dileep Kumar) is an Indian film composer, record producer, musician, singer and philanthropist. Described as the world’s most prominent and prolific film composer by Time, his works are notable for integrating eastern classical music with electronic music sounds, world music genres and traditional orchestral arrangements. He has won two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, four National Film Awards, fourteen Filmfare Awards, thirteen South Filmfare Awards in addition to numerous other awards and nominations. Time has referred to him as the “Mozart of Madras” and several Tamil commentators and fans have coined him the nickname Isai Puyal (Tamil: Mozart of Madras) In 2009, Time placed Rahman in its list of World’s Most Influential People.
 
Having set up his own in-house studio called Panchathan Record Inn at Chennai, arguably one of Asia’s most sophisticated and high-tech studios, Rahman’s film scoring career began in the early 1990s with the Tamil film Roja. Working in India’s various film industries, international cinema and theatre, Rahman has a claimed sale of more than 300 million records of his film scores and soundtracks as of 2009 for over 100 film scores worldwide, making him one of the world’s all-time top selling recording artists. In a notable career spanning two decades, Rahman has garnered particular acclaim for redefining contemporary Indian film music and thus contributing to the success of several films. Rahman is currently one of the highest paid composers of the motion picture industry. He has also become a notable humanitarian and philanthropist, donating and raising money for beneficial causes and supporting charities.

Early life :

A. R. Rahman was born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India to a musically affluent Mudaliar Tamil family. His father R. K. Shekhar, was a film music composer and conductor for Tamil films as well as films in Malayalam language. Rahman used to assist his father during recordings and play keyboard for the songs. Rahman lost his father at the age of 9 and his family had to rent out his father’s musical equipment as their source of income. Rahman was raised by his mother Kareema (born Kashturi). 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 mastered various music instruments like Keyboard, Piano, Synthesizer, Harmonium and Guitar. His curiosity in 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. From the age of 11, he started playing musical instruments in the orchestra of Malayalam composer and a close friend of Rahman’s father, M.K.Arjunan. Soon he started working with other composers such as M. S. Viswanathan, Ilaiyaraaja, Ramesh Naidu, Raj-Koti and also accompanied Zakir Hussain, Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan and L. Shankar on world tours and obtained a scholarship with Trinity College, London, board of the Trinity College of Music. Studying in Chennai, he graduated with graded examinations and a diploma in Western classical music via the college. He was introduced to Qadiri Islam when his younger sister fell severely ill in 1984. Subsequently, Rahman along with other members of his family converted to Islam in 1989, when he was 23 years old. He changed his name from A. S. Dileep Kumar to A. R. Rahman or Allah Rakha Rahman.

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