22 Dec 2013

AR Rahman

Tak tinggal solat walaupun sibuk dengan kerja
Wartawan Sinar Harian



“MENJADI adat! Di Bollywood, apabila seseorang itu berjaya menempa nama di persada dunia sehingga menikmati hidup dalam kemewahan, mereka berpusu-pusu menukar nama Islam menjadi Hindu, sebaliknya saya selesa dengan nama Allah Rakha Rahman atau AR Rahman,” itulah kata-kata pemuzik terkenal India yang nama asalnya Dileep Kumar.

Pasti ramai di Malaysia kurang mengenali pemilik nama ini, tetapi bagi peminat filem Hindustan tegar yang pernah mendengar muzik ciptaannya dalam filem Dil Se, Taal, Swades, Chazyya Chaiyya, Rang de Basanti dan Slumdog Millionaire amat mengenalinya. Dia lebih dikenali melalui alunan muziknya.

Jiwa kosong, rasa gelisah

Pembabitan dalam dunia muzik bermula seawal usia 11 tahun, beliau menjadi matang dengan rencam dunia pemuzik. Terfikir dibenaknya perlukah seorang pemuzik menghisap rokok, mabuk dan mengambil dadah?

Pergaulannya dengan ramai pemuzik menemukan beliau dengan seorang pemuzik yang memberikannya pandangan berbeza.

Pemuzik tersebut tidak mempunyai tabiat buruk malah menghasilkan banyak karya hebat. Kerana itu AR Rahman terselamat daripada pengaruh tidak sihat.

Ada ketikanya jiwa AR Rahman berasa kosong, gelisah seakan tercari-cari sesuatu, apakah yang dicari? Adakah Tuhan?


Pada asalnya, AR Rahman langsung tidak mempercayai Tuhan, kemudiannya dia menyembah berhala, tetapi tidak mampu menenangkan hatinya yang gundah.

AR Rahman bermimpi didatangi lelaki berjubah putih mengajaknya memeluk Islam. Tapi dia tidak mengendahkan mimpi itu dan menganggap hanya mainan tidur dan mimpi itu berlarutan sekembalinya ke India. Segera dia menceritakan kepada ibunya yang kemudiannya menyarankan AR Rahman supaya memeluk Islam.

Keluarga AR Rahman ditimpa musibah apabila kakaknya sakit. Apa yang dideritai kakaknya sama seperti yang berlaku kepada bapanya menanggung sakit hingga ke akhirnya. Keluarga AR Rahman memanggil paderi dan sami Hindu untuk berdoa supaya kakaknya sembuh, tetapi langsung tiada hasilnya.

Akhirnya AR Rahman dipertemukan dengan seorang alim, Syeikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani atau Pir Qadri. Seingat AR Rahman, keluarganya pernah bertemu Pit Qadri semasa ayahnya terlantar sakit.

Dengan doa dan kaedah perubatan yang diamalkan Pit, kakak AR Rahman berjaya disembuhkan.

Kuasa besar mentadbir alam

Pengalaman perjalanan hidup banyak mengajarnya, sehingga dia dan seluruh keluarganya memilih Islam. Kehilangan ayahnya membuat AR Rahman berfikir hidup ini bukan ditentukan mengikut kehendak seseorang. Dia merasakan ada suatu kuasa besar mengatur semua itu, cuma dia tidak tahu apa, atau siapa.

Jawapannya hanya ditemui apabila dia memeluk Islam. Jiwanya merasai ketenangan yang tidak pernah ditemui sebelum ini. Bersama Islam juga dia berjaya menghilangkan perasaan rasa rendah dirinya.

AR Rahman merasakan dirinya bagai dilahirkan semula. Malah bukan itu saja, kerjayanya pun berubah mendadak, dan rezekinya melimpah-ruah.

Pada 1989, AR Rahman berjaya memiliki studio sendiri yang mempunyai kelengkapan paling canggih di Asia. Dia juga berjaya mencipta kekayaan dengan penjualan album daripada filem dan mencipta lagu.

Namun kekayaan yang melimpah-ruah tidak pernah menutup mata AR Rahman daripada melihat keindahan Islam, malah semakin mendekatkan dirinya kepada Tuhan. Dia mengatakan apabila kita dikelilingi kemewahan, duit dan populariti, kemungkinan untuk menjadi lupa diri amat mudah. Hanya kepercayaan dan keimanan yang mampu menjaga kita.

