Tamil film Music Directors

There have been many music directors in tamil cinema from its early stage till date. Even today there are many upcoming music directors in this industry. Many music directors come and go in this industry from its early stage till now some music directors make a mark in tamil film industry. Here are the music directors who made an important mark in this industry from its early stage till now. Many music directors have gone internationally.

KV. Mahadevan

Krishnankoil Venkatachalam Mahadevan was a South Indian music composer.

A contemporary of MS. Viswanathan, TK. Ramamoorthy, KVM has scored music for over 600 films, spanning four decades, after starting his career in the 1950s with Avan Amaran. Health reasons hastened the end of his career in the mid- nineties. His last film was Swathi Kiranam in 1992. During this period he scored music for about 250 Tamil, Telugu films.

The special features of his compositions were: giving primary importance to lyrics and composing music that is perfectly suited to lyrics; always keeping a base in the Carnatic music systems; and giving independence to singers and other assistants to freely contribute ideas for improving his compositions.

Some of the famous Tamil movies for which he composed include Thiruvarutselvar, Adimai Penn, Thiruvilayadal, Vaanampadi, Thillaana Moganambal, Kandhan Karunai, Muthalali.

His one of the best compositions is 'Mannavan vanthaanadi' song from the film Thiruvarutselvar. That one song is enough to know about KV Mahadevan's musical talent.

His most famous compositions in Telugu were in the movies directed by K Viswanath like Sankarabharanam, Saptapadi, Sirivennela, Chelleli Kapuram, Jeevana Jyothi, Swathi Kiranam, .

He produced many hit songs collaborating with legendary directors K. Viswanath including the multiple national award winning Sankaraabharanam. He is clearly the director with the most number of musical chart busters in more than 60 years of Telugu music and most of his movies went on to create box-office records as he was a part of the best technical teams of highly successful directors as Adurthi Subba Rao, K. Viswanath, V. Madhusoodana Rao, VB. Rajendra Prasad, KS. Prakash Rao, Bapu, Balachander, K. Bapaiah to name a few. He also composed music for actress Hema Malini's tv serial Noopur along with composers K. Pukazhenti and Ravindra Jain.

He is known as one of the very few to bring the purity of classical music into the masses. His songs gave primary importance to lyrics, an important attribute that made the songs stand out time. His lyricists included all-time greats such as Acharya Atreya, Arudra, CNR, Sirivennela, Veturi, Kosaraju, Dasaradhi, Srirangam Srinivasa Rao, Devulapalli and Mysore Vasudevachari. He regularly directed maestro singers Ghantasala, P. Suseela and Leela.

He was very reserved with the usage of singers thus giving numerous opportunities in grooming greats such as SP. Balasubrahmanyam, Yesudas, Janaki, Chithra & Vani Jayaram, some winning the national award for best playback singing multiple times with his songs.

He was the first recipient of National Film Award for Best Music Direction.

MS. Viswanathan

Manayangath Subramanian Viswanathan is a popular South Indian music director. He is popularly known as 'Mellisai Mannar' (Tamil for 'The King of Light Music'). His major works over the past five decades have been in Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu films. He has also acted and sung in a few films.

Since young, TK Ramamoorthy is a violinist. MS Viswanathan had always to become an actor and singer where he had done roles in stage dramas before joining SM. Subbaiah Naidu. Then he moved to CR Subburaman where he met TK Ramamoorthy. MS Viswanathan was handling the harmonium while TK Ramamoorthy was handling the violin for CR Subburaman.

In 1952, CR Subburaman passed away unexpectedly while in the midst of completing songs for the films which he was assinged to compose music. MS. Viswanathan and TK. Ramamoorthy took the lead to complete the remaining songs for those affected films such as Devadas and Kaathal. At that point of time both MS. Viswanathan and TK Ramamoorthy were not official partners yet but they had just worked together. Then MS Viswanathan suggested to TK Ramamoorthy an alliance in the south by both of them teaming up such as Shankar and Jaikishen who were known as Shankar Jaikishan in the north. At first, TK. Ramamoorthy who had been reluctant that he was already contented with the income he was receiving from being a violinist but agreed to pair on the insistence of MS Viswanathan.

Their first movie was Panam, a movie by AL Seenivasan and directed by NS Krishnan. It was the secound film for Sivaji Ganesan and for first time their names appeared as Visvanathan-Ramamurthy. TK Ramamoorthy is elder to MS Viswanathan by seven years, but the placing of their names as Visvanathan- Ramamurthy was agreed upon by both parties on the advice of NS Krishnan. That was the beginning where since then both composed several hundred songs together.

On 16 June 1963, at a special function MS Viswanathan and TK Ramamoorthy were each given the title of Mellisai Mannar. It was granted by Sivaji Ganesan at the Madras Triplicane Cultural Academy. The function was supported and facilitated by the Hindu Group of Publications, especially Mr. T.M. Ramachandran, Director SridharChitralaya Gobu. Collectively they were called Mellisai Mannargal (Kings Of The Light Music). and

But MS Viswanathan and TK Ramamoorthy had to split with the release of Aayirathil Oruvan on 9 July 1965. Since then both had composed forr films individually. After 29 years, they had joined in 1995 for the SathyarajTamil film Engirundho Vanthan starrer

A legendary perfectionist, he established a prolific career composing film music in the Tamil film industry. His first score was for the film Jenova (1954). He along with TK Ramamoorthy dominated film music composing in the South Indian film industry during the 1950s and 1960s and composed scores for over 700 films, revitalising Chennai film music as the duo Viswanathan-Ramamoorthy. The duo parted in 1965 and since he had composed for films individually. They rejoiced back after 29 years of separation in 1995 for Engirundho Vanthan.

