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Since Roja hit movie screens in South India in 1992, A.R. Rahman has been redefining the country's widely popular film music. Generally regarded as the finest Indian film composer of his time (and certainly the most commercially successful), Rahman produced music for nearly 35 widescreen releases during his first five years in the industry. He has worked with many of his country's brightest music stars and a growing list of international luminaries like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Zakir Hussain, L. Shankar, Apache Indian, and David Byrne.
Born A.S. Dileep Kumar on January 6, 1966, in Madras, India, Allah Rakha Rahman was exposed to music from the time he was a child, entered in classical piano studies by his parents at the age of four. At 16, he quit school and was following in his father's footsteps (K.A. Sekhar was a successful film musician, arranger, and conductor himself), working full-time as a session musician on soundtracks under the popular South Indian composer Illaiyaraja. The monotony soon grew tiring however, and at the suggestion of a colleague, Rahman tried his hand at television commercials, eventually composing over 300 jingles in just five years.
It wasn't until 1989 that Rahman planted the first seeds of his film career. That year, he began acquiring the equipment and organizing the sound library for his Panchathan Record Inn. When Sharada Trilok's ad for Leo Coffee (for which Rahman penned the music) won her an award, she introduced the young composer to her cousin, Mani Ratnam. Impressed with his work, the director signed Rahman to compose the music for K. Balachander's 1992 film Roja. Rahman's score, a colorful, uncluttered combination of pop, rock, reggae, and his country's traditional music, reshaped the genre, winning him three awards for Best Music Director. Roja became the equivalent of an Indian crossover success. Originally filmed in South Indian Tamil, it was re-dubbed (and its soundtrack re-recorded) in Hindi, the language of North India's famous Bollywood film center.
His star on the rise, Rahman proceeded to compose music for six films in 1993 and nine in 1994, including the score for Ratnam's Bombay (1995), the story of a Hindu/Muslim marriage in a time of heated relations between the two cultures. Rahman's score displayed a characteristic (and appropriate) disregard for the confines of culture, be they Eastern or Western, once again mixing traditional and modern elements. Bombay was hugely successful and the movie's theme was featured on Talvin Singh's Soundz of the Asian Underground compilation. Rahman became the first Indian artist to sign with Sony Music, negotiating a three-year contract in 1997. His premier release for the label, Vande Mataram (his first collection of non-film music), was a tribute to India, commemorating 50 years of the country's independence. The album reached record stores in 28 countries on August 15th of that year.
Rahman finally seemed poised on the brink of the international success he desired. Performances were booked in Europe, Canada, and the United States during the final years of the century and a session was arranged with singer David Byrne (owner of the Luaka Bop label and a Rahman fan). Andrew Lloyd Webber chose Rahman to compose the music for his Bombay Dreams, a musical based on the Bollywood film industry. The pair began work on the project during the second half of 2000, and the musical opened in London during 2002. Bombay Dreams also ran for 284 regular performances at the Broadway Theatre in New York from April 29, 2004, to January 1, 2005.
Since the turn of the millennium, Rahman has only seen his global recognition and acclaim continue to grow, as he has truly risen to the upper echelon of film composers worldwide. In 2005 he opened AM Studios -- regarded as one of the foremost recording facilities in Asia -- as an adjunct to Panchathan Record Inn, and the following year the composer established his own record label, KM Music. Rahman served as musical director for nearly 50 films from 2001 through 2008, the majority being Hindi- or Tamil-language movies, including noteworthy collaborations with Roja and Bombay director Mani Ratnam (Kannathil Muthamittal, Ayutha Ezhuthu/Yuva, Guru), and other directors including Rajiv Menon (Kandukondain Kandukondain), Shaad Ali (Saathiya), Ashutosh Gowariker (Swades), and S. Shankar (Boys, Sivaji), the latter of whom, like Ratnam, also directed a number of films scored by Rahman during the 1990s.
He also scored the 2003 Chinese (Mandarin-language) film Warriors of Heaven and Earth directed by He Ping and co-composed (with Craig Armstrong) the score to the 2007 English-language film Elizabeth: The Golden Age, directed by Shekhar Kapur and starring Cate Blanchett. However, Rahman's widest recognition thus far -- at least with Western audiences -- came with British director Danny Boyle's 2008 hit film Slumdog Millionaire, which won eight Academy Awards in the United States, including Best Picture and Best Director as well as two for Rahman, one for Best Original Score and one for Best Song. Two Rahman songs from the film had been nominated for Oscars, "O... Saya" and "Jai Ho," the latter of which won the statuette for Rahman and for lyricist Gulzar.
Wikipedia:"AR Rahman" redirects here. For the surah of the Quran, see Ar-Rahman.
