January 6, 1966 - Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Quick Facts about A. R. Rahman:
- Rahman's music for Slumdog Millionaire won the Golden Globe and the Academy Award for Best Score. He also won the Academy Award for Best Song - "Jai Ho".
- Rahman is one of the worlds top selling artists. The BBC estimates that Rahman has sold over 100 million albums world wide.
- In 1991 Rahman was the first brand new artist ever to win the Indian National Award for the Best Music Composer for the film Roja.
- Time Magazine once referred to Rahman as the "Mozart of Madras".
Rahman's Family & Early Years:
Rahman was born to a musical family. His father, R. K. Shekhar, was a composer and conductor for Malayalam movies. Rahman's father died when he was only nine years old. As a way to earn money, his family rented music equipment. Rahman learned to play the piano at an early age and later joined a the composer Ilayaraja’s troupe as a keyboardist and computer programmer. Rahman graduated with a classical music degree from the Trinity College of Music in London.
Early Musical Career:
After graduating college, Rahman began his music career in a recording studio attached to his house. He began composing jingles and music for advertisements for Indian television. In 1991, Rahman was contacted by Mani Ratnam to compose the score for the movie Roja, which later earned him the Indian National Award for the Best Music Composer. His tremendous success for the film earned the soundtrack a rank in the top 10 of Time Magazine's top 100 best movie soundtracks of the world. Soon after earning critical acclaim, Rahman began receiving requests to compose for other films - many of which earned awards.
Current Musical Career:
Rahman's musical studio is perhaps the most technologically advanced studio in India, enabling Rhaman to develop his unique compositional style. He is considered by many to have rejuvenated and evolved the traditional Bollywood score that most of us have come to know into something that has become the pride of India. Though Rahman's music has received many recognitions and accolades, his name has not been well known in the Western world until his score to Slumdog Millionaire. His soundtrack earned him a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Score as well as the Oscar for best song.