His achievements range from introducing fresher melodies, style and orchestration approaches to incorporating various genres of what is now called world music into Indian cinema music. He has sung over 500 of his own songs, as well as those of other music directors like V. Kumar, Shankar Ganesh, Ilayaraaja, Gangai Amaran, DevaAR Rahman. He has also scored music for many non-film albums and for political campaigns. His achievements include appearances in numerous films and television series. and

He often worked with the well-known Tamil poet and lyricist Kannadasan. In recent times, Viswanathan has focused on composing devotional music and serving as a judge in Malayalam TV reality shows.

Ilayaraaja

Ilayaraaja s a highly acclaimed Indian film composer, singer, and lyricist. He is widely regarded as one of the finest music composers in India. A noted music director and composer, Ilayaraaja is also a instrumentalist, conductor, and a songwriter. To date, he has composed over 4500 songs and provided film scores for more than 950 Indian films in various languages in a career spanning more than 30 years, particularly being acclaimed for his background scoring for Indian films. His songs and background score played a very crucial role in the success of many films.

Ilayaraaja has been a prominent composer of film music in South Indian cinema's since the late 1970s. His works are mainly in Tamil and Telugu. He integrated folk lyricism (in Tamil) and introduced broader Western musical sensibilities into the South Indian musical mainstream. A gold medalist in classical guitar from Trinity College of Music, London, he eventually, in 1993, became the first Asian to compose a full symphony performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London's Walthamstow Town Hall.

In the 2000s, he composed a range of non-film music, including religious and devotional songs, an oratorio, and world music, while shifting his focus to Malayalam and Kannada-lanaguage films. He is usually referred to by the title Isaignani, or as The Maestro. He has won four Indian National Film Awards for best film scoring, and is a recipient of the prestigious Padma Bhushan Award from the Government of India. He is married to Jeeva, and the couple's two sons (Karthik Raja and Yuvan Shankar Raja) and daughter (Bhavatharini) are film composers and singers.

In the 1970s in Chennai, Ilayaraaja played guitar in a band-for-hire, and worked as a session guitarist, keyboardist, organist for film music composers and directors such as Salil Chowdhury from West Bengal. After his hiring as the musical assistant to Kannada film composer G. K. Venkatesh, he worked on 200 film projects, mostly in the Kannada language. As G. K. Venkatesh's assistant, Ilayaraaja would orchestrate the melodic outlines developed by Venkatesh. During this period, Ilayaraaja also began writing his own scores. To hear his compositions, he would persuade Venkatesh's session musicians to play excerpts from his scores during their break times. Ilayaraaja would hire instruments from composer R. K. Shekhar, father of composer AR Rahman who later joined Ilayaraaja's orchestra as a keyboardist.

In 1976, film producer Panchu Arunachalam commissioned him to compose the songs and film score for a Tamil-language film called Annakkili ('The Parrot'). For the soundtrack, Ilayaraaja applied the techniques of modern popular film music orchestration to Tamil folk poetry and folk song melodies, which created a fusion of Western and Tamil idioms. Ilayaraaja's use of Tamil music in his film scores injected new influence into the Indian film score milieu. By the mid-1980s Ilayaraaja was gaining increasing stature as a film composer and music director in the South Indian film industry. Besides Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada films, he has scored music for Hindi (or Bollywood) film productions such as Sadma (1983), Mahadev (1989), Lajja (2001), Cheeni Kum (2007) and recently Paa (2009). He has worked with Indian poets and lyricists such as Gulzar, Kannadasan, Veturi Sundararama Murthy, Sirivennela Sitaramasastri, Vairamuthu and TS. Rangarajan (Vaali), and film directors such as Bharathi Raaja, K. Balachander, K. Vishwanath, Singeetham Srinivasa Rao, Vamsy, Balu Mahendra and Mani Ratnam. As of 2009, he scored for Malayalam movie, Pazhassiraja and the Tamil movie Jagan Mohini.

Ilayaraaja was one of the early Indian film composers to use Western classical music harmonies and string arrangements in Indian film music. This allowed him to craft a rich tapestry of sounds for films, and his themes and background score gained notice and appreciation amongst Indian film audiences. The range of expressive possibilities in Indian film music was broadened by Ilayaraaja's methodical approach to arranging, recording technique, and his drawing of ideas from a diversity of musical styles.

According to musicologist P. Greene, Ilayaraaja's 'deep understanding of so many different styles of music allowed him to create syncretic pieces of music combining very different musical idioms in unified, coherent musical statements'. Ilayaraaja has composed Indian film songs that amalgamated elements of genres such as Afro-tribal, bossa nova, dance music (e.g., disco), doo-wop, flamenco, acoustic guitar-propelled Western folk, funk, Indian classical. Indian folk/traditional, jazz, march, pathos, pop, psychedelia, and rock and roll.

Ilayaraaja's music is characterised by the use of an orchestration technique that is a synthesis of Western and Indian instruments and musical modes. He uses electronic music technology that integrated synthesisers, electric guitars and keyboards, drum machines, rhythm boxes and MIDI with large orchestras that feature traditional instruments such as the veena, venu, nadaswaram, dholak, mridangam and tabla as well as Western lead instruments such as saxophones and flutes.

He uses catchy melodies fleshed out with a variety of chord progressions, beats and timbres.musical form where vocal stanzas and choruses are interspersed with orchestral preludes and interludes. Ilayaraaja's songs typically have a musical form where vocal stanzas and choruses are interspersed with orchestral preludes and interludes. They often contain polyphonic melodies, where the lead vocals are interwoven with supporting melody lines sung by another voice or played by instruments.