Allah-Rakha Rahman ( pronunciation (help·info), born A. S. Dileep Kumar 6 January 1967) is an Indian composer, singer-songwriter, music producer, musician and philanthropist. Described as the world's most prominent and prolific film composer by Time, Rahman's works are noted for integrating Eastern classical music with electronic music, world music and traditional orchestral arrangements. Among his awards are two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, four National Film Awards, fifteen Filmfare Awards and thirteen Filmfare Awards South. Rahman's body of work for film and stage has given him the nickname of "the Mozart of Madras", and Tamil commentators and fans call him Isai Puyal (English: the Music Storm). In 2009, Time included Rahman on its list of the world's most influential people. The UK-based world-music magazine Songlines named him one of "Tomorrow's World Music Icons" in August 2011.
With an in-house studio (Panchathan Record Inn in Chennai) arguably one of Asia's most sophisticated and high-tech, Rahman's film-scoring career began during the early 1990s with the Tamil film Roja. Working in India's film industries, international cinema and theatre, Rahman is one of the world's all-time best-selling recording artists. In a notable two-decade career, he has been acclaimed for redefining contemporary Indian film music and contributing to the success of several films. Rahman is one of the highest-paid composers in the motion-picture industry and has become a notable humanitarian and philanthropist, donating and raising money for a number of causes and charities.Cite error: The named reference Interview_with_Times was invoked but never defined (see the help page). "A.R. Rahman IMDb". Cite error: The named reference ARR_bio was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Corliss, Richard (22 February 2011). "The 2011 Oscar Race: TIME Picks the Winners". Time. Retrieved 26 February 2011. Corliss, Richard (25 April 2004). "The Mozart of Madras". Time. Retrieved 5 April 2011. "The 2009 TIME 100 – A.R. Rahman". Time. 30 April 2009. Archived from the original on 17 February 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2011. "A.R. Rahman named in Songlines Tomorrow's World Music Icons'". ARC Music. Retrieved 24 August 2011. "Hollywood calling Rahman". Hindustan Times (India). 8 December 2009. Retrieved 3 February 2011. "A R Rahman opens online store". Deccan Herald (India). 6 December 2009. Retrieved 3 February 2011. Richard Corliss (3 May 2004). "Culture: The Mozart of Madras". Time. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
Rahman was born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India to a musical Mudaliar Tamil family. His father, R. K. Shekhar, was a film-score composer and conductor for Tamil and Malayalam films; 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 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".
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, Ilaiyaraaja, Ramesh Naidu 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 Chennai, Rahman graduated with a diploma in Western classical music from the school. Rahman was introduced to Qadiri Islam when his younger sister was seriously ill in 1984. He converted to Islam (his mother's religion) with other members of his family in 1989 at age 23, changing his name from R. S. Dileep Kumar to Allah Rakha Rahman (A. R. Rahman)."Rahman's childhood". hindilyrics.net. Retrieved 19 April 2011. "A R Rahman: In tune with life". The Times of India. 30 September 2002. Retrieved 5 April 2011. "Short biography". hummaa.com. Retrieved 20 April 2011. Ganti, T. Bollywood: A Guidebook to Popular Hindi Cinema. p. 112. ISBN 0-415-28854-1. "The Secret behind the Allure of A. R. RAHMAN". Khabar. Retrieved 12 March 2014. "Training under dhanraj master". Indiaglitz.com. Retrieved 20 April 2011. "Indian under spotlight". indiansinparis.com. Retrieved 20 April 2011. "Film fraternity hails Rahman, Pookutty for win". The Indian Express. India. 23 February 2009. Retrieved 23 February 2009. Wax, Emily (9 February 2009). "'Slumdog' Composer's Crescendo of a Career.". The Washington Post. Retrieved 8 November 2010. Cite error: The named reference Rahmanrs was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
ContentsCareer1.1 Soundtracks1.2 Background scores1.2.1 Awards and Accolades1.3 Performing and other projects
Rahman's film career began in 1992 when he started Panchathan Record Inn, a recording and mixing studio in his backyard. 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 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. In 1992, he was approached by director Mani Ratnam to compose the score and soundtrack for his Tamil film, Roja. During its filming cinematographer Santosh Sivan signed Rahman for the Malayalam film Yodha, directed by his brother (Sangeeth Sivan) and released in September 1992. Rahman received the Rajat Kamal (Silver Lotus) award for best music director at the National Film Awards, unprecedented for a film-composing debut. Rahman received a record three more Silver Lotuses: for Minsara Kanavu (Tamil) in 1997, Lagaan (Hindi) in 2002 and Kannathil Muthamittal (Tamil) in 2003.