Hari ini, setelah 20 tahun lebih memeluk Islam, AR Rahman mengecapi segala ketenangan di dalam hidup melalui jalan yang ditunjukkan Islam.

AR Rahman mengaku solat banyak membantunya menghilangkan tekanan dan memberi ketenangan, harapan dan keyakinan Tuhan sentiasa bersamanya.

Semua itu bukan saja mengingatkan AR Rahman mengenai dunia, tetapi juga hari akhirat. Justeru, dia tidak tinggal sembahyang walaupun terpaksa bergelut dengan kesibukan bekerja.

Kejayaan demi kejayaan dicapai dalam bidang muzik sehingga melayakkannya digelar Mozart Madras. Tetapi AR Rahman langsung tidak melupakan apa yang pernah dilaluinya sebagaimana dia mengingati saat manis hidupnya.

Sinar Harian


A.R. Rahman

Allah Rakha Rahman (born 6 January 1966 as A. S. Dileep Kumar) is an Indian composer, singer-songwriter, music producer, musician, multi-instrumentalist 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, fifteen Filmfare Awards, thirteen Filmfare Awards South in addition to numerous other awards and nominations. His extensive body of work for film and the stage earned him the nickname “the Mozart of Madras” and several Tamil commentators and fans have coined him the nickname Isai Puyal (English: Music Storm).In 2009, Time placed Rahman in its list of World's Most Influential People. The UK based World Music magazine Songlines named him one of 'Tomorrow's World Music Icons' in August 2011

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 reportedly sold more than 300 million records worldwide 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.

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 as well as Malayalam films. 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. At 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, his mother's faith, in 1989, when he was 23 years old. He changed his name from R. S. Dileep Kumar to Allah Rakha Rahman (A. R. Rahman)


Film scoring and soundtracks

When he was nine, Rahman accidentally played a tune on piano during his father's recording for a film, which R. K. Shekhar later developed into a complete song, "Vellithen Kinnam Pol", for the Malayalam film Penpada. This track credited to his father, was sung by Jayachandran and penned by Bharanikkavu Sivakumar.] His film career began in 1992, when he started Panchathan Record Inn, a music recording and mixing studio attached to the backyard of his house. Over time it would become the most advanced recording studio in India, and arguably one of Asia’s most sophisticated and high-tech studios.  He initially composed scores for documentaries, jingles for advertisements and Indian Television channels and other projects. In 1987 Rahman, then still known as Dileep got his first opportunity to compose jingles for new range of watches being launched by Allwyn.In 1992, he was approached by film director Mani Ratnam to compose the score and soundtrack for Ratnam's Tamil film Roja.[During the filming, it's 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. 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. Rahman followed this with successful scores for Tamil–language films of the Chennai film industry including Ratnam's politically charged Bombay, the urbanite Kadhalan, Thiruda Thiruda and S. Shankar's debut film Gentleman, spurred by the popular dance song "Chikku Bukku Rayile". Rahman worked with director Bharathiraaja's Kizhakku Cheemayile and Karuththamma, producing successful Tamil rural folk inspired scores and delivered the grand saxophonic score for K. Balachander's Duet.] The 1995 film Indira and the romantic comedies Mr. Romeo and Love Birds all gained him considerable notice. His fanbase in Japan increased with Muthu 's success there. His soundtracks gained him recognition in the Tamil Nadu film industry and around the world for his stylistic versatility incorporating Western classical, Carnatic and Tamil traditional/folk music traditions, jazz, reggae and rock music. The soundtrack of Bombay sold 12 million copies worldwide.The "Bombay Theme"—from Ratnam's Bombay—would later reappear in his score of Deepa Mehta's Fire and various compilations and media around the world. It was featured in the Palestinian film Divine Intervention in 2002, and in the Nicolas Cage film Lord of War, in 2005. 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.  Sufi mysticism would inspire the track "Chaiyya Chaiyya" from the former, as well as the composition "Zikr" from his score for the film Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero for which he created large symphonic orchestral and choral arrangements.His score for the Chennai production Minsaara Kanavu garnered Rahman his second National Film Award for Best Music Direction in 1997, and a South FilmFare Award for Best Music Direction in a Tamil film, breaking a record with six consecutive wins in the latter category. Rahman would go onto win the award a further three consecutive times. Musical cues in scores for Sangamam and Iruvar employed Carnatic vocals and instruments such as the veena with leads of rock guitar and jazz.In the 2000s Rahman created hit scores for Rajiv Menon's Kandukondain Kandukondain, Alaipayuthey, Ashutosh Gowariker's Swades and Rang De Basanti.  He composed songs with Hindustani motifs for Water (2005).