The basslines in his songs tend to be (melodically) dynamic, rising and falling in a dramatic fashion.Polyrhythms are also apparent, particularly in songs with Indian folk or Carnatic influences. The melodic structure of his songs demand considerable vocal virtuosity, and have found expressive platform amongst some of India's respected vocalists and playback singers, such as SP Balasubramaniam, KJ Yesudas, S. Janaki, KS Chitra, Swarnalatha, SP Sailaja, TM Soundararajan, P. Susheela, Sujatha, Malaysia Vasudevan, Asha Bhonsle, Lata Mangeshkar, Sadhana Sargam and the latest sensation Shreya Ghoshal. Ilayaraaja has sung over 400 of his own compositions for films, and is recognisable by his stark, nasal voice. He has penned the lyrics for some of his songs in Tamil and other languages. Ilayaraaja's film scores are known both for the dramatic and evocative melodies, and for the more subtle background music that he uses to provide texture or mood for scenes in films such as Johnny (1980), Mouna Raagam (1986), Geethanjali (1989) and Guna (1991).

Ilayaraaja's first two non-film albums were explorations in the fusion of Indian and Western classical music. The first, How To Name It? (1986), is dedicated to the Carnatic master Tyagaraja and to J. S. Bach. It features a fusion of the Carnatic form and ragas with Bach partitas, fugues and Baroque musical textures. The second, Nothing But Wind (1988), was performed by flutist Hariprasad Chaurasia and a 50-piece orchestra and takes the conceptual approach suggested in the title - that music is a natural phenomenon akin to various forms of air currents (e.g., the wind, breeze, tempest etc.).

He has composed a set of Carnatic kritis that was recorded by electric mandolinist U. Srinivas for the album Ilayaraaja's Classicals on the Mandolin (1994). Ilayaraaja has also composed albums of religious/devotionalGuru Ramana Geetam (2004) is a cycle of prayer songs inspired by the Hindu mystic Ramana Maharishi, and his Thiruvasakam: A crossover (2005) is an oratorio of ancient Tamil poems transcribed partially in English by American lyricist Stephen Schwartz and performed by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra.The Music Messiah (2006). Its musical concept is based against a mythological narrative. His recent release in November 2008, is Manikantan Geet Mala released by India Tales with 9 songs praising Lord Ayyappa in almost all south Indian languages.

Ilayaraaja's composition Rakkama Kaiya Thattu , singers - SPB & Swarnalatha from the movie Thalapathi (1991) was amongst the songs listed in a BBC World Top Ten music poll. He composed the music for Nayagan (1987), an Indian film ranked by TIME Magazine as one of the all-time 100 best movies, a number of India's official entries to the Oscars, such as Anjali (1990) and Hey Ram (2000), and for Indian art films such as Adoor Gopalakrishnan's FIPRESCI Prize-winning Nizhalkkuthu ('The Dance of Shadows') (2002). Ilayaraaja has composed music for events such as the 1996 Miss World beauty pageant that was held in Bangalore, India, and for a documentary called India 24 Hours (1996). The pop/hip-hop band Black Eyed Peas sampled an Ilayaraaja composition called 'Unakkum Ennakum', from the film Sri Raghavendra (1985), for their tune 'The Elephunk Theme' from their breakout album, Elephunk (2003). The alternative artist M.I.A. sampled his composition 'Kaatukuyilu, ' from the film Thalapathi (1991) for her song 'Bamboo Banga' on the album Kala. His music compositions for the Hindi movie 'Paa' (3 December 2009) has won critical acclaim in several media reviews. (2007).

Ilayaraaja has won the National Film Award for Best Music Direction for the Tamil film Sindhu Bhairavi (1986) and the Telugu films Rudraveena (1989) and Saagara Sangamam (1984). He also won the National Film Award for Best Background Score for Malayalam film Pazhassi Raja (2010). He won the Gold Remi Award for Best Music Score jointly with film composer MS Viswanathan at the WorldFest-Houston Film Festival for the film Vishwa Thulasi (2005).

He was conferred the title Isaignani (English: Savant of Music) in 1988 by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi in a grand public function held in Karaikudi and received the Kalaimamani Award, an annual award for excellence in the field of arts from the Government of the State of Tamil Nadu, India. He also received State Government Awards from the governments of Kerala (1995), Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh (The Lata Mangeshkar Award) (1998) for excellence in music. In 2010, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian honour. Alongside he also won the Akshaya Samman of the year (2010), a prestigious musical award from Orissa for his outstanding contribution in the field of music.

He was awarded honorary doctorates by Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu, India (Degree of Doctor of Letter (Honoris causa)) (March 1994), the World University Round Table, Arizona, U.S.A. (Cultural Doctorate in Philosophy of Music) (April 1994), and Madurai Kamaraj University, Tamil Nadu (Degree of Doctor of Letters) (1996). He received an Award of Appreciation from the Foundation and Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America (1994), and later that year was presented with an honorary citizenship and key to the Teaneck township by Mr. John Abraham, Mayor of Teaneck, New Jersey, U.S.A.

AR Rahman

Allah Rakha Rahman is an Indian film composer, record producer, musician and singer. His film scoring career began in the early 1990s. He has won fourteen Filmfare Awards, four National Film Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, two Grammy Awards, and two Academy Awards.

Rahman obtained a degree in western classical music from the Trinity College of Music, London, and set up his own in-house studio called Panchathan Record-Inn at Chennai, arguably one of Asia's most sophisticated and high-tech studios. Later by working in India's various film industries, international cinema and theatre, by 2004, Rahman, in a career spanning over a decade, had sold more than 150 million records of his film scores and soundtracks worldwide, and sold over 200 million cassettes, making him one of the world's all-time top selling recording artists. He was described as 'India's most prominent movie songwriter' by Time magazine in 2005.

