Tune in at 16:00 London, 19:00 UAE

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Monday's Connector: A.R. Rahman

June 8th, 2010
01:59 PM ET

Allah Rakha Rahman is one of the world's most established and talented composers of Indian Tamil music and has dozens of awards to prove it.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/08/rahman.art.gettyimages.jpg
caption="A.R. Rahman is your Connector of the Day."]

In a career that began in the early 1990's, A.R. Rahman has also sold more than 150 million copies of his music and has created some of the most memorable movie soundtracks.

Rahman composed the film score to the award-winning movie "Slumdog Millionaire" as well as dozens of Indian titled films.

He has won a number of highly coveted awards including two Academy awards, a Grammy, a Golden Globe and even a BAFTA.

Rahman was also awarded 14 Filmfare awards and "Time" Magazine even dubbed him as the Mozart of the madras.

The composer was born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India in 1966 and both his father and mother were musically inclined - his father was both a composer and conductor.

In 1992, Rahman began composing music in a make shift recording studio in the backyard of his house. That studio subsequently has become one of the most advanced recording facilities in the country.

That same year, Rahman was approached by Mani Ratnam to compose the musical soundtrack for his film "Roja."

Rahman went on to win critical acclaim for his score and subsequently, Rahman's career skyrocketed in Indian cinema.

soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. saideep reddy

    what would he choose between film composing and private composing?

    June 8, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  2. Vasanth TT

    What's special about chennai? What do you like the most in Chennai? (other than family attraction)

    June 8, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Reply
  3. Jay

    Dear ARR Sir,

    (1) What is your secret of working with so many talented people and extracting the best from every one ?

    (2) How do you maintain such calm attitude and creativity despite all the frenzy and hectic schedule/commitments ?

    June 8, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Reply
  4. Rukesh

    Dear Rahman, I admire your music and your personality more than your music. I would like to know, " what is the key/secret to the consistency/growth of your success?" I expect little bit elaborate answer if you have time 🙂 as it will inspire me a lot.

    P.S: Everyday i login to my laptop with keying in your name 🙂

    Best wishes
    Rukesh D

    June 8, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Reply
  5. vibhash

    what difference do you find in your earlier composition of 19's and in today's composition.

    June 8, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Reply
  6. Elanchezhian

    Firstly, Hows is your daughters health sir??
    And, my question is what would you like to tell the people(quite famous people) who criticize some of your masterpieces like Jai Ho and Vande Mataram?>....

    P.S.:-Im one of your Hardcore fans sir....Proud to live in YOUR ERA...

    June 8, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  7. KALYAN K.

    ARR Sir,

    Your music is outstanding. And i admire your personality more than that. And you are my inspiration and role-model in my life. Will you listen to your own works (or some other works) in your free time. If Yes, wht are they..? And what keeps you motivated all the time.

    Kalyan K.

    June 8, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Reply
  8. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello Allah Rakha Rahman (Tamil: ஏ.ஆர்.ரகுமான், A. S. Dileep Kumar) and CNN friends,

    I would like an answer from Allah Rakha Rahman on the following questions:
    – What projects can we expect from you and Universal Music Group, because you have already done "Jai Ho" (Hindi: जय हो) (English: Be victorious) with the music group Pussycat Dolls(Universal Music Group)?
    – How will your music really connect India and Pakistan just as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Hindi: मोहनदास करमचंद गाँधी, Gujarati: મોહનદાસ કરમચંદ ગાંધી) also known as Mahatma Gandhi (Sanskrit: महात्मा) would wanted it to be?
    – How has the famous Indian writer Mallanaga Vātsyāyana, also a well know Indian author of the Kama Sutra, inspired you to compose Indian Tamil music?
    – What can we expect from you in 2010?
    – How are you inspiring people all over the world to make our world a Better Healthier and Beautiful Place?

    I am awaiting Allah Rakha Rahman’s replies.

