AR Rahman vs Ilayaraja
It is really difficult to compare and contrast two stalwarts in music belonging to different eras. And when you are talking about Ilayaraja and A. R. Rahman, who have brought fame to Tamil music to place it on the international map, the task becomes all the more difficult. It is a coincidence that while Ilayaraja is the master, A. R. Rahman is his protégé. Whereas Ilayaraja chose to remain confined to Tamil music scene, Rahman stepped onto Hindi Films from where he started his career and used it as a launch pad to capture the imagination of music lovers all across the country. Both composers are however, living legends and this article is just a humble attempt to find difference in these two towering musical personalities. I beg pardon from those who may be ardent fans of either of these two legends.
The music maestro Ilayaraja is one music composer who is revered not just by Tamil music lovers, but by music lovers irrespective of language. His music is ample proof of power of music that transcends all geographical boundaries. He is not just a composer but also a fine singer and lyricist who has been providing the highest quality of music in Tamil films for the last 30 years. He has over 5000 compositions to his name and has given music in almost a thousand films so far. His music has regaled millions with generations of Tamils enjoying his melodious compositions.
Ilayaraja was born on 2nd June, 1943 and had very humble beginnings as he served in a traveling musical troupe. He is a gold medalist from Trinity College of Music and has to his credit a full symphony that was performed in London by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He is the first Asian to get that honor. It was in the eighties that Ilayaraja shot to fame through his melodious compositions in Tamil films. He caught the imagination of the Tamil film and his mere presence became a guarantee of success of the film. His composition Rakkama Kaiya Thattu was placed by BBC in the top ten compositions in a world wide poll.
Ilayaraja has won umpteen music awards including National Award for best music direction, best background music and scores of other awards. He is also a recipient of the prestigious Padma Bhushan Awards from Government of India.
A. R. Rahman was born as Dilip Kumar in Chennai in 1966 and benefited from a background that was musical. At the tender age of 9, Rahman created a rock band called Nemesis Avenue. It was the beginning of a journey that took him to Trinity College where he learnt and also performed in concerts with other stalwarts such as Zakir Hussain and L. Shankar. Rahman also worked as a keyboardist for some time in the traveling troupe of Ilayaraja.
Rahman was a genius right from his childhood, and he proved his mettle in his debut film Roja directed by Mani Ratnam. For his music, he received the best music director award at national Film Awards. Rahman never looked back and gave melodious compositions in his subsequent films such as Bombay, Taal, Yuva, Ravana.and Delhi-6. For his music for Slumdog Millionaire, Rahman bagged two Academy Awards, which is a first for any composer from India.
AR Rahman vs Ilayaraja
• Ilayaraja and Rahman belong to two different eras as far as Tamil music is concerned
• Ilayaraja is considered to be more melodious while Rahman is credited with bringing technology into music
• Ilayaraja had no global ambitions and remained confined to Tamil music whereas Rahman ventured on to Bollywood and then on to Hollywood through his modern music full of beats