His works are notable for integrating eastern classical music with electronic music sounds, new technology and traditional orchestral arrangements. Time magazine has referred to him as the 'Mozart of Madras' and several Tamil commentators have coined him the nickname Isai Puyal. In 2009, the magazine placed Rahman in the Time 100 list of World's Most Influential People.

AR Rahman was born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India to a musically affluent Mudaliar Tamil family. His father R. K. Shekhar, was a Chennai based composer and conductor for Malayalam films. Rahman lost his father at a young age and his family rented out musical equipment as a source of income. He was raised by his mother Kareema (Kashturi). He was introduced to Sufism when his younger sister fell severely sick and as per the advise of a family friend, the family would pray at a mosque and vow conversion to Islam if she got well. The prayers were answered and accordingly, he along with other members of his family then converted to Islam in the year 1989 at the age of 23 and changed his name to Rahman. During these formative years, Rahman served as a keyboard player and an arranger in bands such as 'Roots', with childhood friend and percussionist Sivamani, John Anthony, Suresh Peters, JoJo and Raja. Rahman is the founder of the Chennai-based rock group, 'Nemesis Avenue'. He played the keyboard and piano, the synthesizer, the harmonium and the guitar. His curiosity in the synthesizer, in particular increased because, he says, it was the 'ideal combination of music and technology'. He began early training in music under Master Dhanraj. At the age of 11, he joined, as a keyboardist, the troupe of Ilayaraaja, one of many composers to whom musical instruments belonging to Rahman's father were rented. Rahman later played in the orchestra of MS Viswanathan Ramesh Naidu and Raj Koti, accompanied Zakir Hussain, Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan and L. Shankar on world tours and obtained a scholarship to the Trinity College of Music where he graduated with a degree in Western classical music.

In 1992, Rahman began the Panchathan Record Inn, a music recording and mixing studio attached to the backyard of his house. Over time it would become the most advanced recording studio in India. He initially composed scores for documentaries, jingles for advertisements and Indian Television channels and other projects. In 1992, he was approached by film director Mani Ratnam to compose the score and soundtrack for Ratnam's Tamil film Roja. The debut led Rahman to receive the Rajat Kamal award for Best Music Director at the National Film Awards, an unprecedented win for a first-time film composer. Rahman has since been awarded the Silver Lotus three more times for Minsaara Kanavu (Electric Dreams, Tamil) in 1997, Lagaan (Tax, Hindi) in 2002, Kannathil Muthamittal (A Peck on the Cheek, Tamil) in 2003, the most ever by any composer.

Roja's score met with high sales and acclaim in both its original and dubbed versions, bringing about a marked change in film music at the time. Rahman followed this with successful scores for Tamil–language films of the Chennai film industry including Ratnam's politically charged Bombay, the urbanite Kadhalan, Bharathiraaja's Karuththamma, the saxophonic Duet, Indira, and the romantic comedies Mr. Romeo and Love Birds, which gained him considerable notice. His fanbase in Japan increased with Muthu's success there. His soundtracks gained him recognition in the Tamil Nadu film industry and around the world for his stylistic versatility incorporating Western classical, Carnatic and Tamil traditional/folk music traditions, jazz, reggae and rock music. The Bombay Theme—from Ratnam's Bombay—would later reappear in Deepa Mehta's Fire and various compilations and media. Rangeela, directed by Ram Gopal Varma, marked Rahman's debut for Hindi-language films made in the Mumbai film industry. Many successful scores for films including Dil Se and the percussive Taal Sufi mysticism would inspire the track 'Chaiyya Chaiyya' from the former, as well as the composition 'Zikr' from his score for the film Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero, for which he created large orchestral and choral arrangements. Musical cues in scores for Sangamam and Iruvar employed Carnatic vocals and instruments such as the veena with leads of rock guitar and jazz. In the 2000s Rahman created hit scores for Rajiv Menon's Kandukondain Kandukondain, Alaipayuthey, Ashutosh Gowariker's Swades and Rang De Basanti. He composed songs with Hindustani motifs for Water (2005).

Rahman has worked with Indian poets and lyricists such as Javed Akhtar, Gulzar, Vairamuthu and Vaali. He has consistently produced commercially successful soundtracks when collaborating with particular film directors such as Mani Ratnam who he has worked with since Roja, and the director S. Shankar in the films Gentleman, Kadhalan, Indian, Jeans, Mudhalvan, Nayak, Boys, Sivaji and Enthiran.

In 2005, Rahman extended his Panchathan Record Inn studio by establishing AM Studios in Kodambakkam, Chennai, thereby creating the most cutting-edge studio in Asia. In 2006, Rahman launched his own music label, KM Music. Its first release was his score to the film Sillunu Oru Kaadhal. Rahman scored the Mandarin language picture Warriors of Heaven and Earth in 2003 after researching and utilizing Chinese and Japanese classical music, and co-scored the Shekhar Kapoor project Elizabeth: The Golden Age in 2007. His compositions have been sampled for other scores within India, appearing in such films as Inside Man, Lord of War, Divine Intervention and The Accidental Husband. In 2008, he scored the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack, for which he won a Golden Globe and two Academy Awards, becoming the first Indian citizen to do so. In the United States, the soundtrack topped the Dance/Electronic Albums chart and reached #4 on the Billboard 200 chart. The song 'Jai Ho' reached #2 on the Eurochart Hot 100 Singles and #15 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Rahman has been involved in several projects aside from film. Vande Mataram, an album of his original compositions released on India's 50th anniversary of independence in 1997, enjoyed great commercial success. He followed it up with an album for the Bharat Bala–directed video Jana Gana Mana, a conglomeration of performances by many leading exponents and artists of Indian classical music. Rahman has written jingles for ads and composed several orchestrations for athletic events, television and internet media publications, documentaries and short films.

