Beverly Hills: From making ad jingles to getting India its first Golden Globe, A R Rahman continues to make the nation proud with his symphonies earning accolades from all corners of the world.
Rahman, nicknamed the ‘Mozart of Madras´ by Time magazine, was born in Chennai on 6 January, 1966 as S Dileep Kumar but his family converted to Islam from Christianity in 1970s.
The Indian Mozart started his career by composing ad jingles. He was particularly noted for the music he gave for a Bombay Dyeing ad which became very popular.
Shortly after that in 1992, he was approached by film director Mani Ratnam to compose the score and soundtrack for Ratnam’s Tamil film ‘Roja´. The music of the film was a refreshing change from the run-of-the-mill renditions and gave Rahman his maiden Best Music Director trophy at the National Film Awards, the first time ever by a debutante film composer.
Rahman entered the Hindi film industry with ‘Rangeela´, directed by Ram Gopal Varma. The music of the film became a rage and the genius continued to give some brilliant compositions for films like Bombay, Dil Se, Taal, Lagaan and Rang De Basanti among others.
What made Rahman’s music click with the listeners was its use of refreshing use of percussions, sound and melody, most of which was inspired from Indian folk music.
His 1998 superhit composition ‘Chaiyya Chaiyya´ was deeply rooted in Sufi mysticism.
As his fame spread Rahman, gradually became a known face in the international arena and in 1999 he performed with king of pop Michael Jackson in Munich, Germany, for his ‘Michael Jackson and Friends Concert´.