    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname

    June 8, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Reply
  9. Keira

    My question is:

    If you could re-do the soundtrack of ANY classic/epic film (whether Hollywood or Bollywood), which movie would it be and why?

    Thank you!


    June 8, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  10. Ganesh

    1. Knowing all too well your greatest strength (versatility), what is your greatest weakness?
    2. What are the best and worst decisions of your life and how did each one affect your life/music?
    3. Please name 1 composition from Tamil, Hindi and English that you like the most (not necessarily your compositions but can include yours as well)?
    4. Did/Do you ever think that people take you and your music for granted?
    5. Have you ever compared your own works? If so, which is one movie you think you could have scored differently?

    Thanks! Looking forward to your tour!

    June 8, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  11. Senthu

    Dear Sir,

    why dnt u use TWITTER regularly like other celebrity?

    June 8, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Reply
  12. akash

    Which singers would you like to work with in the future?

    Would like to see Rahat Fateh ali Khan and Kavita Seth and Shipa Rao work with you. Would also like to see Kavita Krisnamurty working with you again.

    June 8, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Reply
  13. Yamunaa Rengasamy

    My Dear ARR Sir,

    Its a great honour for me to pen down a question to such a great person as you.

    I would like to know if there's any chance for Malaysian Rahmaniacs to enjoy your concerts by next year? Plsss do come down here for us sir..
    I always wonder how could you be so down to earth????

    Goosebumps always Sir!!! May the Almighty gives a very good health to you and your family members always! I just can live without your music..tears..We are there to support you always!! Go and grab more and more and more awards Sir!! =)

    June 8, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Reply
  14. Benjamin

    Hi Rahman Sir,

    JAI HO!

    I am from Seattle, WA

    You've been working with a team of young talented singers for couple of years now – and as usual they all got an unbelievable hike in thly eir careers as well. I know for this question – probably "time issue" would be your answer, but still wondering is there any chance in the near future that we get to hear your melodious songs from your favourite senior singers like Minmini, Jesudas, Sujatha, Chithra, Hariharan, Swarnalatha, Unnikrishnan, SPB, Unni menon, Bombay Jayshree, Sadhna Sargam etc.

    Have you completely lost touch with them or you still have contacts with them?


    June 9, 2010 at 5:39 am | Reply
  15. Fameeb

    Dear Sir,

    We thank you for the great experience which you bring to us through your music.

    Q1. Even after so many great acheivements in life, how are you able to keep up with your modesty ?

    Q2. What will be your ultimate aim in music ?

    We look upon you as role model. Please keep up your good work.

    Thanks & Salaam,

    Dubai , UAE.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:42 am | Reply
  16. Gayathri

    ARR sir, I’ve been your ardent fan ever since Roja was released in 1992. During these past 18 years, I’ve lived, loved and grown with your music. There were many a times when I feel your music is simply astounding to be described in words and there were also times (though rarely) when I felt your music lacked a soul in them. Being a layperson, it’s easy for me to love your best music and at the same time, dismiss the ones which I’m not accustomed to. Nevertheless, the same cannot be said of a music composer, who has to create music within the limitations of the movie script. In that sense, how do you draw a balance between creating the music which you want the world to hear from you, and giving compositions which doesn’t necessarily test your creativity skills?

    June 9, 2010 at 6:33 am | Reply
  17. A R Khan

    We all know about your great success stories but would you like to share any of ur failure tale which inspired you to rise again and which proved instrumental in making A R Rehman whom we know now?

    June 9, 2010 at 11:48 am | Reply
  18. RA Namher

    I would like to know if Rehman has plans to collaborate with British or American producers for some album/singles in English ( that is for purely international audience). I'm eagerly waiting for one 🙂

    June 9, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Reply
  19. S.N.Mathur

    Dear Rahman,

    Slum Dog Millionaire made you famous thru out the world. Now in USA, you will be doing so many programs all over. How much that money will be spent on the people of slums in India that made you famous?. How much you have already contributed for the betterment of the lifes of these people?.Thank you,

    June 9, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  20. Sharif Chowdhury

    Dear Rahman,

    Music is the food for soul and you are the master chef, your music is just absolutely amazing. I am in Cyprus and over here from cafes, clubs to beaches, your music is everywhere.