In 1999, Rahman partnered with choreographers Shobhana and Prabhu Deva Sundaram and a Tamil cinema dancing troupe to perform with Michael Jackson in Munich, Germany at his 'Michael Jackson and Friends' concert. In 2002, he composed the music for his maiden stage production, Bombay Dreams, commissioned by musical theatre composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. Finnish folk music band Värttinä collaborated with Rahman to write the music for The Lord of the Rings theatre production and in 2004, Rahman composed the piece 'Raga's Dance' for Vanessa-Mae's album Choreography.

Since 2004, Rahman has performed three successful world tours to audiences in Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Dubai, the United Kingdom, Canada, the U.S. and India. He has been collaborating with Karen David for her upcoming studio album. A two-disc soundtrack, Introducing AR Rahman (2006) featuring 25 of his pieces from Tamil film scores was released in May 2006, and his non-film album, Connections was released on 12 December 2008. Rahman is one of over 70 artists who performed on 'We Are the World: 25 for Haiti', a charity single to raise emergency relief funds in the wake of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. In 2010, Rahman composed 'Jay Jay Garvi Gujarat' in honor of the 50th anniversary of the formation of Gujarat State, 'Semmozhiyaana Thamizh Mozhiyaam' as part of World Classical Tamil Conference 2010, and the official theme song of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, 'Jiyo Utho Bado Jeeto'. Rahman organised a world tour, named A.R. Rahman Jai Ho Concert: The Journey Home World Tour, in 2010. The ongoing tour was kicked off on June 11 at the Nassau Coliseum in New York and will span 16 major cities worldwide.

Skilled in Carnatic music, Western classical, Hindustani music and the Qawwali style of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Rahman has been noted to write film songs that amalgamate elements of these music systems and other genres, layering instruments from differing music idioms in an improvisatory manner. Symphonic orchestral themes have accompanied his scores, occasionally employing leitmotif. In the 1980s, Rahman recorded and played arrangements on monophonic sound, synonymous with the era of his musical predecessors K. V. Mahadevan and Vishwanathan–Ramamoorthy. In later years his methodology changed as he experimented with the fusion of traditional instruments with new electronic sounds and technology.

Rahman's musical interests and outlook stem from his love of experimentation. Rahman's compositions, in the vein of past and contemporary Chennai film composers, bring out auteuristic uses of counterpoint, orchestration and the human voice, melding Indian pop music with unique timbres, forms and instrumentation. By virtue of these qualities, broad ranging lyrics and his syncretic style, the appeal of his music cuts across the spectrum of classes and cultures within Indian society.

His first soundtrack for Roja was listed in TIME's '10 Best Soundtracks' of all time in 2005. Film critic Richard Corliss felt the 'astonishing debut work parades Rahman's gift for alchemizing outside influences until they are totally Tamil, totally Rahman.' Rahman's initial global reach is attributed to the South Asian diaspora. Described as one of the most innovative composers to ever work in the industry, his unique style and immense success transformed film music in the 1990s prompting several film producers to take film music more seriously. The music producer Ron Fair considers Rahman to be 'one of the world's great living composers in any medium'.

Rahman was the 1995 recipient of the Mauritius National Award and the Malaysian Award for contributions to music. He was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for his first West-End production. A four-time National Film Award winner and conferred the Padma Shri from the Government of India, Rahman has also received six Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, fourteen Filmfare Awards and eleven Filmfare Awards South for his music and scores. In 2006, he received an honorary award from Stanford University for contributions to global music. In 2009, for his score of Slumdog Millionaire, Rahman won the Critics' Choice Award, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music, and two Academy Awards for Best Original Music Score and Best Original Song at the 2009 Oscars. Middlesex University and Aligarh Muslim University have announced that they plan to bestow honorary doctorates on Rahman. He has also won two Grammy Awards, for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album and Best Song Written for a Visual Media. Rahman was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian honor, in 2010.

Deva

Deva is an Indian film composer and singer. He has composed songs and provided background music for Tamil films in a career spanning about 20 years. Many know his gaana songs, written mostly using Madras Tamil. He is widely acknowledged as the 'Father of Gaana Genre' in Tamil film industry.

Music director Deva has the reputation of having composed music for so many number of films within the ambit of a very short period! He got introduced as film music director in the film Manasukkeththa Maharaasa, in the year 1989. In the intervening years he has composed music for a total of more than 400 films. His son Srikanth Deva is also a music director in the industry.

Teaming with Chandra Bose, he staged so many musical programmes. He started learning classical music under Dhanraj and successfully finished a course in Western music conducted by London Trinity Music college. His son Srikanth Deva also is a music director, as do his brothers, who have formed the duo, Sabesh-Murali. Moreover, his nephew, Jai is an actor.

Before coming to Cinema, Deva worked for some time in the Television field. In those days Deva's brothers were working in the musical troupes of Illayaraja and other music directors as instrumentalists. But Deva took special interests for self-improvement in his profession and at the same time he was looking for chances to enter movies. But the benefits of those efforts didn't bear fruits that easily. Only after much hardship he managed to enter the field with the help of some friends and his four brothers. Just after his entry, the production work of those films, for which negotiations were on for fixing Deva as the music director, couldn't get completed and some other films with his music couldn't be released at all.

Deva continued his efforts to knock every polls and pillars for an opening which finally began yielding results in the year 1989. His first film, 'Manasukkeththa Maharaasaa' was released in 1989. Even though this film was not a hit in box office he was called to work on the movie 'Vaikaasi Poranthaachu'. This was a huge hit and Deva was praised for his work. After the release of 'Vaikaasi Poranthaachu', his name became a common one all across the Tamil community. After this, he was flooded with offers from many production houses for their upcoming projects.

