The undisputed No.1 in Indian Film Music direction today, A R Rahman, born Dilip Shekar, is the son of Malayalam Film Music Composer R K Shekar. At nine he converted to Islam after his father’s death.
His plunge into music making was early. The keyboard was his chosen instrument. He played with bands and churned out jingles for Television and Radio Commercials.
Immediate fame came with his debut as Music Director for Mani Ratnam’s Roja. This was followed by acclaimed work in films – Gentleman, Kadhalan, Thiruda Thiruda, Minsara Kanavu, Bombay, Indian, Kadhal Desam, Dil Se, Iruvar, Jeans, Alaipayuthey and Kandukondaen Kandukondaen.
A R Rahman successfully made that crossover from regional to national and international acceptance of his music. His music for Hindi films Rangeela, Taal, 1947 Earth and Pukar has established him as the hottest music making talent for the Indian tinsel world.
Also acclaimed are his deeply moving music albums on national integration – Vande Mataram and Jana Gana Mana 2000.
A R Rahman’s style is characterised by a trend-setting techno-sound that blends diverse influences – Carnatic, Hindustani, Western Classical, even Jazz.
This scholarship holder from Trinity College of Music, London, is known for his willingness to introduce new voices and give them a winning platform through his music.
A R Rahman’s contribution to film music making has been recognised through several State and National Awards and the special honour of a Padmashri.