He is stupendously popular. He is the face of Bollywood music across the Globe. After Two Academy Awards, Two Grammies, One Bafta, One Golden Globe, Four National Film Awards and Fourteen Filmfares and too many to name awards, A.R Rahman is synonymous to Bollywood music. This humble man has a persona larger than life and yet is one of the most modest and simple people ever known. His ways are least flamboyant and he has till date maintained his charm by giving to people blissful music for their souls!
A very lesser known fact, he joined the music industry as Dileep Kumar and soon after changed his name after his family converted to Islam. Allah Rakha Rahman or A.R Rahman, as he is more famously known started his career with Mani Ratnam’s Roja. Mani Ratnam had first spotted Rahman while he was still making jingles for advertisements. But Mani knew for sure this boy had much more to him than ad music. And luckily enough he wasn’t wrong.
Rahman shot to fame after Roja and Bombay, but he became popular with the masses mostly after Rangeela. Rahman was a big star inSouth Indiabefore B-town could imbibe his music and once they did, there was no turning back for Rahman. He gave brilliant music one film after the other. At a time, when Bollywood music was most typical, Rahman came up with upbeat, fresh and soulful music. The genre of Rahman is till date something class apart and unparalleled. No one can match up to him or even come close to him in the kind of mucis makes.
Subash Ghai’sTaalwas a crucial point in his career where he proved that his music alone can make a movie stand. After Taal, he was significantly noticed in Lagaan for his rural, rustic feel of music which synced in so well with the script. The journey of this man continued as he went on to give music to the most important films made in the last decade. Be it Bose, the Forgotten Hero or Rang De Basanti. In Jodhaa Akbar, his skills came out more fervently to people. The movie was a perfect blend of both Hindu Muslim cultures and so was the music. That film encapsulated both a beautiful bhajan and a mesmerizing qawali and the music of both came from the same man indeed. This proved to his critics that he can make varied music and re-emphasized his versatility.
Rahman has made phenomenal music in the last few decades of his excellent work. He has worked on projects of the United Nations like his famous song ‘Pray for Me Brother’ which aimed at the upliftment of the more underdeveloped societies of the world. He was chosen to make music for the Common Wealth Games 2010 held inNew Delhi. His version of Vande Mataram is still as fresh and beautiful as it was when it released.
His breakthrough inHollywoodcame with Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire. He understands Indian beats very minutely and thoroughly and songs like “Ring Ring Ringa’ just proved it to the world. Movies like 127 hours plain flowed from there. Rahman must surely thank Slumdog for the recognition and fame it got him. Many point out that it was not his best work, but it got him recognition from all over the globe especially inAmerica, also making Indian music so ecstatically popular.
Rahman has always been modest about his achievements. He indeed has successfully broken typical barriers of Bollywodd music giving it a perfect blended touch of classical enmeshed with a tint of Western music. His latest release Rockstar proved his excellence again as the nation sang along with Ranbir, humming tunes of ‘Tum Ho’ and raving ‘ Sadda Haq’. Over the years he has largely maintained his exclusive style, yet giving audiences great music without losing his magic. The best thing about Rahman is he has never let success get on to him. Every Indian is proud of this gem of a musician who has carved his name in gold, in the world of music.
Here’s wishing him a very Happy 46th Birthday from the entire team of Bollygraph. May you shine to be the brightest star of Music!