So far he has composed music for more than 400 films which include Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films. He is also famous for his compositions for religious films. He was widely acclaimed for his scores for Rajnikanth starrer Basha. His other famous compositions include Annamalai and Baasha both starring Rajnikanth which helped him rise to the level of top composers in Tamil industry for.

He has recently made a special appearance in the film,'Modhi Vilayadu'.

Famous veteran music director MS Viswanathan conferred Deva with title, 'Thenisai Thendral' for his contributions.

In 1990, he received his first Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Music Director. He was conferred with Tamil Nadu Government's Kalaimamani Award in the year 1992. Again in 1995, the film Aasai enabled him to receive another state film award. For Baasha, he got the Tamil Nadu Arts and Cultural Academy Award. He has also been honoured by awards from popular journals like Dinakaran, Cinema Express and Screen.

Vidyasagar

Vidyasagar is an Award-Winning Indian film music director and music composer in the Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and Malayalam film industry. He is very popular in South Indian music industry and best known for his soulful melodies. His fast numbers to many films have earned him much fame too. He has worked with almost all the leading film makers and leading heroes of his time. Though he is born Telugu, his major hits are in Tamil and Malayalam films. He is also a recipient of the prestigious National Award which is recognized throughout the country.

His father U. Ramachander was a musician who could play eight instruments and his grandfather Varaha Narasimha Murthy was the court 'Vidhwan' for the king of Vijayanagaram Bobili in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Vidyasagar started learning vocal classical music and harmonium from his father at the age of four. When he was eight-years-old Vidyasagar joined Dhanraj Master. In fact both AR Rahman and Vidyasagar had joined on the same day. Vidyasagar learnt guitar for 3–4 years there, then the piano. Vidyasagar studied Western classical music at the Trinity College of Music, London.

At age of eleven, Vidyasagar knew how to play a dozen musical instruments and signed up to work as a regular musician for many music directors. Vidyasagar could play for all languages because then, most films had their recording at Chennai. Vidyasagar wanted to then compose his own tunes and have someone else play them. He had assisted various music directors and even done ghost music for some of them. So he had the experience and wanted to compose

Vidyasagar became an independent music director with the song 'En Anbe' in the 1989 Tamil movie 'Poomanam' directed by Rajasekhar (Robert). Though Vidyasagar started his music career with a Tamil film, recognition in Tamil music industry came to him much later. He shifted base to Telugu and from 1993 to 1996, Vidyasagar became the top music director in Telugu.

In 1994-95, Vidyasagar was picked up by Tamil actor-director Arjun, with whom he worked for many musically acclaimed films like 'Jai Hind', 'Karna', 'Subash', 'Ayutha Poojai' and 'Sengottai' though the movies themselves didn't do well. Vidyasagar composed some of his best music for Arjun's films with some melodic numbers like 'Malare', 'Bhoomiae', and 'Padu Padu' some of which went unnoticed. After a not so impressive start in Tamil film industry Vidyasagar was discovered by Malayalam film industry.

From 1996 to 2001 Vidyasagar mainly concentrated on Malayalam films where he became the top music director. In Malayalam right from his first film 'Azhagiya Ravanan' to 'Meesa Madhavan' he struck the right cord. He has created scores in which ragas and rhythms combined to a good melody, which even bagged him four Kerala State Awards. Vidyasagar's love for melody has made him turn to Malayalam film industry time and again, and the songs in hit films like Azhagiya Ravanan, Meesa Madhavan, Gramaphone, CID Moosa and Kilichundan Mambazham were all well received.

In his music he experienced all kinds of song situations and he explored his talent to the maximum in that period. His film 'Pranayavarnangal' is still considered by many one of the best albums ever cut in Malayalam industry. Undoubtedly the talented music director has given his best in malayalam film industry.

His career best was 'Millennium Stars'(1999), in Malayalam, which was a WorldClass soundtrack. Some songs were bilingual, and India's best singers, Dr. KJ Yesudas and Hariharan sang together in these songs. Songs like 'Parayan Nhaan Marannu' and 'Shravan Gange' in this movie, were truly of the class of the world's top soundtracks.

During this period, Vidyasagar's song compositions in Tamil movies like 1998 Vijay starrer 'Nilaave Vaa' and 'Uyirodu Uyiraaga' starring Ajith did catch attention and became quite popular but still the bad patch in Tamil films continued for Vidyasagar during this period. Vidyasagar was probably the only composer in South India who has delivered many super hit songs during his early days but was not considered a success. Even today, some of Vidyasagar's prior songs composed for movies are sung by music troupes. But the total success of the film counts ultimately because the music director will be identified with the film.

After a successful Malayalam career he made a come back into Tamil with 'Dhill' and 'Poovellam Un Vasam'. Songs in both of these films were instant hits. Then came 'Dhool' which opened new doors in Tamil songs with highly successful folk song 'Ithanadu Kara Kodumae', and great melody in 'Aasai Aasai'. With 'Dhool' and 'Dhill' under his belt, Vidyasagar was the talk of the town, for which he had to wait for 13 years. With a successful come back he then went on to give music to some of most successful films of the year 2002-2003 like 'Anbe Sivam' and Madhavan's 'Run' which was a huge musical hit as well as commercial hit. The music composed by Vidyasagar for movies released in 2003 'Iyarkai', 'Thithukudhe', 'Parthiban Kanavu' were highly popular in spite of the fact that some of these movies failed at the box office. Vijay's 'Thirumalai' was another hit album.