Roja's score was critically and commercially successful in its original and dubbed versions, led by the innovative theme "Chinna Chinna Aasai". Rahman followed this with successful scores for Tamil–language films for the Chennai film industry, including Ratnam's politically-charged Bombay, the urban Kadhalan, Thiruda Thiruda and S. Shankar's debut film Gentleman (with its popular dance song, "Chikku Bukku Rayile"). Rahman collaborated with director Bharathiraaja on Kizhakku Cheemayile and Karuththamma, producing successful Tamil rural folk-inspired scores; he also composed the saxophone score for K. Balachander's Duet. The 1995 film Indira and romantic comedies Mr. Romeo and Love Birds also drew attention. Rahman attracted a Japanese audience with Muthu 's success there. His soundtracks are known in the Tamil Nadu film industry and abroad for his versatility in combining Western classical music, Carnatic and Tamil traditional and folk-music traditions, jazz, reggae and rock music. The soundtrack for Bombay sold 12 million copies worldwide, and "Bombay Theme" would later reappear in his score for Deepa Mehta's Fire and a number of compilations and other media. It was featured in the 2002 Palestinian film Divine Intervention and the 2005 Nicolas Cage film, Lord of War. Rangeela, directed by Ram Gopal Varma, was Rahman's Bollywood debut. Successful scores for Dil Se.. and the percussive Taal followed. Sufi mysticism inspired "Chaiyya Chaiyya" from the former film and "Zikr" from his score for Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero (which featured elaborate orchestral and choral arrangements). Rahman's score for the Chennai production Minsaara Kanavu won him his second National Film Award for Best Music Direction and a South FilmFare Award for Best Music Direction in a Tamil film in 1997, the latter setting a record of six consecutive wins; he later went on to win the award three consecutive additional times. The musical cues in the scores for Sangamam and Iruvar used Carnatic vocals, the veena, rock guitar and jazz. During the 2000s, Rahman composed popular scores for Rajiv Menon's Kandukondain Kandukondain, Alaipayuthey, Ashutosh Gowariker's Swades, Rang De Basanti and songs with Hindustani motifs for 2005's Water. Rahman has worked with Indian poets and lyricists such as Javed Akhtar, Gulzar, Vairamuthu and Vaali, and has produced commercially-successful soundtracks with directors Mani Ratnam and S. Shankar (Gentleman, Kadhalan, Indian, Jeans, Mudhalvan, Nayak, Boys, Sivaji and for Enthiran).
In 2005 Rahman expanded his Panchathan Record Inn studio by establishing AM Studios in Kodambakkam, Chennai, creating the most cutting-edge studio in Asia. The following year he launched his own music label, KM Music, with his score for Sillunu Oru Kaadhal. Rahman scored the Mandarin-language film Warriors of Heaven and Earth in 2003 after researching and using Chinese and Japanese classical music, and won the Just Plain Folks Music Award For Best Music Album for his score for 2006's Varalaru (God Father). He co-scored Shekhar Kapur's first British film, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, in 2007 and received a Best Composer Asian Film Award nomination at the Hong Kong International Film Festival for his Jodhaa Akbar score. Rahman's music has been sampled for other scores in India, appearing in Inside Man, Lord of War, Divine Intervention and The Accidental Husband. His score for his first Hollywood film, the 2009 comedy Couples Retreat, won the BMI London Award for Best Score. Rahman's score for 2008's Slumdog Millionaire won a Golden Globe and two Academy Awards (a first for an Asian), and the songs "Jai Ho" and "O... Saya" from its soundtrack were internationally successful. His music on 2008's Bollywood Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na was popular with Indian youth; that year, his score for Jodhaa Akbar won critical acclaim, a Best Composer Asian Film Award nomination and IIFA awards for best music direction and score. In 2010, Rahman scored the romantic Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa, the sci-fi romance Enthiran and Danny Boyle's 127 Hours, composing for the Imtiaz Ali musical Rockstar; the latter's soundtrack was a critical and commercial success. In 2012 Rahman scored Ekk Deewana Tha and the American drama People Like Us, and collaborated with director Yash Chopra on Jab Tak Hai Jaan. all were positively received. By the end of the year his music for Mani Ratnam's Kadal was critically acclaimed, and the album topped the iTunes India chart for December. In 2013, Rahman had two releases: Raanjhanaa and Maryan. Both were successful, with the former nominated for a number of awards and the latter the iTunes India Tamil Album of 2013.
In addition to Rahman's successful soundtracks, he is known for his innovative background scores and is considered one of the finest-ever background-score composers. Previously, film scores primarily consisted of orchestral music; Rahman revolutionised the art of scoring, bringing a unique, fresh sound to his film scores with vocals, unusual instruments and sounds and restrained orchestration.
