A. R. Rahman: The Mozart of Madras

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  • Topic: A. R. Rahman, Mani Ratnam, Cinema of India
  • Pages : 2 (752 words )
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  • Published : February 23, 2013
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Allah Rakha Rahman (Tamil: அல்லா ரக்கா ரகுமான்; born 6 January 1966 as A. S. Dileep Kumar) is an Indian film composer, record producer, musician and singer. His film scoring career began in the early 1990s. He has won fourteen Filmfare Awards, four National Film Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, two Grammy Awards, and two Academy Awards.[1][2] Working in India's various film industries, international cinema and theatre, by 2004, Rahman, in a career spanning over a decade, had sold more than 150 million records of his film scores and soundtracks worldwide,[3][4] and sold over 200 million cassettes,[5] making him one of the world's all-time top selling recording artists. Time magazine has referred to him as the "Mozart of Madras" and several Tamil commentators have coined him the nickname Isai Puyal (Tamil: இசைப் புயல்; English: Music Storm).[6] In 2009, the magazine placed Rahman in the Time 100 list of World's Most Influential People.[7] •

Early life and influences
A. R. Rahman was born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India to a musically affluent Mudaliar Tamil family.[8][9][10] His father R. K. Shekhar, was a Chennai based composer and conductor for Malayalam films. Rahman lost his father at a young age and his family rented out musical equipment as a source of income. He was raised by his mother Kareema (Kashturi). He was introduced to Sufism when his younger sister fell severely sick and as per the advise of a family friend, the family would pray at a mosque and vow conversion to Islam if she got well. The prayers were answered and accordingly, he along with other members of his family then converted to Islam in the year 1989 at the age of 23 and changed his name to Rahman.[11] 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.[12] Rahman is the founder of the Chennai-based rock group, "Nemesis Avenue".[13] He...
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