The year 2004 saw Vidyasagar come up with 'Ghilli' which was an instant hit with song 'Appadi Podu Podu' ruling the charts in Tamil music world. This was followed by other hits like 'Madurey', 'London' and 'Ji' in 2004-05. In the year 2005 Vidyasagar received national award for the Telugu movie 'Swarabhishkam' by K. Vishwanath featuring carnatic classical music. Vidyasagar continued his success spree by composing music for Rajnikanth starrer 'Chandramukhi' (he mentions this as a call from God), which was the biggest hit of the year 2005 and a comeback movie for Rajnikanth. The audio of the movie was a best seller and the BGM (Back Ground Music) of the film was also released for the first time in the Indian music industry. He has composed music for the Hollywood movie 'Beyond the Soul' directed by Rajeev Anchal. The 2004-05 year also saw him score music for the Hindi movie 'Hulchul' from Priyadarshan. With Mozhi, Vidyasagar once again gave listeners some songs like 'Katrin Mozhiye' and 'Sevvanam Selaikatti' which were instant hits of 2007. In 2008 Vidyasagar came with chart topping songs for 'Kuruvi' starring Vijay. 'Kuruvi''s music was well received by music critics and Vijay's fans. In 2008-2009, Vidyasagar gave multiple melodious hits for the movie 'Abhium Nanum'. The song 'Va Va En Dhevadhaye', which expresses the bond between a father and daughter is considered to be one of the best lilting melodies of the year.

Vidyasagar was now a well known figure in the Tamil film music, often for his hugely popular numbers composed for movies starring Tamil super stars Vijay and Vikram.

Bharathwaj

Bharathwaj is a Tamil film composer. He has since scored music in languages including Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada. trained in Hindustani, Western and Carnatic music. He had composed music for programmes on AIR and DD at the age of 17.

Bharathwaj was born in Tirunelveli in a Tamil Brahmin family and had his schooling and college education in Delhi. His father was a government official. Bharathwaj qualified as a Chartered Accountant before entering the domain of music.

He studied Hindustani and Western music at Delhi.

He has scored music for almost all movies of Saran.

Bharathwaj has scored 49 films in Tamil. His 1st film Kaadhal Mannan, 25th film Attagasam and 50th film is Aasal all with 'Ultimate Star' Ajith Kumar and with director Saran.

Yuvan Shankar Raja

Yuvan Shankar Raja is an Indian Tamil film score and soundtrack composer, singer and occasional lyricist. He has predominantly scored music for Tamil as well as Telugu films. In 1996, at age 16, his musical career began as he composed the film score for Aravindhan. He subsequently composed film scores for a variety of South Indian films, which include commercial blockbusters such as Dheena, Manmadhan, Paruthiveeran, Billa, Yaaradi Nee Mohini and Paiyaa as well as acclaimed films such as Nandha, Kaadhal Kondein, 7G Rainbow Colony, Raam, Pudhupettai and Kattradhu Thamizh.

Within a span of 13 years, Yuvan Shankar Raja has scored for over 75 films. Considered a highly versatile composer, he often strives for different, innovative and stylistic music and has explored and used elements of various genres in his compositions that range from folk to heavy metal. He is particularly known for his use of western music elements in his pieces and often credited with having introduced Hip hop to the Tamil film and music industry and having started the 'era of remixes' in Tamil Nadu. Being immensely popular among the younger generation, he is frequently called the 'Youth Icon of Tamil Film Music'. In addition, Yuvan Shankar Raja is recognized for his background score in films that have fetched him high praise among critics.

He has won two Filmfare Awards; the Best Music Director Award in 2004 for his score in the drama 7G Rainbow Colony at age 25, remaining the youngest winner of the award, and the Special Jury Award in 2009 for his Telugu musical Oy!. Besides, he received two nominations for Filmfare Awards, one Tamil Nadu State Film Award in 2006 and the Cyprus International Film Festival Award in 2006 for Raam, becoming the first and only Indian composer to win it.

Born on 31 August 1979, in Chennai, India into a musically affluent Tamil family, Yuvan Shankar Raja is the third and youngest child of musician and film composer Ilayaraaja and his wife Jeeva. He is the younger brother of music director Karthik Raja and playback singer-cum-music director Bhavatharini. Yuvan once confessed, that his brother Karthik Raja is more talented than him, but did not get a successful break into the music business, since he didn't get a 'good team to work with'. His father as well as his siblings have sung many songs under his direction.

Noted film director and film composer Gangai Amaran and late R. D. Bhaskar are his uncles and their sons Venkat Prabhu, Premji Amaran and Parthi Bhaskar, who are working in the Tamil film industry as well, are his cousins. Moreover, Yuvan Shankar Raja and both the sons of Gangai Amaran, do often associate with each other and have often worked together, the results of which have been very successful. Venkat Prabhu's films have had all musical score by Yuvan, while Premji had assisted him composing music for some years, before becoming an independent composer aside from the fact, that both have sung several songs under the direction of Yuvan Shankar Raja.

Yuvan Shankar Raja did his schooling at St. Bede's school in Chennai before studying at Loyola College, Chennai. He started learning music from Jacob Master, attending piano classes at 'Musee Musical' in Chennai, which is affiliated to Trinity College in London, UK.

Yuvan Shankar Raja stated, that he always wanted to become a pilot and travel 'all around the world', but as he grew up 'with music around him', he eventually became a musician. But he still considers himself flying high with his music. He admires the work of his father and other composers such as S. D. Burman, R. D. Burman, MS Viswanathan and Naushad and the voices of singers Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, P. B. Sreenivas and P. Susheela.

In 1996, following his mother's suggestion to take up music as a profession, Yuvan Shankar Raja started composing tunes for a private album. It was then that T. Siva, the producer of the Tamil language film Aravindhan, after hearing some of the tunes, asked to compose a trailer music. As the producer was so much impressed of which, he gave Yuvan Shankar Raja the assignment to compose the entire film score including a soundtrack for that film. After consulting and getting consent from his parents, he accepted the offer; his music career started. His entry into the Tamil film and music industry had happened at age 16, thus becoming one of the most youngest composers ever in the industry, which, he says, was 'purely accidental'.