Awards and Accolades
A number of his background scores have earned him significant recognition.RojaYodhaThiruda ThirudaBombayKadhal DesamIndianIruvarJeansDil Se..LagaanWarriors of Heaven and EarthThe Legend of Bhagat SinghSwadesMangal Pandey: The RisingGuruJodhaa AkbarSlumdog MillionaireVinnaithaandi VaruvaayaaEnthiran127 HoursMaryan
Additionally, several of Rahman's innovative background scores have earned him awards.
Performing and other projects
Rahman has also been involved in non-film projects. Vande Mataram, an album of original compositions released for India's 50th anniversary of its independence in 1997, is one of India's bestselling non-film albums. He followed it with an album for the Bharat Bala–directed video Jana Gana Mana, a collection of performances by leading exponents and artists of Indian classical music. Rahman has written written advertising jingles and orchestrations for athletic events, television and Internet media, documentaries and short films, frequently using the Czech Film Orchestra and the Chennai Strings Orchestra.
In 1999, Rahman partnered with choreographers Shobana and Prabhu Deva and a Tamil film-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 first stage production, Bombay Dreams, which was commissioned by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The Finnish folk-music band Värttinä collaborated with Rahman on the Toronto production of The Lord of the Rings, and in 2004 he composed "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 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". Rahman began his first world tour, (A. R. Rahman Jai Ho Concert: The Journey Home World Tour) on 11 June 2010 at Nassau Coliseum in New York; 16 cities worldwide were scheduled.
Some of Rahman's notable compositions were performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra in April 2010. In February 2011 Rahman collaborated with Michael Bolton on Bolton's album, Gems – The Duets Collection, reworking his "Sajna" from Couples Retreat.
On 20 May 2011 Mick Jagger announced the formation of a supergroup, SuperHeavy, with Dave Stewart, Joss Stone, Damian Marley and Rahman; its self-titled album was scheduled for release in September 2011. The album would have Jagger singing on Rahman's composition, "Satyameva Jayate" ("The Truth Alone Triumphs").
In January 2012 the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg announced that it would join KM Music Conservatory musicians for a 100-member concert tour of five Indian cities (Germany and India 2011–2012: Infinite Opportunities), performing Rahman's songs. The marked the centennial of Indian cinema and Babelsberg Studio, the world's oldest film studio.
In Summer 2012 Rahman composed a Punjabi song for the London Olympics opening ceremony, directed by Danny Boyle, part of a medley showcasing Indian influence in the UK. Indian musician Ilaiyaraja's song from the 1981 Tamil-language film Ram Lakshman was also chosen for the medley.
In December 2012 Rahman and Shekhar Kapoor launched Qyuki, a networking site which is a platform for story writers to exchange their thoughts. Cisco invested ₹270 million in the startup, giving it a 17-percent share. Qyuki uses Cisco's cloud infrastructure for the site. On 20 December he released the single "Infinite Love" in English and Hindi, commemorating the last day of the Mayan calendar to spread hope, peace and love. Rahman's 2013 tour, Rahmanishq, was announced on 29 July 2013 in Mumbai. Beginning in Sydney on 24 August, the tour moved to a number of cities in India.Eur, Andy Gregory. The International Who's Who in Popular Music 2002: A. R. Rahman. pp. 419–420. "An Interview with A.R. Rahman". Apple Inc. Archived from the original on 8 February 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2011. "A R Rahman's biography". 123musiq.com. Retrieved 27 July 2011. Purie, Aroon (1994). "A. R. Rahman: Prodigious Debut". India Today (Living Media) 29 (1–6): 153. Iyer, Vijay. "A. R. Rahman". lotr.com. Archived from the original on 25 October 2008. Retrieved 15 November 2008. Culshaw, Peter (6 February 2009). "Interview with AR Rahman, the composer behind the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved 24 February 2011. "Work of the magic and other musicians". Global Rhythm (New York: World Marketing Inc) 11 (7–12): 11. 