    Now I like to ask you....

    1. What inspires you the most ?

    2. Your favorite song/musician ?

    3. Except music do you have any other hobbies ?

    4. Any plans to play for those living with extreme poverty and social injustice, or somehow use your beautiful music to fight for their cause ?


    June 9, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  21. R Balaji

    I am a big fan of some of your melodious tracks-Eg..Vennilave Vennilave etc..
    The problem with some of your tracks is your music overshadowing
    the lyrics.
    Eventhough you can say that the youth wants this, You are one of the
    world's greatest composers, Why you have to adhere to today's youth's taste.

    Can you make sure that your music will go along with the lyrics like good olden tamil movie days?

    R Balaji

    June 9, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Reply
  22. SC

    I feel your best music is behind you. My all time favorites are Dil Se and Roja. Do you feel a creativity decline? You are a music genious and an inspiration. Thanks!

    June 9, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  23. jai4smile

    Hello Rahman Sir,

    I dont want to ask anything from u, as rahmaniac v know all about u. U r such a great man n v feel proud of being fan of u r s. just wanted to post dis message, so u get som home love from us... s.. v r fans from Chennai... Wish u all the best for u r upcomin concert, come chennai with success in hands..

    Bye Thalaiva...
    Jai from Chennai

    June 9, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Reply
  24. Sam

    Planning on any spanish samba?

    June 9, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  25. psn

    I think we have too much of the same thing (hindi version). Will there be some new masala?

    June 9, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Reply
  26. Zahid

    What made you decide to get a hair cut?

    June 9, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Reply
  27. Anand N G

    Hi Rahman Sir... Hope ur doin xtremely well... Am a die hard fan of urs since Roja days & hav got gud collection of ur pictures too... Jus lyk millions around d globe, I wait eagerly for every album of urs... I feel very proud of U & may U win many more awards & accolades... Sir I hav got 2 questions...
    1. Which composition of urs is ur favourite?
    2. What r d films u r currently composin for & ur future projects...


    June 9, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  28. Allison

    I will be attending your concert this Friday, and I was just wondering what your thoughts are to live performance. Do you like it as much as composing for movies, and will this be something you continue to do in the future?

    June 9, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  29. Anderson

    What DAW do you use ? D you utilize a complicated rig ?

    June 9, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  30. ravikant

    hello sir
    for me you are my god because your music is like a spiritual experience words are not enough to describe what your music means to me anyways my question is
    1) you may feel it funny but sir i want to be in your team even as your studio cleaner or anything and moreover i sing well somewhat if you wish you can take my audition will you please take me in your team?
    and my wish is to sing my own composition in front of you
    god bless you sir in every regard
    please CNN convey my message to my god

    June 9, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Reply
  31. Jef H

    Dear AR Rahman, i would like to know which of your works are you most proud of and why? And
    Where do you draw your inspiration from , especially when blending western and indian elements of music together?

    June 10, 2010 at 1:48 am | Reply
  32. JFernando

    When can Sri Lanka see Rahman on our soil??

    Don't forget there's heaps of ARR fans out here! not only the tamils also the sinhalease, so dont forget our country and people .......................... !

    Love to see the Oscar Thamilan Soon

    Humble request from another thamilan............thank you.

    June 10, 2010 at 3:41 am | Reply
  33. Gopi

    Dear Sir,

    How do u differentiate yourself from the Mestro Ilayaraja.

    June 10, 2010 at 9:54 am | Reply
  34. Vijay Bhore

    Dear ARR,
    I feel proud to grow in the time when u were inspiring, healing the people with ur music..

    Vijay Bhore

    June 17, 2010 at 9:02 am | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.