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A R Rahman - Never ever give up

Be like Mr. A R Rahman

A R Rahman is an Indian film composer, singer, songwriter and record producer. Mr Rahman works predominantly in Tamil and Hindi films but is loved the world over.

His work is so impressive that in 2010, he was conferred with the nation’s third-highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan.

The other awards that Mr Raman has been awarded are six national Film Awards, two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, fifteen Film Fare Awards and 17 FilmFare Awards South.

How do you think that Mr. A R Raman won so many awards?

a. He started young

Mr Rahman began his musical journey at the tender age of 4.

Research in the past decade has shown that early childhood is a time when the developmental changes that happen can have a long and profound impact on the child’s future.

Children begin learning at birth, they develop and learn at a rapid pace in their early years.

There is a lot going on with children cognitively, emotionally and socially at a young age. It is important for parents to recognise this and provide for influences of both ‘nature and nurture’ to assist in the overall rapid development in the child.

After his father’s death at the age of 9, Raman had to work while studying in order to support his family financially. He however couldn’t balance academics and work, so Mr Rahman was forced to drop out of PSBB School, where he was studying.

He later also dropped out of MCC to pursue a career as a musician. He however had already begun his musical training under master Dhanraj and he continued working on his music.

b. Practice, Practice, Practice

In his book, “Outliers : The story of success’’, Malcolm Goldwell attributes the success of great people to 10,000 hours of practice.

Throughout his book, he consistently refers to the 10,000 hour rule of practice, emphasising that in order to achieve expertise in any skill, it is just a matter of practising.

Mr A R Rahman started working with important composers like Vijay Anand, Zakir Hussein and Shankar.

He did world tours with them and obtained a scholarship from Trinity College London to the Trinity College of music. Soon, Rahman graduated with a Diploma in Western Classical music.

Mr A R Rahman first tasted success when his jingle for Titan Watches, became popular. For this jingle, Mr A R Rahman used the theme from Mozart’s Symphony. Thus Rahman’s journey as a celebrity began.

He got his big break in 1992, when he was approached by Mani Ratnam to compose the soundtrack of Roja. What happened after that is history.

He received many awards for this iconic song. He later started Panchahan Record inn. It is now regarded as the most-advanced recording studio in India and also one of Asia’s high-tech studios.

Another iconic song created by Mr A R Rahman is ‘Chaiyya Chiara’ which is picturized atop a moving train.

c. learning is the journey

The more you practice, the better you get, the better you get, the more you play, the more you play, the more people you meet, the more people you meet, the more you learn.

Learning is a continuous cycle, it goes on and on. Hopefully, taking you to higher plains as you go. So, it was with Mr Rahman, he never stopped experimenting. He worked with many different kinds of people. His experiences lent magic and passion to his music, reflecting versatility and his genius.

So, Mr Rahman had the privilege to work with poets and lyricists such as Javed Akhtar and Gulzar. We are blessed in Chennai as Mr Rahman expanded his Panchathan studio by establishing AM Studios in Kodambakkam, Chennai, creating the most cutting –edge studio in Asia. He further went on to create his own music label, KM Music.

In 2008, Mr Rahman composed the unforgettable ‘Jai Ho’ for the runaway movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’.

The year 2014 was a busy year for Mr Rahman, who said he worked in 12 films in various languages. Isn’t this an amazing feat?

If you listen to Mr Rahman’s music, you know it’s magical. He often uses myriad instruments in his compositions which include the keyboard, flute, cello, guitars, strings, Harpejji, Santoor and also traditional Indian instruments like the Sitar, Mridangam, Veenai, Tabla and Shehnai to create unique, mesmerising scores.

Besides all of this, Mr Rahman regularly travels the world to perform and showcase the art and culture of India.

He has also been involved in several projects for charity purposes. He has even done some international collaborations with greats like Mick Jagger for his composition ‘Satyameva Jayate’.

In 2018, Mr Rahman went on to launch ‘ARRived’ which is India’s first YouTube original, whose sole aim is to find the best talent in the country.

There are two Biographies written on his life. One is called ‘A R Rahman: The Spirit of Music by Nasreen Munni Kabir. The other is A R Rahman; The Musical Storm by Mathai, Kamini. If you are inspired by Mr A R Rahman’s life and want to know more about him, you may read up on him.

What’s the most important lesson we learn from Mr Rahman’s life?

The most important lesson is to never ever give up.

Even though Mr Rahamn lost his father who was a great source of inspiration for his music, he never gave up.

In the face of hardship, he tried to balance many things; he failed but tried again, in ways he knew he would succeed.

He knew his passion and persevered.

He never stopped playing music.

If you love something, keep doing it. Don’t give up.

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