1995. ISSN 1553-9814. OCLC 50137257. "His first assignment was to write the music for Ratman's film, Roja. Subsequent films that established AR Rahman as the genius of Tamil film music included Pudhiya Mugam with director Suresh Menon and Gentleman with Shankar." John Shepherd (2005). Continuum encyclopedia of popular music of the world 3–7. London, New York: Continuum. pp. 80–81. ISBN 0-8264-6321-5. OCLC 444486924. ISBN 978-0-8264-6321-0 ISBN 0-8264-6322-3, ISBN 978-0-8264-6322-7, ISBN 0-8264-7436-5, ISBN 978-0-8264-7436-0. "Music directors such as AR Rahman and Karthik Raja produce film scores that are more eclectic, incorporating rap, jazz, reggae, hard rock and fast dance beats ( as, for example, for Duet , Kadhalan  and Bombay )." Purie, Aroon (1995). "A. R. Rahman: Music The New Wave". India Today (Living Media) 20 (1–6): 11. "For Chikkubukku raile. a Tamil hit song, he banked on an unknown voice, its lisp and anglicised delivery. Rahman likes working with untrained voices, saying a slight "defect in the singing adds a human touch"." K. Naresh Kumar (1995). Indian cinema : ebbs and tides. 26–27. New Delhi: Har-Anand Publications. p. 135. ISBN 978-81-241-0344-9. OCLC 33444588. World Saxophone Congress. North American Saxophone Alliance (2001). The saxophone symposium : journal of the North American Saxophone Alliance. 26–27. Greenville: North American Saxophone Alliance. pp. 78–85. ISSN 0271-3705. OCLC 5190155. "The famous South Indian film music director AR Rahman invited [ Kadri Gopalnath ] to work on the music for a major South Indian film. Rahman, a new music director, writes music that brings a more cosmopolitan feel to Indian cinema, and he was open to ..." Purie, Aroon (1996). "Music love birds". India Today (Living Media) 21 (1–6): 195. ISSN 0254-8399. OCLC 2675526. "AR Rahman's latest offering is a heavy dose of synthesiser and percussion sprinkled with rap. "No Problem" by Apache Indian is the selling point." Kasbekar, Asha (2006). Pop Culture India!: Media, Arts and Lifestyle. ABC-CLIO. p. 215. ISBN 978-1-85109-636-7. "Songs play as important a part in South Indian films and some South Indian music directors such as A. R. Rehman and Ilyaraja have an enthusiastic national and even international following" Chaudhuri, S. "Cinema of South India and Sri Lanka". Contemporary World Cinema: Europe, the Middle East, East Asia and South Asia. p. 149. "Now the South is believed to excel the North in many respects, including its colour labs, state of the art digital technology and sound processing facilities (which have improved the dubbing of Tamil and other South Indian languages into Hindi since the 1970s)." Prasad, Ayappa (2003). "Films don't believe in borders". Screen. Retrieved 15 November 2008. Purie, Aroon (1995). "A. R. Rahman: Music The New Wave". India Today (Living Media) 20 (1–6): 11. "Now, two years later, AR Rahman looks like he is here to stay, with his digitalised sound based on pop-rock and reggae and fused with traditional Indian – mainly Carnatic – folk idioms. The supreme irony: he used to play keyboards in ..." Ramaswamy, V. Historical Dictionary of the Tamils. p. 199. Chaudhuri, S. "Cinema of South India and Sri Lanka". Contemporary World Cinema: Europe, the Middle East, East Asia and South Asia. p. 149. "Southern filmmakers like Mani Ratnam, Ram Gopal Varma and Priyadarshan have altered the profile of Indian 'national' cinema. So too have southern specialists ... cinematographers Santosh Sivan, P. C. Sreeram and music composer A. R. Rahman who formed a highly successful team with Ratnam and have all attained star status in their own right" Brégeat, Raïssa (1995). Indomania: le cinéma indien des origines à nos jours (in French). Paris: Cinémathèque française. p. 133. ISBN 978-2-900596-14-2. "AR Rahman (Roja, Bombay), entre autres, exigent aujourd'hui les cachets les plus gros jamais payés à un directeur musical" Das Gupta, Surajeet; Sen, Soumik. "Composing a winning score". Rediff. Archived from the original on 15 October 2008. Retrieved 15 November 2008. Purie, Aroon (1995). "French Connection". India Today (Living Media) 20 (13–18): 156. Stafford, Roy. Understanding Audiences and the Film Industry. London: British Film Institute. p. 27. ISBN 978-1-84457-141-3. Arnold, Alison (2000). "Film music in the late Twentieth century". The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. Taylor & Francis. p. 540. ISBN 978-0-8240-4946-1. "The recent success of the Tamil film music director A. R. Rehman in achieving widespread popularity in the world of Hindi film music is now possibly opening doors to new South-North relationships and collaborations" Rangan, Baradwaj; Suhasini, Lalitha (2008). "AR Rahman: The Rolling Stone interview". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 16 November 2008. "The A R Rahman Chat". Rediff on the Net. Rediff. 17 August 1998. Archived from the original on 16 December 2008. Retrieved 6 December 2008. Velayutham, Selvaraj (2008). Tamil Cinema: The Cultural Politics of India's Other Film Industry. p. 6. Ganti, T. Bollywood: A Guidebook to Popular Hindi Cinema. p. 112. "Rehman became a major star with his hit music in Roja followed by hit scores for Mani Ratnam's and Shankar's films in Tamil." "Film Composer A.R. Rahman Selects Bag End Bass Speakers". Mix. 7 June 2006. 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Retrieved 5 April 2011. "Mae goes the raga way". