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In the beginning Rahman worked as a ‘Key Board Player’ and an arranger in bands with friends. He played the keyboard and piano, in addition to the synthesizer, the harmonium and the guitar. His favourite instrument was the synthesizer because, he believed that it was the “ideal combination of music and technology.” Also he was getting trained in Carnatic music.
At the age of 11, he joined the troupe of Indian composer “Master of Music” Mr.Ilayaraja as a keyboard player. Afterwards he played in the orchestra of Mr.M. S.Viswanathan and Mr.Ramesh Naidu, and accompanied Mr. Zahir Hussain and Mr. Kunnakkudi Vaidyanathan on world tours. The experience helped him to obtain a scholarship to Trinity College at Oxford University, where he was graduated in Western Classic Music. In the year 1991, Rahman started his own studio attached to his house, called “Panchathan Record Inn”. His music was used in advertisements, the title music of Indian Television Channels and in documentaries. Rahman was initially reluctant to compose music for the Indian film industry, because music was treated as secondary to songs. The next year that is in 1992, he was approached by film director Mr.Maniratnam, and offered music composition in his Tamil film ROJA, at a salary of just Rs. 25,000/-. Rahman accepted the offer, and the movie was successful and Rahman received the “Rajkamal award for best music director” at the National Film Awards, in the first film itself, which is a record in the Indian Cinema Music World. When Rahman arrived on the Indian music scene with his first film Roja, he brought about a transformation in film music. Roja was a hit, in its original and dubbed versions, and Rahman followed it up with a number of other popular films, including Bombay, Kadhalan, Indira, Minsara Kanavu, Muthu, and Love Birds. His soundtracks gained him recognition and popularity not only in the Tamil film industry but across the country and he became popular in Hindi films also.
He started releasing Music Albums and Rahman’s playback singing in several of his albums was also admired by Music Lovers. He released an album “Vande Mataram” in the year 1996, on India’s national song, singing the title song on the album. And he released another album called “Jana gana mana”, a joint performance by all the leading artists of Indian Classical Music. He is still playing a vital roll in Indian Cinema Music World and carnatic Music. This shows that if anybody works in any field with a passion success is sure.