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A. R. Rahman Biography

Music | 7-14 yrs | Reading Pod

Who is A. R. Rahman?

Allah Rakha Rahman (A R Rahman) (Jan 6, 1966 – present) is an Indian musical composer/producer for the film industry and other independent ventures. From his sophisticated music studio in Chennai called Panchathan Record Inn, Rahman has composed and produced award winning and record breaking music. The sound of the ‘Mozart of Madras’, as he is referred to by some, is a refined mix of Indian music and classical music with electronic sounds and world music genres. He is a graduate in Western classical music from the Trinity College, London.

Where did A. R. Rahman born?

A.R.Rahman was born in Chennai to film-music composer R.K Shekhar and his wife Kashturi. He began assisting his father with music recordings for Tamil and Malayalam cinema from a very early age. After the demise of his father when he was just 9 years old, Rahman continued to play music forming bands with friends like noted Indian percussionist Sivamani, and played for numerous big names in the South Indian film-music industry.


By 1989, Rahman was composing and producing music from a studio he had set up in his backyard called Panchathan Record Inn, which was to become one of Asia’s most sophisticated sound recording studios. He got his big film break in 1992 when director Mani Ratnam heard an advertising jingle that Rahman had composed. At the time Rahman was not looking for jobs in the film industry but was convinced to work on Ratnam’s upcoming movie Roja. The music went platinum and won him the coveted Silver Lotus at the National Film Awards, previously never awarded to a first-time composer.

Achievements and Awards

Since then A.R Rahman has composed ground-breaking music for multiple films. He has won 2 Academy Awards, 1 Grammy Awards, 4 National Film Awards in addition to many others.

Rahman has also been keenly involved in philanthropic work and has collaborated with musicians from all over the planet to produce music whose proceeds are donated to crises around the world. In 2004 he was named brand ambassador by the UN World Health Organisation for their Stop TB Partnership.

Among his many achievements he also began the KM Music Conservatory in Chennai that tutors and mentors aspiring musicians. The board of trustees and members of the music faculty come from a variety of backgrounds, offering courses for beginners, foundation, and diploma level students where many of his students have gone on to thriving musical careers already.


Look online to see if you can find music made by the following instruments: French horn, cello, didgeridoo, berimbao.

Short biographies of famous musicians for kids, Visit: https://mocomi.com/learn/culture/famous-people/music/