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 20 November 2004. Retrieved 5 April 2011. Chander, Bhuvana (19 April 2006). "Tamil Cinema". Tamil Guardian. p. 15. Retrieved 24 October 2010. Unterberger, Richie (2006). "Introducing A.R. Rahman: Original Soundtracks From the Musical Genius of Indian Cinema". Allmusic. Retrieved 5 April 2011. "Listen, it's got Connections". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 10 January 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2011. Chris Richards (24 November 2009). "Indian composer A.R. Rahman to perform at state dinner". The Washington Post. "Rahman part of historic remake of We are the World". The Indian Express. 4 February 2010. Retrieved 5 April 2011. "Gujarat turns 50 in style". The Times of India. 2 May 2010. Retrieved 23 August 2010. Ramya Kannan (16 May 2010). "I initially wondered how I was going to do it: A.R. Rahman". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 5 April 2011. Lasyapriya Sundaram (28 August 2010). "Rahman's CWG theme song finally released". IBN Live. Retrieved 5 April 2011. "A.R. Rahman Jai Ho Concert: The Journey Home World Tour". A. R. Rahman Official Website. Archived from the original on 5 June 2010. Retrieved 11 June 2010. Sarfraz Manzoor (2 April 2010). "A new level of recognition, legitimacy: Rahman". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 5 April 2011. "Hollywood, Kollywood, Bollywood, it's all good". The New Paper. 17 March 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2011. "Bolton collaborates with Rahman for new album". IBN Live. 10 May 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2011. "Rahman's Sajna in Michael Bolton's album". Sify. 10 May 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2011. Greene, Andy (20 May 2011). "Mick Jagger Forms Supergroup with Dave Stewart, Joss Stone, A R Rahman and Damian Marley". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 23 May 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2011. "Mick Jagger's SuperHeavy Supergroup to Drop Album in September". Billboard. 23 June 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2011. Mick Jagger's 'SuperHeavy' album to release in September, Zeenews "AR Rahman's Punjabi Track To Rock Olympics Inaugural". The Times of India. 30 June 2012. SiliconIndia (27 February 2014). "The Entrepreneurial Side Of Bollywood Stars". SiliconIndia. Retrieved 1 Mar 2014. LinkedIn. "Qyuki Digital Media". LinkedIn. Retrieved 1 Mar 2014. Facebook. "Qyuki About Page". Facebook. Retrieved 1 Mar 2014. A R Rahman Tour 2013
Musical style and impact
Skilled in Carnatic music, Western and Hindustani classical music and the Qawwali style of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Rahman is noted for film songs amalgamating elements of these and other genres, layering instruments from different musical idioms in an improvisational style. Symphonic orchestral themes accompany his scores, occasionally using a leitmotif. He is one of the few Indian composers to use symphonies in background scores, primarily using the key melody of a song in his background scores—converting the melody into an orchestral piece and incorporating it into the film. This technique increases a film's song's prominence, giving continuity and fluency to the story and enabling a song to fit a situation simply and subtly. During the 1980s Rahman recorded monaural arrangements in common with 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 career is often divided into pre- and post-2000 periods. During his early era, he wrote simple, catchy and rhythmic songs which were immediate hits. Rahman's later music has deeper melodies, with a number of layers surrounding the core tune; as a result, his more-complex compositions take longer to resonate with listeners. His compositions after 2000 also feature more electronica.
Rahman's musical interests and outlook originate in his love of experimentation. His compositions, like other Chennai film composers, have an auteuristic use of counterpoint, orchestration and the human voice, melding Indian pop music with a unique timbre, form and instrumentation. With this syncretic style and wide-ranging lyrics, the appeal of Rahman's music crosses classes and cultures in Indian society.
His first soundtrack, for Roja, was listed on Time's all-time "10 Best Soundtracks" in 2005. Film critic Richard Corliss said that the composer's "astonishing debut work parades Rahman's gift for alchemizing outside influences until they are totally Tamil, totally Rahman", and his initial global success is attributed to the South Asian diaspora. Music producer Ron Fair considers Rahman "one of the world's great living composers in any medium".
Director Baz Luhrmann said:
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 introduced 7.1 surround sound technology to South Indian films.
