India’s world renowned music composer celebrates his birthday today.
Allah Rakkha Rahman was born January 6, 1966 as A. S. Dileep Kumar to Mr & Mrs to R. K. Shekhar Mudhaliar in Chennai. His family converted to Islam from Shaivite Hinduism in the late 1970s.
Rahman was also a student at PSBB for a short while before changing schools. During these early years, Rahman served as a keyboard player and an arranger in bands such as Roots with percussionist Sivamani, John Anthony and Raja. Rahman is the founder of the Chennai based rock group, Nemesis Avenue.
At the age of 11, Rahman joined, as a keyboard player for the orchestra of Ilaiyaraaja. He later played in the orchestra of M. S. Viswanathan and Ramesh Naidu, accompanied Zakir Hussain, Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan and L. Shankar on world tours and obtained a scholarship to Trinity College of Music in London, where he graduated with a degree in Western classical music.
In 1991, Rahman began his own music recording and mixing studio called the Panchathan Record Inn, which is now developed as India’s most advanced recording studio. He initially composed music jingles for TV and film advertisements.
In 1992, he was approached by film director Mani Ratnam to compose the score and soundtrack for Ratnam’s Tamil film Roja. The debut led Rahman to receive the Rajat Kamal award for Best Music Director at the National Film Awards, the first time ever by a first-time film composer. Rahman has since then gone on to win the award three more times (for his scores for Minsaara Kanavu (Tamil) in 1997, Lagaan ( Hindi) in 2002, Kannathil Muthamittal (Tamil) in 2003, the most ever by any composer.
Rahman is a Golden Globe nominated film composer, record producer and musician.
In a career spanning over a decade, he has sold more than one hundred million records of his film scores and soundtracks worldwide, and sold over two hundred million cassettes and CDs making him one of the world’s top 10 all-time top selling recording artists.
TIME Magazine declared Rahman as the Mozart of Madras. His music score for Slumdog Millionaire is making around the world and so are his compositions for Aamir Khan’s Ghajini.