It’s a double celebration time for music director A R Rehman as he celebrated his birthday with the pleasure of being selected in 87th Oscar’s short list this year. Three songs from movies MILLION DOLLAR ARM, THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY, and Rajinikanth starrer KOCHADIIYAAN have made it to the Oscars short list of 114 songs. On this auspicious occasion Raaga.Com wishes the music legend many more such birthdays and pray for another Oscar after a gap of four years since he won the golden statue for SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.
It won’t be execrated to say that what Lata Mangeshkar is to Indian Playback Singing, A.R.Rehman is to Indian Music Industry. In fact he is known around the world as the ‘Mozart from Madras’. In his short career, this young music director has displayed the kind of versatility which even great exponent of music don’t display in their entire life span!
And what’s mind-boggling is his sudden rise like a Phoenix from a ‘mere’ regional cinema music composer to a music maestro of International fame!!
Rahman is the only son of R. K. Sekhar, who was a composer, arranger and conductor for Malayalam films. His father died when Rahman was nine years old, and his family used to rent out musical equipment to make ends meet, something they found very difficult. During those hard times, a Sufi (Muslim) saint cured Rahman's sister of an unexplainable illness. This led Dileep to convert to Islam, changing his name to Allah Rakha Rahman.
At the age of 11, Rahman joined the troupe of Indian composer Ilaiyaraaja as a keyboardist. He later played on the orchestra of M. S. Viswanathan and Ramesh Naidu, and accompanied Zakir Hussain and Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan on world tours. The experience allowed him to obtain a scholarship to Trinity College at Oxford University, where he received a degree in Western classical music.
Call it destiny or his ‘authority’ over the medium, today, when the music industry is surviving on old Hindi film music’s mix and remixes. And originality having been ‘dead’ long ago, A.R.Rehman, remains an exclusive music composer who holds his head high, with his ability to score ‘original tunes.
Whether an earthy folk ‘Rukmani… Rukmani…’ or the contrasting disco number ‘Muqabla..Muqabla..’ or the classical ‘Taal se Taal mila…’ to our nation’s best patriotic number Vande Mataram getting a new-face lift- thanks to Rehman’s brilliant fusion of ultra modern orchestra. A.R.Rehman’s bag contains innumerable untapped tunes.
Winner of four National Film Awards, 15 Filmfare Awards and 14 Filmfare Awards in South , truly in A.R.Rehman the film industry has literally found on ‘Oasis’ which had otherwise became barren due to the exit of musical stalwart like.