On 21 May 2014 Rahman announced that he has partnered with former Black Eyed Peas’ Will.i.am to recreate an early popular track 'Urvashi Urvashi'. Track is 'Birthday'.Cite error: The named reference Rahmanrs was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Viswanathan, T.; Harper Allen, Matthew. Music in South India. p. 139. Slobin, Mark; Gregory Booth; Joseph Getter; B. Balasubrahmaniyan (2008). "Tamil Film Music: Sound and Significance". Global soundtracks: worlds of film music. USA: Wesleyan University Press. pp. 108, 125. ISBN 978-0-8195-6881-6. ISBN 0-8195-6881-3 ISBN 978-0-8195-6882-3, ISBN 0-8195-6882-1. Cite error: The named reference Biography was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Through innovations such as these, commentators herald Rahman's work as having "passed the relatively static makeup of Western ensembles such as jazz bands and symphony orchestras and the rigid formula of American pop songs." Todd Titon, Jeff; Linda Fujie, David Locke, David P. McAllester. "India/South India". Worlds of Music: An Introduction to the Music of the World's Peoples. pp. 202–205. Cite uses deprecated parameters (help) Corliss, Richard (12 February 2005). "Best Soundtracks – ALL TIME 100 MOVIES". Time. Archived from the original on 20 February 2008. Retrieved 24 February 2008. Smith, Ethan (27 February 2009). "'Slumdog' Remix: The Oscar-winning song 'Jai Ho' is reworked with help from a Pussycat Doll". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 28 February 2009. Retrieved 1 March 2009. "Baz Luhrrman comments on A. R. Rahman". Charindaa. 2005. Retrieved 15 November 2008. "Rahman's AM Studio introduces 7.1 technology to Kollywood". The Times Of India. 27 June 2012. "A R Rahman’s hit number ‘Urvashi Urvashi’ inspires Will.i.am’s new track". Indian Express. 21 May 2014.
AwardsMain article: List of awards and nominations received by A. R. Rahman
Rahman was the 1995 recipient of the Mauritius National Award and the Malaysian Award for his contributions to music, and 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, he has fifteen Filmfare Awards and thirteen Filmfare Awards South for his music. Rahman has received a Kalaimamani from the Government of Tamil Nadu for excellence in the field of music, musical-achievement awards from the governments of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh and a Padma Shri from the Government of India. In 2006, he received an award from Stanford University for his contributions to global music. The following year, Rahman entered the Limca Book of Records as "Indian of the Year for Contribution to Popular Music". He received the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rotary Club of Madras. In 2009, for his Slumdog Millionaire score, 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 (Best Original Score and Best Original Song, the latter shared with Gulzar) at the 81st Academy Awards. He has received honorary doctorates from Middlesex University, Aligarh Muslim University, Anna University in Chennai and Miami University in Ohio. The composer has won two Grammy Awards: Best Compilation Soundtrack Album and Best Song Written for Visual Media. Rahman received the Padma Bhushan, India's third-highest civilian honour, in 2010. His work in 127 Hours won him Golden Globe, BAFTA, and two Academy Award nominations (Best Original Music Score and Best Original Song) in 2011. Rahman is an Honorary Fellow of the Trinity College of Music.
During his 7 May 2012 acceptance speech of his honorary doctorate from Miami University in Ohio, Rahman mentioned that he received a Christmas card from the family of the President of the United States and an invitation to dinner at the White House. A street was named in his honour in Markham, Ontario, Canada in November 2013."The golden boy of Indian music A R Rahman turns 44". The Times of India. Times Now. 6 January 2010. "Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri awardees". The Hindu. 26 January 2000. Retrieved 5 April 2011. Prakash, B.S. (6 July 2006). "Stanford University honours A R Rahman". Rediff. Rediff.com. Archived from the original on 7 December 2008. Retrieved 16 December 2008. "Limca Book of records felicitates A.R. Rahman". Radioandmusic.com. Retrieved 5 April 2011. "A R Rahman Honored". Indiaglitz. 4 June 2008. Retrieved 5 April 2011. "66th Annual Golden Globe Awards". IMDB. Archived from the original on 14 December 2008. Retrieved 12 December 2008. "Rahman to be awarded an Honorary Degree in July". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 1 April 2009. Retrieved 26 May 2009. "Rahman to be conferred honorary doctorate by AMU". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 26 May 2009. Retrieved 26 May 2009. "Rahman to be awarded honorary doctorate". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 3 March 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2011. "India's A.R. Rahman strikes Grammys gold". Agence France-Presse. 2010. Archived from the original on 4 February 2010. Retrieved 1 February 2010. "Padma Bhushan for Rahman, Aamir; Segal gets Padma Vibhushan". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 26 January 2010. "127 Hours gets AR Rahman 2 Oscar nominations". Daily News and Analysis (India). 25 January 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2011. "Rahman gets BAFTA nomination for 127 Hours". Hindustan Times (India: Indo-Asian News Service). 18 January 2011. Archived from the original on 19 January 2011. Retrieved 18 January 2011. "The 68th Annual Golden Globe Award". Golden Globe Award. 14 December 2010. Archived from the original on 25 December 2010. Retrieved 14 December 2010. Ashanti Omkar, A. R. Rahman (13 January 2010). A.R Rahman interview 2010 part 1 – Vinnaithandi Varuvaayaa (VTV) – Thai Pongal special (Web interview). London: Thamarai.com. Miami University Doctorate "Now a street named after AR Rahman in Canada". 6 November 2013. Firstpost.com. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
Rahman is married to Saira Banu and has three children: Khatija, Rahima and Ameen. Ameen sings "NaNa" from Couples Retreat, and Khatija sings "Pudhiya Manidha" from Enthiran. Rahman is the uncle of composer G. V. Prakash Kumar, the son of his older sister A. R. Reihana. Kumar's first film work was singing on Rahman's "Chikku Bukku Rayile", from his score for 1993's Gentleman. Reihana's film debut was singing on "Vidai Kodu Engal Naadae" from Kannathil Muthamittal, and she is a music director. Rahman's younger sister, Fathima, heads his music conservatory in Chennai. The youngest, Ishrath, has a music studio. Rahman is the brother-in-law of film actor Rahman.
