The Musical Journey: AR Rahman the Phenomenon

Our country has produced some very notable music artists and one among them is none other than the maestro A.R. Rahman. He has dominated the music scene in our country for 25 years now and is India’s most famous musical export. Not just a name but a phenomenon, Allah Rakha Rahman’s journey from A. S. Dileep Kumar to what he is today is simply incredible and we as a country should definitely feel blessed and also at times boast about it.

So what journey did this man who is at times called Mozart of MadrasIsayi Puyal (music storm) embark on to be this musical genius that he is? Let’s find out.

Rahman who was back then known as Dileep Kumar was born in a humble household. His father R. K. Shekhar was a Malayalam and Tamil film music composer, arranger and conductor. Having the musical gene, Rahman followed in his father’s footstep. At the age of nine, Rahman accidentally played an astonishing tune on a piano while his father was recording for a film and this was later turned into a complete song titled Vellithen Kinnam Pol for the Malayalam film Penpada. At this point, you would think Rahman was in a great spot – a renowned music composer-conductor as a father to guide him in the music industry. But this was not the case as his father passed away soon and little Rahman started working sooner than he or his parents would have wanted.

At the age of 11, Rahman joined the music maestro Ilayaraja’s troupe as a keyboard player and it sure was an opportunity of a lifetime. As he grew older he mastered a few more instruments. He soon ventured into jingles for advertisements and Indian TV channels. Check out some of these old ads with the jingles and music composed by Rahman. Here comes a huge wave of nostalgia!

His film career began when he started the Panchathan Record Inn, a music recording and mixing studio in 1992, the same year he was approached by Mani Ratnam to compose the music for his Tamil film Roja. His career took off with Roja and it has since never touched the ground (even though the passenger is very grounded, lame jokes FTW!), and it should not. He won the National Award for his debut soundtrack and it was even listed in Time magazine’s ‘10 Best Soundtracks’ of all time.

Roja’s songs were definitely a hit down south but once the film was released in Hindi, Bollywood audience was won over too. Since Roja, there has been no looking back for the musician but let us look back at some of his old and super hit soundtracks and songs that are still loved by all.

Rahman has since then composed music for films like Bombay, Rangeela, Taal, Rang De Basanti, Jodha Akbar, Rockstar and many many others. Rahman's soundtrack for his second film Bombay with Mani Ratnam was part of The Guardian's '1000 Albums to Hear Before You Die'
The most popular of all which elevated him to an international level is the track and songs from the movie Slumdog Millionaire which won him two Oscar awards in 2009.
He has since then worked on International films like Pele: Birth of a Legend, 127 Hours, Million Dollar Arms and others. His current projects include Vijay’s MersalRajinikanth-Akshay Kumar’s 2.0Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy starring Chiranjeevi.

At a time when Bollywood’s current trend is to reprise old songs, we hope Rahman’s songs are left untouched. His songs are meant to be heard in the same way he intended to make it sound since the last 25 years.
On that note, let’s play Rahman Antakshari, shall we? 

Baithe baithe kya kare, karna hain kuch kaam, shuru kar antakshari leke Rahman ka naam!
If you need a little help, here’s BookMyShow Jukebox with all of Rahman’s biggest hits. Listen to them anywhere, anytime and don’t forget to book your tickets to for Rahman's Encore right here.

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