9 Lesser known facts about AR Rahman


On this 73rd  Independence day, let’s know more about the man behind the heart wrenching “Vande-Mataram” A critical and commercial hit, the title song from the album is one of India’s most popular songs of all time. Sung by Rahman himself, the song has come to represent a feeling of patriotic unity for India and has been performed or played at several national and regional events in the country. The popularity of the song was such that in 2002, when BBC World Service conducted an international poll to choose the ten most famous songs of all time from around 7000 songs selected from all over the world, “Maa Tujhe Salaam” was voted second.

  1. 1 AR Rahman's Original Name is A.S Dileep Kumar

    WhenAS Dileep Kumar decided to shed the faith he was born into and adopt a new one, the reasons were several. His father's untimely death had put several financial pressures on the family, which included four children. His spiritual-minded mother had met, and gained immense succor, from a Sufi saint, peer Karimullah Shah Qadri. And he had been grappling with minor and major identity issues: he didn't like the name he was born with; he was looking for direction and purpose, and he wanted to get a handle on his professional future. That man is today known as Allahrakha Rahman, one of India's foremost composers. In 1984, Rahman was introduced to Qadiri Islam when his younger sister, who was seriously ill, was treated successfully by a Sufi saint. In 1989, at the age of 23, he converted to Islam and changed his name from A.S. Dileep Kumar to Allah Rakha Rahman.


  2. 2 In 1980 he made his TV Debut for Door darshan in a children's program "Wonder Balloon". He got popular by this show, as he used to play 4 keyboards at the age of just 13.

    Music soon became the only source of joy for Rahman. Dedicated and hard-working, he learned how to play several musical instruments under the guidance of M K Arjunan (Malayalam composer and close friend of his father) and began spending several hours with his musical instruments. As a kid, he was seen in Doordarshan's
     Wonder Balloon where he got popular for being the kid who could play four keyboards at once.

  3. 3 He wanted to become a computer engineer. "I wanted to be a computer engineer when I was a kid. Electronic gadgets and technology fascinated me."

    "My mother insisted that I pursue music. I rented out my father's musical equipment and earned some money. As a child, I wasn't sure about a career goal, but I was always fascinated by electronic gadgets, especially musical equipment"- AR Rahman

  4. 4 The maestro mostly prefers recording music at night. However, there is an exception for Lata Mangeshkar.

    Singer Lata Mangeshkar worked with Rahman for the first time in Mani Ratnam's Dil Se and later in Pukar, Zubeidaa, and Lagaan.
    'Rahman is known to record only during the night time,' she said in an interview 2 years ago. 'But he records with me during the daytime... when my voice is fresh. I don't like recording at night. He made an exception for me. When an artist shows such consideration for another artiste, it feels good. Aur kaam bhi achha hota hai [Even the work done is good]. Rahman doesn't take long over his recordings. Jiya Jale in Dil Se was recorded in 40 minutes."

  5. 5 Signature Tune of Airtel, composed by ARR is the world's most downloaded mobile music tone with over 150 million downloads.

    Airtel launched "Hello Tunes", a Caller ring back tone service (CRBT), in July 2004 becoming the first operator in India to do so. The Airtel theme song, composed by A.R. Rahman, was the most popular tune in that year.

  6. 6 AR Rahman's award-winning song "Jai Ho" was initially composed for the movie ‘Yuvvraaj'. But it later became a part of ‘Slumdog Millionaire'.

    "Jai Ho" is a song composed by A. R. Rahman for the 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire. When Danny Boyle, the director of Slumdog Millionaire, approached Rahman to compose its soundtrack, he included the song. "Jai Ho" accompanies a choreographed dance sequence at the end credits of the film. According to Rahman, "Jai Ho" was meant to create "a vision of the whole world celebrating this victory".[9] The song contains a mix of "multiple motifs from the traditional pieces on the soundtrack" with "the big drums and blasting horns of the present".[10] It was originally composed and shortlisted for Subhash Ghai's 2008 film Yuvvraaj. Although Rahman was excited about the song, Ghai "wasn't too kicked about it". Ghai felt it was "too subtle and soft to be picturized on the character played by Zayed Khan". Rahman and Gulzar believed the song had "immense potential" and used it in Slumdog Millionaire.

  7. 7 A street in Markham, Ontario, Canada, has been named in honor of AR Rahman in November 2013

    Canada has always celebrated arts and culture and music and theatre in unique and wonderful ways.

    It's not uncommon for Canadians to pool together to name their own areas where they reside. Oscar-winner musician AR Rahman has been conferred an honor by Canada as a Canadian street in Markham, Ontario has been named after him. AR Rahman, who is also known as the Mozart of Madras, has been honored for his contribution to the world of music and arts. Rahman posted a picture on Facebook of him holding a sign of a Canadian street named ‘Allah-Rakha Rahman St' after him.

  8. 8 He is the first Asian to win 2 Oscars (Academy Awards) in the same year.

    God Save Rahman. That's what Allah Rakha Rahman means. And that's what the country said on Monday for the man who became the first Indian music director to win two Oscars for his score in the globally appreciated film "Slumdog Millionaire" and for the film's theme song "Jai Ho".With "Slumdog Millionaire", Danny Boyle's rags to riches drama based on a book by Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup, the 41-year-old Rahman has stuck gold - and so has India and Indian music.
    The film had 10 Oscar nominations, including three for Rahman- he was nominated for Best Original Score and two for the Best Original Song for a motion picture with his songs "Jai Ho" and "O Saaya". It was another first for an Indian.

  9. 9 Out of a total 138 Award nominations, ARR has won 125.!! Legendary Stuff.

    Among his awards are six National Film Awards, two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, fifteen Filmfare Awards, and seventeen Filmfare Awards South. He has been awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award, in 2010 by the Government of India.

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