THE sign for Allah-Rakha Rahman Street in honour of Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman of Bollywood was unveiled this week in Markham, Ontario, by the internationally renowned Bollywood composer best known in the West for his music for the movie Slumdog Millionaire and Mayor Frank Scarpitti at the Vedic Cultural Centre.
Rahman was in Canada to attend a ceremony organized by the Indian International Film Festival of Toronto (IIFFT) in association with the local city government.
According to his website’s bio of him: “Described as the world’s most prominent and prolific film composer by Time, his works are notable for integrating Eastern classical music with electronic music sounds, world music genres and traditional orchestral arrangements.
“He has won two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, four National Film Awards, fifteen Filmfare Awards and thirteen Filmfare Awards South in addition to numerous other awards and nominations.
“His extensive body of work for film and the stage earned him the nickname “the Mozart of Madras” and several Tamil commentators and fans have coined him the nickname Isai Puyal (English: Music Storm). In 2009, Time placed Rahman in its list of World’s Most Influential People.
“The UK based World Music magazine Songlines named him one of ‘Tomorrow’s World Music Icons’ in August 2011. Having set up his own in-house studio called Panchathan Record Inn at Chennai, arguably one of Asia’s most sophisticated and high-tech studios, Rahman’s film scoring career began in the early 1990s with the Tamil film Roja.
“Working in India’s various film industries, international cinema and theatre, Rahman is one of the world’s all-time top selling recording artists. In a notable career spanning two decades, Rahman has garnered particular acclaim for redefining contemporary Indian film music and thus contributing to the success of several films.
“Rahman is currently one of the highest paid composers of the motion picture industry. He is a notable humanitarian and philanthropist, donating and raising money for beneficial causes and supporting charities.”