A.R. Rahman

Born: 6 January 1967 (age 50), Chennai
Actual Name: A.S. Dileep Kumar
Nicknames: Isai Puyal
AR
Spouse: Saira Banu (m. 1995)

Quotes

  • I have rubbed many a producer the wrong way by disturbing the schedule, but it has paid off.
  • I wasn't too happy with the I-don't-want-to-listen-to-it attitude of our youngsters towards film music. Why can't we get our guys to listen to our own music rather than to Michael Jackson? I didn't want us to lose the market to the West. The music had to be cool and rooted, and yet had to branch out. It was like the wild imagination of a child... but it worked... it did travel beyond Madras and attract people.
  • About his belief in Sufism: "I'm a deeply spiritual person. Sufism is about love - love for a fellow human, love for all round humanity, and ultimately love for God. For me, it's where music and religion meet - at dargahs, you will find qawwalis. That's my inspiration."
  • About his song Vande Mataram: "It had to be unlike the one played on the radio for years. I wanted a sound that would connect me with people and capture a collective energy."
  • I hate the word [Bollywood]. I think it's derivative and it doesn't represent the entire film community in India. There's the eastern film industry, four industries in the south - they all make extraordinary films. It's like saying the whole of the West is Hollywood.

Trivia

  • Studied Western classical music as a student at Oxford University in the UK.
  • He was nominated for a 2003 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award (The Hilton Award) for Best New Musical of 2002, "Bombay Dreams", performed at the Apollo Theatre, West End, London, and on Broadway in New York City.
  • On August 15, 1997, he released an album called "Vande Mataram," on Columbia/SME Records, to commemorate 50 years of Indian independence. A tribute to the motherland, it featured songs for each of the Indian flag colors. The album was released simultaneously across the world in 28 countries, and Rahman himself performed in New Delhi to a packed audience including the honorable Indian Prime Minister. Over 1.2 million copies were sold in India alone.
  • Also known as the John Williams of the Indian Film Industry.
  • Collaborated on The Lord of The Rings' Stage Musical original score with Finnish folk music group Varttina and Christopher Nightingale.