An atheist during 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 experienced difficult times; Sufism influenced his mother and, eventually, his family. During the 81st Academy Awards ceremony Rahman paid tribute to his mother: "There is a Hindi dialogue, mere pass ma hai, which means 'even if I have got nothing I have my mother here'." He said, "Ella pughazhum iraivanukke" ("All praise to God" in Tamil, a literal translation of the first sentence of the Quran) before his speech."I miss him terribly when he's away". Hindustan Times. 28 October 2007. Vickey Lalwani (29 July 2009). "AR Rahman's son sings for Hollywood". The Times of India (India: The Times Group). Retrieved 29 July 2010. "A R Rahman's daughter sings song in Yanthram". Indiaglitz. Archived from the original on 30 July 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2010. Kamala Bhatt. "I knew Rahman would go international: Reihana". NDTV. Retrieved 5 April 2011. "A passion for music". The Hindu (Chennai). 28 January 2008. Retrieved 5 April 2011. K. Janani. (10 May 2011). "Musical family of A R Rahman". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 10 May 2011. "Actor Rahman's profile". actorrahman.com. Retrieved 5 April 2011. "Interview with Rahman". The Times of India. Retrieved 23 August 2010. AR Rahman talks about his Conversion to Islam. Chennai: YouTube. Retrieved 5 April 2011. "Rahman wins two Oscars". The Hindu (Chennai). 23 February 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2011. "Front Page : Great composer, greater human feted". The Hindu (Chennai). 24 February 2009. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
Rahman is involved with a number of charitable causes. In 2004 he was appointed global ambassador of the Stop TB Partnership, a WHO project. Rahman has supported Save the Children India and worked with Yusuf Islam on "Indian Ocean", a song featuring a-ha keyboard player Magne Furuholmen and Travis drummer Neil Primrose. Proceeds from the song went to help orphans in Banda Aceh who were affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. He produced the single "We Can Make It Better" by Don Asian with Mukhtar Sahota. In 2008 Rahman opened the KM Music Conservatory with an audio-media education facility to train aspiring musicians in vocals, instruments, music technology and sound design. The conservatory (with prominent musicians on staff and a symphony orchestra) is located near his studio in Kodambakkam, Chennai and offers courses at several levels. Violinist L. Subramaniam is on its advisory board. Several of Rahman's proteges from the studio have scored feature films. He composed the theme music for a 2006 short film for The Banyan to aid poor women in Chennai. In 2008 Rahman and noted percussionist Sivamani created a song, "Jiya Se Jiya", inspired by the Free Hugs Campaign and promoted it with a video filmed in a number of Indian cities.Cite error: The named reference lotrrahmanc was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Williamson, Nigel (17 November 2006). "The Billboard Q and A: Yusuf Islam". Billboard. Archived from the original on 6 March 2008. Retrieved 5 April 2011. "LA Phil presents Hollywood Bowl: About the Performer: AR Rahman". Hollywood Bowl Official Website. Retrieved June 2006. "Rahman's music conservatory in June". Screen. Retrieved November 2008. "Briefly Tamil Cinema". Tamil Guardian. 19 April 2006. Retrieved 24 October 2010. Sudhish Kamath (31 January 2006). "Netru, Indru, Nalai is back with a bang". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Archived from the original on 12 May 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2011. "Rahman advocates free hugs for peace". Daily News and Analysis. 15 December 2008. Retrieved 5 April 2011.