Rahman has worked with Indian poets and lyricists such as Javed Akhtar, Gulzar, Vairamuthu and Vaali. He 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.  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 utilising Chinese and Japanese classical music,[50] and won the Just Plain Folks Music Award For Best Music Album for his score of the 2006 film Varalaru (God Father). He co-scored the Shekhar Kapur project and his first British film, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, in 2007. He 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, Rahman scored his first Hollywood picture, the comedy Couples Retreat released the next year, which won him the BMI London Award for Best Score.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 2008 itself Bollywood film "Jaane tu ya jaane na" music done by A.R. Rahman released , which got great popularity among Indian youth. In 2010, 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 Rahman immense critical praise.

In 2012, Rahman scored for Ekk Deewana Tha and also for the American-drama film People Like Us He also made his first and last collaboration with the director Yash Chopra by scoring for Jab Tak Hai Jaan. The music got general positive reception.By end of 2012, Rahman's music for Mani Ratnam's Kadal garnered tremendous critical applause. The entire album remained on top position on iTunes India for the last month of 2012.

Performing and other projects

 Rahman performing at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert 2010

Rahman has been involved in several projects aside from film. Vande Mataram, an album of his original compositions released on India's 50th anniversary of independence in 1997, enjoyed great commercial success.Vande Mataram is one of the largest selling Indian non-film album to date.He followed it up with an album for the Bharat Bala–directed video Jana Gana Mana, a conglomeration of performances by many leading exponents and artists of Indian classical music.  Rahman has written jingles for ads and composed several orchestrations for athletic events, television and internet media publications, documentaries and short films. He frequently enlists the Czech Film Orchestra, Prague and the Chennai Strings Orchestra.

In 1999, Rahman partnered with choreographers Shobana and Prabhu Deva and a Tamil cinema dancing troupe to perform with Michael Jackson in Munich, Germany at his "Michael Jackson and Friends" concert  In 2002, he composed the music for his maiden stage production, Bombay Dreams, commissioned by musical theatre composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. Finnish folk music band Värttinä collaborated with Rahman to write 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 performed by Mae and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Since 2004, Rahman has performed three successful world tours to audiences in Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Dubai, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States 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 of his pieces from Tamil film scores was released in May 2006, and his non-film album, Connections was released on 12 December 2008. Rahman also performed at the White House State dinner arranged by US President Barack Obama during the official visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 24 November 2009. Rahman is one of over 70 artists who performed on "We Are the World 25 for Haiti", a charity single to raise emergency relief funds in the wake of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. In 2010, Rahman composed "Jai Jai Garvi Gujarat" in honor of the 50th anniversary of the formation of Gujarat State,  "Semmozhiyaana Thamizh Mozhiyaam" as part of World Classical Tamil Conference 2010, and the official theme song of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, "Jiyo Utho Bado Jeeto". Rahman organised his first world tour, named A. R. Rahman Jai Ho Concert: The Journey Home World Tour, in 2010. The ongoing tour was kicked off on 11 June at the Nassau Coliseum in New York and will span 16 major cities worldwide.

Some of his notable compositions were performed live by the London Philharmonic Orchestra in April 2010. In February 2011, Rahman collaborated with Michael Bolton for his new studio album Gems – The Duets Collection. Rahman reworked on his song "Sajna" from the 2009 American film Couples Retreat to create the track.

On 20 May 2011, English musician Mick Jagger announced the formation of a new supergroup, SuperHeavy, which includes Dave Stewart, Joss Stone, Damian Marley, and Rahman. The band's self-titled album is slated for release in September 2011. The album will see Mick Jagger singing in Rahman's composition "Satyameva Jayate", which translates to "the truth alone triumphs".

