It is the 50th birthday of the Mozart of Madras, AR Rahman. Born as Dileep Kumar, on 6th Jan 1967, Allah Rakha Rahman is one music composer cum performer who overturned the trend of music in Indian films.
His contribution to music is undeniably one among the best and most magnificent. The prolific musician has two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, four National Film Awards, fifteen Filmfare Awards and thirteen Filmfare Awards South to his credit.
A R Rahman made his debut as a music composer, in 1992 with the blockbuster movie Roja. The movie marked the first association of the him, with his mentor Mani Ratnam. Rahman won the National Film Award, Filmfare Award and Tamil Nadu State Award for Best Music Director. Mani Ratnam-A R Rahman combo become one of the most successful director-music composer combo of Indian Cinema and still remains the same.
Gentleman was the directorial debut of perfectionist Shankar. The movie, which has Arjun Sarja and Madhu in the lead roles emerged as the huge critical and commercial success. The songs of the movie; especially Chikku Bukku Rayile broke all the records and emerged as a chartbuster. Rahman won his second Filmfare and Tamil Nadu State Award trophies for Best Music Composer.
A R Rahman again teamed up with Shankar for the popular movie Kadhalan, which was also a turning point in the career of actor-choreographer-director Prabhudeva. Rahman introduced singer P Unnikrishnan through the song Ennavale and the singer won the National Film Award for Best Singer for the song. A R Rahman won his third consecutive Filmfare Award and Tamil Nadu State Award for his album.
Even Though the movie was a commercial failure; Karuththamma emerged as a critical songs. A R Rahman won highly positive reviews for his tunes. The song Poraale Ponnuthayi garnered the cult classic status and is considered as one of the best songs composed by Rahman till date. Singer Swarnalatha had won the National Film Award for Best Female Singer, for the song.
Bombay is doubtlessly one of the finest works of A R Rahman. The movie directed by Mani Ratnam was a huge critical and commercial success. The soundtrack of the movie was enlisted in popular British daily, The Guardian's "1000 Albums to Hear Before You Die" list, and the song Kannalane was included in their "1000 Songs Everyone Must Hear" list. A R Rahman won the Filmfare and Tamil Nadu State Awards for Best Music Director for the movie.
Iruvar, directed by Mani Ratnam was a long delayed project which failed to make an impact at box office. The music score composed by A R Rahman was widely appreciated. Isai Puyal won several accolades for the powerful background score and it is considered as one of the finest background score used in any Tamil movie till date.
Minsara Kanavu (1997)
A R Rahman won his second National Award trophy for his compositions in the movie Minsara Kanavu, directed by Rajeev Menon. S P Balasubhramaniam and K S Chithra won the National Film Award for Best Singer as well. The song Vennilave Vennilave from the movie, is considered as one of the best songs composed by Rahman till date.
Jeans, directed by Shankar was one of the highest grossers of its time. The songs composed by A R Rahman become instantly popular. The famous Love Theme composed by Isai Puyal was a path breaking movement in the Indian film music history. Rahman won Filmfare Award for Jeans soundtrack.
Padayappa was the third collaboration of A R Rahman with superstar Rajnikanth. The songs of the movie broke all the collection records. It is doubtlessly one of the most appealing albums of both Rajnikanth and A R Rahman's careers.
Mudhalvan songs stands out in the list due to the diversity in songs. All six songs in the album belong to different genres ranging from folk to western. Rahman won the Filmfare Award for Best Music Director for his work in the movie.
Alaipayuthey, directed by Mani Ratnam is the most popular love story of Tamil cinema. A R Rahman's music score in the movie became instantly popular. Most of the popular singers have listed the song Pachai Nirame from Alaipayuthey as their most favorite track composed by Rahman. He won the Filmfare Award for Best Music Director for his tunes in the movie.
Kannathil Muthamittal (2002)
A R Rahman won his third National Award trophy for the music score of Kannathil Muthamittal. The movie which dealt with the Srilankan war, was directed by Rahman's mentor Mani Ratnam. Rahman earned highly positive reviews for the theme song of the movie Vellai Pookkal.
Sillunu Oru Kaadhal (2006)
Songs from the movie Sillunu Oru Kaadhal can be doubtlessly enlisted in the list of the best albums. The song Munpe Vaa, sung by Naresh Iyer and Shreya Ghoshal broke become instantly popular. Rahman won the Filmfare Award for Best Music Director for the album.
Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya (2010)
Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya is doubtlessly one of the finest works of A R Rahman in the recent times. Isai Puyal's songs and background score were highly appreciated. Rahman redefined the conventional style of film-music through this exceptional album. He won the Filmfare Awards for the music score of both Tamil and Telugu versions of the movie.
Kadal, directed Mani Ratnam was a critical and commercial failure; but earned highly positive reviews of the exceptional music score composed by A R Rahman. The song Nenjukkulle sung by Shakthisree Gopalan became the flavor of season. Rahman won his 13th Filmfare Award for Best Music Director for Kadal.
Kaaviya Thalaivan (2014)
A R Rahman backed out from the Hollywood film Seventh Son, to compose the music score for Kaaviya Thalaivan. He did a 6 months long research to compose the music score for the movie, which revolves around the drama movement of 1920's. The soundtrack of the movie has already become highly popular and garnered classic status.
O Kadhal Kanmani (2015)
One of the most celebrated albums of AR Rahman in the recent past. The Mani Ratnam-AR Rahman combo once again created wonders with the 9 versatile yet exceptionally beautiful soundtracks of the movie. Undoubtedly one of the best works of Rahman in the recent past.
Rahman has composed for Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi and English movies. He has taken Indian music to a global arena and earned fame, making it more visible internationally. He is known for integrating Eastern classical music with electronic music, world music and traditional orchestral arrangements.
In a career spanning two decades, he has been applauded for the success of various films. The music maestro is one of the highest paid music composers in the film industry and his charity work and efforts to raise money for several causes proves he is a humanitarian and philanthropist as well.
Apart from composing the soundtracks, Rahman is also known for his background scores and is one among the finest background scorers in India. His background scores for Roja, Bombay, Minsara Kanavu, Guru, Jodhaa Akbar, Raavanan, Vinnaithandi Varuvaaya, Kochadaiiyaan were highly appreciated. His best Hollywood scores include Warriors of Heaven and Earth, Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, Million Dollar Arm and The Hundred Foot Journey.
Isai Puyal, is also famous for his non-film projects; Vande Mataram, an album released for the India's 50th anniversary of Her independence, is one of the best selling albums. He has also composed for various athletic events, advertisements, television and internet media, short films and documentaries.
Rahman was nominated in the Original Score category of 87th Academy Awards for his movies, Kochadaiiyaan, Million Dollar Arm and The Hundred Foot Journey. On his birthday, let us all wish him, the best. While we look forward to listening his new compositions, let us cherish what he has given the Tamil film industry so far....