A. R. Rahman was born on 6 January 1966 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India to a musically affluent Mudaliar Tamil family.
Father's name: R. K. Shekhar
Mother's name: Kareema
Sister:A. R. Reihana,Fathima,Ishrath
Children:Khatija, Rahima, Ameen
The Mozart of Madras, Isai Puyal
Website : www.arrahman.com
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 ZakirHussain, 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).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 "PudhiyaManidha" 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 "VidaiKoduEnga lNaadae" 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 brother-in-law 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 pughazhumiraivanukke", 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.
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-Kotiand also accompanied ZakirHussain, KunnakudiVaidyanathan 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.
A. R. Rahman is a composer, singer-songwriter, music producer, musician, multi-instrumentalist and philanthropist.
By his 15th birthday, he had begun working with a theater company. After working as an accompanist in Lahore, Rakha accepted a position with All India Radio in Delhi in 1936. He remained with the station until 1940 when he became involved with the Hindi film industry as a session musician. He eventually rose to the position of music director for Rangmahal Studios. Moving to classical music in 1948, Rakha resumed his career as an accompanist. In addition to working with Ravi Shankar throughout the 1960s and ‘70s, he collaborated with sitarist Vilayat Khan and American drummer Buddy Rich, with whom he recorded the East-meets-West album Rich A La Rakha. At an advertising awards function, Rahman met one of India's most famous directors, Mani Ratnam. Rahman played him a few of his music samples. Mani loved them so much that he asked Rahman to compose the music for his next film, Roja (1992). The rest, as they say, is history. He went on to compose several great hits for Tamil-language films before composing the score and songs for his first Hindi-language film, Bollywood Dreams (1995). The enormous success of his first Hindi venture was followed by the chart-topping soundtrack albums of films such as Bombay (1995) ,Dil Se.. (1998), Taal (1999), Zubeidaa (2001), and Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001), which was nominated for best foreign-language film at the 2002 Academy Awards. More recently, he worked with Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and ShekharKapur (director of Elizabeth (1998)) on a musical called "Bombay Dreams." At 36 years old, A.R. Rahman has revolutionized Indian film music and one can only expect this musical genius to reach greater heights.
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.
I have rubbed many a producer the wrong way by disturbing the schedule, but it has paid off.
I wasn't too happy with the I-don't-want-to-listen-to-it attitude of our youngsters towards film music. Why can't we get our guys to listen to our own music rather than to Michael Jackson? I didn't want us to lose the market to the West. The music had to be cool and rooted, and yet had to branch out. It was like the wild imagination of a child... but it worked... it did travel beyond Madras and attract people.
About his belief in Sufism: "I'm a deeply spiritual person. Sufism is about love - love for a fellow human, love for all round humanity, and ultimately love for God. For me, it's where music and religion meet - at dargahs, you will find qawwalis. That's my inspiration."
About his song Vande Mataram: "It had to be unlike the one played on the radio for years. I wanted a sound that would connect me with people and capture a collective energy."
I hate the word (Bollywood). I think it's derivative and it doesn't represent the entire film community in India. There's the eastern film industry, four industries in the south - they all make extraordinary films. It's like saying the whole of the West is Hollywood.
[On winning the 57th Filmfare Awards for Best Music] I want to thank Imtiaz, and all the singers of Rockstar, and everyone who has worked on the music along with me.
[On film star and activist Aamir Khan] In a world of false diplomacy and evasiveness, Aamir is a straightforward man. A man of his word. His movies are commercial successes, but they also display a sense of social responsibility: they tackle important themes like poverty and education. He uses his gifts as a charmer to give his audience the most bitter medicine. Hypnotized, we take it without complaint. That's Amir's magic at work.