AR Rahman the music legend
Allah-Rakha Rahman, known as A.R. Rahman is anIndian composer, singer, song writer, musician and philanthropist. He was born A.S. Dileep Kumar in january6, 1967, madras (now Chennai), India to a musically affluent family. His father, R.K. Shekhar was a film-score composer and conductor for Tamil and Malayalam films.
After R.K. Shekhar’s death when Rahman was 9 years old, his father’s musical equipment’s rental provided his family’s income and he was raised by his mother, Kareema. He began his early music training under Master Dhanraj and at the age of 11, he began playing in orchestra of Malyalam composer M.K. Arjunnan. He soon began working with other composers on world tours and obtained a scholarship from Trinity College London to the Trinity College of Music.
Rahman’s change of religion and his awards:
Rahman was born Hindu. Later he was introduced to Qadiri Islam when his younger sister was seriously ill in 1984. He converted to Islam with other members of his family in 1989 when he was 23 years old, changing his name from R.S. Dileep Kumar to Allah Rahman (A.R. Rahman).
Among his awards are two academy awards, two Grammy awards, a BAFTA Award four national film awards, a Golden Globe, fifteen Filmfare Awards and fifteen Filmfare Awards South. He also has been awarded the Padma Bhusan, the third highest civilian award, in 2010 by the government of India.
Rahman is married to Saira Banu and has three children, named Khatija, Rahima, and Ameen. Both Khatija and Rahima are singers and have sung some songs.
After the death of his father he and his family went through a very hard times. Sufism influenced his mother who was practicing Hindu and his family.
He has supported to charities including, Save the Children, India, and worked with Cat Stevens/ Yusuf Islam for his song “Indian Ocean”. The proceeds of the song went towards helping orphans in Banda Aceh, one of the areas worst affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.
Rahman composed the theme music for a short film for the Banya in 2006, in aid of destitute women in Chennai. In 2008, he 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 same year, along with 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.
His syncretic style, wide ranging lyrics and the the appeal of his music crosses classes and cultures in Indian society. And his first soundtrack for song ‘Roja’ was listed on time’s all time”10 Best Soundtrack” in 2005. Also 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.
Also Indian director Baz Luhrmann said that, “he had come to the music of A.R. Rahman through the emotional and haunting score of Bombay and the wit and celebration of Lagaan. He said the more he encountered Rahman’s music, the more he was 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 him the most”. Rahman also introduced 7.1 surround sound technology to South Indian films.
His personal quotes:
“I wasn’t too happy with the ‘I don’t want to listen to’ it attitude of our youngsters towards Indian 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 loose the market to the west. It was like the wild imagination of a child. But it worked. It did travel beyond Madras and attract people”.
“I hate the word Bollywood. I think its 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”.
His amazing quote: “All my life I had a choice between hate and love. I chose love, and I am here”.