Mozart of Madras – A.R. Rahman
He was called by different names – Mozart of Madras, John Williams of India, Musical storms, etc by different crowd. A.R. Rahman, music maestro, who brought the pride of Golden Globe and the dream of the Oscars to the India’s doorsteps for the film “Slumdog Millionaire“, which tells the story of an Indian boy from the Mumbai slums moves from the rags to riches, very much resembles to the life of the Mozart of Madras.
A.R. Rahman is the first Indian to receive a Golden Globe for the Best Composer. He won BAFTA for the Best Music, which is a British Award Equivalent to Oscar. The International Press Academy Satellite Award for Rahman for the Best Score Award for “Slumdog Millionaire”.
A.R. Rahman (Allah Rakkha Rahman) born in a Tamil Hindu family to R.K. Shekhar, a Malayalam music composer and arranger, on the 6th January, 1967. He followed Hinduism till 1989, named as A.S. Dileep Kumar and converted to Islam.
A.R. Rahman’s journey to the Golden Globe Award and to the nomination for the Oscar 2009, started from his very childhood. An interview with Vanitha, a Malayalam fortnightly magazine, it is written in that once he walked into the studio with his father at the age of 4, he played a song in a Harmonium. By seeing his performance, the then music director Sudharsan covered the harmonium with a sheet and asked him to play the same song again and he had a excellent performance on that day. The same A.R. Rahman has shared stage space with the musical geniuses like Ustad Zakir Hussain, M.S. Viswanathan, etc.. and played with Michael Jackson in Munich, Germany for “Michael Jackson and Friends Concert” in 1999.
A.R. Rahman’s musical journey starts at the age of 11, by joining the troupe of music meastro Illaya Raja as a key boardist. At 16, started scoring music for advertisement jingles. Eventually he obtained a scholorship to the Trinity College of Music, London and graduated in Western Classical Music. In 1992, he got an entry into the film world through a Tamil movie “Roja”, directed by Mani Ratnam. It was his big break because his debuted movie won him Rajat Kamal Award for the Best Music Director at the National Film Awards and 3 more after that and a Padma Shri from the Government of India. In the same year he began, Panchathan Record Inn, his own music recording and mixing studio.
A.R. Rahman gained considerable notice in Japan with the success of the Tamil film “Muthu”. He is debuted in the Bollywood with the Ram Gopal Varma’s “Rangeela”. He composed an album “Vande Mataram” on the occassion of the India’s 50th Independence Day. In 2006, he launched a music label “K M Music”.
A.R. Rahman won Mauritius National Award and Malaysian Award i 1995, Honorary Award from Standford University for contribution to Global music in 2006. He also won 6 Awards at the Tamilnadu State Film Awards for the Best Musical Category and 11 Awards each for his score at the Film Fare Awards and Film Fare Awards South.[media id=17 width=585 height=360]
A.R. Rahman has a strange kind of spirituality within which he lives. He believes that every individual, even an atom, can move only with the will of the God. Clearly, Rahman has found a channel for his creativity that meshes with his spiritual beliefs, thats his Music. Now the millions of hearts synchronizes to the so called ‘Rahmania’ rhythm of “jai ho” and “O Saaya” on which the country awaits its first Oscar.