has blessed Indian music: Rahman
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif, Jan. 23, 2009
The honour of being the first Indian music director
to be nominated for three Oscars sits lightly on the shoulders of
A.R. Rahman, who attributes his success and fame to divinity.
"Allah the merciful has blessed Indian music.
I am lucky to be one of his chosen representatives," Rahman
The humble music maestro is, however, proud of
India's musical heritage.
"Our scintillating sounds have moved billions
for ages. Our musical gurus could make the oceans throb and the
skies pour nectar to quench mother earth's thirst. But we have waited
for eight decades for this sort of recognition," Rahman said.
Rahman received the three Oscar nominations for
the music he composed for British filmmaker Danny Boyle's rags-to-riches
Bollywood style musical "Slumdog Millionaire". While one
nomination is for best original score, two are for the best original
songs - "Jai ho" and "O saya".
“My inspiration to compose the music was
the movie, its thought and the message in the film," he said.
"I am already deliriously happy about the
nominations. But the happiness will be manifold if and when we get
at least one Oscar," Rahman added.
After winning a Golden Globe award for his music
for the same film earlier this month, Rahman had said: "For
the people of India to get an Oscar is a big thing. So for their
sake, more than mine, I hope my song 'Jai ho' and my music score
in 'Slumdog Millionaire' win the Oscar."
Born as A.S. Dileep Kumar on Jan 6, 1966, Rahman's
family converted to Islam in 1989. His father R.K. Shekhar, a music
arranger for Malayalam films, died when Rahman was just nine years
old. The family earned its living by hiring out musical instruments.
Rahman began his musical Odyssey at the age of
11 as an accompanist in a troupe that hired his father's wares.
It was run by the then rage of Tamil films Ilayaraja.
Soon Rahman was also seen in the company of another
maestro M.S. Vishwanathan. His arranging in the band Roots with
childhood friend and percussionist par excellence Sivamani provided
opportunities to create jingles, musical ambiences for television
serials and documentaries.
Rahman got his first big break in Mani Ratnam's
"Roja" and later composed music for many films in southern
India. His first full-fledged Bollywood project was Ram Gopal Varma's
hit "Rangeela". Most of the songs, including "Tanha
Tanha", "Hai Rama" and "Yaaro sun lo Zara",
were chartbusters. After that there was no looking back for him.
In the late 90s, S.S. International, one of the
earliest FM radio companies, approached Rahman for a byte on New
"My late husband Aiyappan went with his portable
recorder and was asked to wait by Rahman 'for a few minutes' that
lasted for almost three hours," recalled the company's director
"Finally, Rahman came out from his music room
with a cassette that had a short composition. When it was broadcast,
fan mail flooded us for a fortnight. They were enough to fill 10
sacks," Chitra added.
Rahman became a household name with soulful compositions
in "Dil Se…", "1947 Earth", "Taal",
"Lagaan", "Guru", "Rang De Basanti"
and "Jodhaa Akbar".
Rahman not only won hearts in India, but also made
a mark on the global music scene. He got his first international
break when Andrew Lloyd Webber invited him to compose music for
Broadway musical "Bombay Dreams", which won him immense
international fame. He also composed for the stage adaptation of
J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord Of The Rings" that premiered in
Canada in 2006 and in London in 2007.
Rahman launched his first full-fledged orchestra
last year. It has been named Global Music and is the first homegrown
He is all set to enthral his fans with his upcoming
projects "Delhi-6" and "Blue".