Started his career with jingles, India’s most celebrated singing superstar, AR Rahman has redefined the essence of music with his beautiful classical scores.
Works of A R Rahman are noted for a perfect blend of Indian classical music with the electronic music. The inspiration for an art of the subject comes from within and AR Rahman has manifested the skill so well that he is now an idol to follow.
The sixth of January marks his Birthday. In five decades of his life- a musical tale, Rahman has achieved the feat we look for, in an ideal superstar. A collection of accolades, respect and dignity, together with love from India and the World, as well as, fame for triumph, he has got it all.
AR Rahman: Initial days and Transformation to a Legend
It was in the year 1989, when Dileep Shekhar converted into Islam and changed his name to Allah Rakha Rahman, where the name Rahman was suggested by a Hindu astrologer and the first name, Allah Rakha meaning Protected by God, was encouraged by his mother who was a Hindu practitioner.
Rahman found his love for music at an early age of life. The death of his father, while he was just nine, triggered his feelings towards the music and later, it became his passion.
He used to play keyboard and then, began his early days of training under Master Dhanraj. Few years later, he began playing in the Orchestra of the Malayalam composer, M Arjunan, who was a close friend of his father.
After working under various composers, he joined Zakir Hussain, L Shankar for the world tours and then, received a scholarship from Trinity College of London to pursue the Degree of Western Classical Music at Trinity College of Music.
After spending 20 Years with the name of Dileep, Rahman couldn’t feel the vibes and decided for a change. During a visit to check his sister’s horoscope, so that she gets married, they went to an astrologer who read her horoscope and watched Rahman with a surprise. He said,”this chap is very interesting”. It was then, the astrologer suggested names like ‘Abdul Rahim’, ‘Abdul Rahman’ and AR Rahman found his interest to convert.
Once he became AR Rahman, the rest is history.
Mozart of Madras: The First Break and the Journey of Composition
AR Rahman started his career with musical scores for documentary movies and jingles. He was not very popular untill the year 1991, when he got the first break while working for the composition of Maniratnam’s blockbuster ‘Roja’. People loved the songs of the movie and soon Rahman became an emerging music sensation. He won a national Award as a ‘Best Debut Music Composer’ for his amazing composition of songs in Roja movie.
He never looked back since then and till date, he remains the only music composer of India to have three National Awards under his name.
Also, he started his own recording studio at the backyard, named as Panchathan Record Inn. It became the most advanced recording studio in India and then, considered to be the most sophisticated and high tech studio.
He composed songs for movies like Bombay, Dil Se, Roja, Taal, Saathiya, Jodha Akbar, Rockstar, Ok Jaanu and also won awards for his astonishing articulation. Not just bollywood, Rahman finds himself working for various compositions in the Hollywood and Foreign Feature Films,as well as, Albums that makes him one of the most influential composer of the World.
In 2005, he has also performed and prepared a score for the ‘Lord of the Rings’ productions and composed songs for 127 Hours, Inside Man, The Accidental husband’ and many more.
Slumdog Millionaire gave him another break when he composed a song, Jai Ho, for the movie and later won two Oscars for the same.
Till date, he won 15 Accolades, which consists of two Academy Awards and five nominations for the same, two Grammy Awards, Golden Globe Award, BAFTA Award and National Awards.
Listen to Jai Ho:
His tunes, voice and compositions which built the spirit of music, made him a superstar and the people of Chennai proudly call him the ‘Mozart Of Madras’.