In January 2012, it was announced the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg would join KM Music Conservatory musicians in a 100-member concert tour of five Indian cities performing Rahman's compositions. The tour, named "Germany and India 2011–2012: Infinite Opportunities'. Classic Incantations", will mark the centenary of Indian cinema and of Studio Babelsberg, the world's oldest film studio.

In Summer 2012, Rahman composed a Punjabi song for the London Olympics opening ceremony, organised by Danny Boyle. It will be a part of a medley which will showcase Indian influence in the UK, according to Boyle's wishes. Another Indian musician, Ilaiyaraja's song from Tamil-language film Ram Lakshman (1981), has also been chosen as part of the medley.

On 20 December 2012, Rahman released the single "Infinite Love" in both English and Hindi commemorating the last day of the Mayan calendar to spread hope, peace and love. His Tour 2013, Rahmanishq was announced on 29 July 2013 at Mumbai. Starting from Sydney on 24 August the tour moves to various cities in India.
Music style and impact

Skilled in Carnatic music, 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.Symphonic orchestral themes have accompanied his scores, occasionally employing leitmotif. In the 1980s, Rahman recorded and played arrangements on monophonic sound, synonymous with the era of his musical predecessors K. V. Mahadevan and Vishwanathan–Ramamoorthy. In later years his methodology changed as he experimented with the fusion of traditional instruments with new electronic sounds and technology.

Rahman's musical interests and outlook stem from his love of experimentation. Rahman's compositions, in the vein of past and contemporary Chennai film composers, bring out auteuristic uses of counterpoint, orchestration and the human voice, melding Indian pop music with unique timbre, forms and instrumentation. By virtue of these qualities, broad ranging lyrics and his syncretic style, the appeal of his music cuts across the spectrum of classes and cultures within Indian society.

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." Rahman's initial global reach is attributed to the South Asian diaspora. The music producer Ron Fair considers Rahman to be "one of the world's great living composers in any medium".



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.”
Rahman has introduced the 7.1 technology in south Indian movies to provide better output.

Awards

Main article: List of awards and nominations received by A. R. Rahman
A. R. Rahman at his residence in Chennai with Academy Awards for his work in Slumdog Millionaire (2009)

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 recipient of six Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, fifteen Filmfare Awards and thirteen Filmfare Awards South for his music and scores.He has been conferred Kalaimamani from the Government of Tamil Nadu for excellence in the field of music, special music achievement awards from the Government of Uttar Pradesh and Government of Madhya Pradesh and the Padma Shri from the Government of India. In 2006, he received an honorary award from Stanford University for contributions to global music. In 2007, Rahman was entered into the Limca Book of Records as "Indian of the Year for Contribution to Popular Music". He is the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from the Rotary Club of Madras. In 2009, for his score of Slumdog Millionaire, Rahman won the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score,  the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music, and two Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Best Original Song (shared with Gulzar), at the 81st Academy Awards. Rahman has received honorary doctorates from Middlesex University and Aligarh Muslim University. Later the year Rahman was conferred the honorary doctorate from Anna University in Chennai. He has also won two Grammy Awards, for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album and Best Song Written for a Visual Media. Rahman was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian honour, in 2010. Rahman's work for the film 127 Hours garnered him Golden Globe, BAFTA, and two Academy Award nominations for Best Original Music Score and Best Original Song in 2011. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Trinity College of Music, presented to him by Trinity College London.

On 7 May 2012, he was conferred Honorary Doctorate from the Miami University, Ohio. During the acceptance speech, he mentioned that he received a Christmas card from the US President's family and an invitation for the dinner at White House.To honour him, a street was named after him at Markham in Ontario province of Canada in November 2013.


Personal life


He is married to Saira Banu and has three children, Khatija, Rahima, and Ameen.  Ameen sings the track "NaNa" from Couples Retreat and his daughter Khatija the track "Pudhiya Manidha" from Enthiran. Rahman is the uncle of composer G. V. Prakash Kumar, who is the son of Rahman's elder sister, A. R. Reihana.Prakash Kumar's first work in film was singing on the Rahman composition "Chikku Bukku Rayile" from his score to the 1993 film Gentleman. A. R. Reihana debuted in film singing on the track "Vidai Kodu Engal Naadae" from Kannathil Muthamittal and is also a music director. Rahman's younger sister Fathima is in charge of his Music conservatory in Chennai. The youngest Ishrath has her own music studio. A. R. Rahman is the co-brother of film actor Rahman.

An atheist through much of his childhood, in 1989 Rahman converted to Islam, the religion of his mother's family. After the early death of his father, his family went through hard times and Sufism had a great influence on his mother and slowly on his family. During the 81st Academy Awards ceremony, he paid tribute to his mother, saying "There is a Hindi dialogue, mere pass ma hai, which means 'even if I have got nothing I have my mother here'." He also began to say, "Ella pughazhum iraivanukke", in Tamil which literally means "All praises dedicated to God". This is the direct translation of the first sentence found in the Islamic holy book Quran. Rahman uttered it prior to his speech at the 81st Academy Awards ceremony.
Humanitarian 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 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, that was 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. Violinist L. Subramaniam is on its board of advisors. Several of Rahman's proteges from the studio have gone onto score music for feature films. Rahman composed the theme music for a short film for The Banyan in 2006, in aid of destitute women in Chennai. In 2008, Rahman with noted 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.

wikipedia



The golden boy of Indian music A R Rahman turns 44
6 Jan 2010

Double Oscar-winner A R Rahman is looking forward to bring home his maiden Grammy award as he turns 44 on Wednesday (January 6).

The composer, who won two Grammy nominations for his soundtrack from "Slumdog Millionaire", has never been the one for raucous celebrations and ringed in his birthday with close family and friends.

From performing for US President Barack Obama to collaborating with international artistes, including Pussy Cat
Dolls and Kylie Minogue to becoming the first Indian to win a Golden Globe and two Academy awards, Rahman has become one of the most sought after names in the industry.

Last year, he scored soundtracks for Bollywood films "Dilli 6" and "Blue" along with his maiden Hollywood venture "Couple's Retreat".

Hailed by Time magazine as the 'Mozart of Madras', Rahman, according to a BBC estimate, has sold over 150 million copies of his work comprising music from more than 100 soundtracks and albums across over half a dozen languages.

An alumni of London's Trinity College of Music, he was also honoured by his alma mater last year.

Rahman was born in Chennai on January 6, 1966 as S Dileep Kumar. The musical genius lost his musician father R K Sekar when he was only nine years and had to support the family. Rahman's family converted to Islam in the 1970s.

Starting his career by composing ad jingles, Rahman was first noticed for the music he gave for a Bombay Dyeing commercial which became very popular.

Shortly after that in 1992, he was approached by Mani Ratnam to compose the score and soundtrack for his Tamil film "Roja". The music of the film clicked with the audiences thanks to its refreshing melodies and gave Rahman a Best Music Director trophy at the National Film Awards, the first time ever by a debutante film composer.

Rahman entered the Hindi film industry with "Rangeela", directed by Ram Gopal Varma. The music of the film became a rage and the genius continued to give some brilliant compositions for films like "Bombay", "Dil Se", "Taal", "Lagaan" and "Rang De Basanti" among others.

Rahman pioneered a distinct phase in Indian film music combining Western influences with Indian sounds, ranging from classical instruments to folk music.


While his 1998 super hit composition 'Chaiyya chaiyya' ("Dil Se") was deeply rooted in Sufi mysticism his latest film
"Blue" saw him amalgamating techno pop with Bhangra.

In 2002, he gave the music for his maiden stage production "Bombay Dreams" directed by legendary musical theatre composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. Rahman's music was a hit from London's 'West End' to New York's 'Broadway'.

In 2004 with Finnish folk music band Varttina, he composed the music for "The Lord of the Rings" theatre production.

Rahman's composition 'Jai ho' for British director Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire", earned him two Academy awards and the song reached an anthem status, playing everywhere from John Galliano's fashion show to radio stations across India.

A four-time National Award winner, Rahman was conferred the Padma Shri and has received six awards at the Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, besides eleven Filmfare and Filmfare Awards South each.

In 2006, he received an honorary award from Stanford University for his contributions to global music. In 1995, he also received the Mauritius National Award and the Malaysian Award.

The music director who is known for his humble demeanour gave a new definition to patriotism with his modern rendition of 'Vande Mataram'.

From the dusty bylanes of Chennai, Rahman has travelled far in the world of music, managing to enthrall people across
the globe with his compositions as he continues to set new standards in the world of music.

The Times of India



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