However, both the soundtrack album as well as the film itself failed to attract audiences and to do well and Yuvan Shankar Raja's following projects Velai (1998) and Kalyana Galatta (1998) weren't successful either; his compositions for these films didn't receive good reviews or responses. This eventually caused that he hardly got any film projects and assignments. During this time of struggling, he was approached and assigned by director Vasanth to compose the music for his film Poovellam Kettuppar (1999). The soundtrack, described as 'fresh' and 'different', immediately became a chartbuster album, particularly songs like 'Irava Pagala' and 'Chudithar Aninthu', gaining him first time notice, especially among young people and children. The album would make possible his first breakthrough in the industry and proved to be a major turning point in his career. After working for two Sundar C. films, Unakkaga Ellam Unakkaga (1999) and Rishi (2000), which both fared averagely at the box office, he got to work for A. R. Murugadoss' directorial debut in 2000, the action flick Dheena starring Ajith Kumar, which went on to become a blockbuster and Yuvan Shankar Raja's first major successful film. Yuvan Shankar Raja's songs were equally successful, which are considered to have played a major role for the film's great success whilst his background score in the film was also well appreciated.

Thanks to this film's enormous success, he eventually broke into the Tamil music scene as offers were pouring in subsequently. He was mainly approached by many young new directors. In 2001 he had three album releases, the first being Thulluvadho Ilamai, collaborating with Selvaraghavan for the first time. With Thulluvadho Ilamai he had ultimately captivated youth's hearts as the album songs were lapped up by the younger generation. The film itself, marking the debut of Selvaraghavan's brother Dhanush, released one year later and became a sleeper hit at the Chennai box office. This was followed by Bala's Nandha (2001), for which he received rave reviews, which would proved his talent and versatility. He then gained notice by churning out 'youthful music' in the college-life based April Maadhathil (2002), the romantic comedy films Kadhal Samrajyam (2002), and Mounam Pesiyadhe (2002), Ameer's directorial debut film, and the triangular love story Punnagai Poove (2002), in which he also made his on-screen debut, appearing in some scenes and one song sequence. At the same time he made his Telugu debut with Seshu and Malli Malli Chudali and also composed for the Tamil films Junior Senior and Pop Carn, starring Malayalam stars Mammootty and Mohan Lal, respectively, all of which performing poorly at the box offices, though.

In 2003 Selvaraghavan's first independent directorial, the drama-thriller film Kaadhal Kondein released, which is considered a milestone for Yuvan Shankar Raja. His work in the film, particularly his background score, was unanimously praised, leading to the release of a separate CD consisting of several film score pieces, a la 'Hollywood-style', which was reportedly the first film score CD release in India. Furthermore, the film went on to become a blockbuster, cementing the film's lead artist Dhanush and Yuvan Shankar Raja in the Tamil film and music industry.The same year, he worked in Vishnuvardhan's debut film, Kurumbu, which featured the first remix song in a Tamil film. By that time, in a career spanning less than a decade, Yuvan Shankar Raja had established himself as one of the leading and most-sought after music directors in the Tamil film industry, despite working with many newcomers and unknown artists and scoring for mostly low-budget films only.

Yuvan Shankar Raja's 2004 releases, 7G Rainbow Colony, another Selvaraghavan film, and Silambarasan's Manmadhan, were both critically and commercially successful films, featuring acclaimed and popular music by Yuvan Shankar Raja, which also contributed to the films' successes. His work in the former, in particular, got critically acclaimed and eventually led him to win the Best Music Direction Award at the 2004 Filmfare Awards South; receiving the award at the age of 25, he remains the youngest winning music composer of the award. From then on, he has had 8-9 releases every year on average, turning him into one of the most busiest and prolific Indian film composers.

His first of 9 album releases of 2005 was Raam. His score for the Ameer-directed thriller fetched him further accolades and eventually yielded a win at the 2006 Cyprus International Film Festival for Best Musical score in a Feature Film, the first such award for an Indian composer. His success streak continued with his following releases of that year, low-budget films such as Arinthum Ariyamalum, Kanda Naal Mudhal and Sandakozhi surprisingly becoming successful ventures at the box office, since also Yuvan Shankar Raja's compositions like 'Theepidikka', 'Panithuli' and 'Dhavani Potta' from the respective soundtracks became very popular anthems among the masses and played an important role for the films's successes. After the release of the soundtrack for the S. J. Suryaah-starring romantic comedy, Kalvanin Kadhali that also enjoyed popularity, his final album of 2005, Pudhupettai, released, which saw him once again collaborating with director Selvaraghavan. The ten-track experimental album, receiving exceptionally rave reviews, was considered Yuvan Shankar Raja's finest work till then and being hailed as a 'musical masterpiece'. The soundtrack and score of the film featured a traditional orchestral score played by the 'Chapraya Symphony' of Bangkok, the first time in a Tamil film. Critics felt that this project, in particular, proved his abilities and talent to produce some innovative and experimentative scores. Karthik Srinivasan from milliblog commented that 'Yuvan's imagination soars way beyond the confines of a Tamil movie OST' , describing the album as 'clearly one of the most innovative albums in recent times'. The film itself, releasing only in May 2006, did average business, despite opening to outstanding reviews.

He next worked on the romantic comedies Happy and Azhagai Irukkirai Bayamai Irukkirathu and the gangster film Pattiyal, which all released in early 2006. His Happy songs were well received in Andhra Pradesh, marking his first success in the Telugu film industry, and the score received positive reviews, with Jeevi from idlebrain.com citing it to be 'excellent', whilst his score for Pattiyal was highly praised by critics; a sify reviewer wrote, 'Yuvan Shankar Raja's music and background score is the life of the film'. Further more, both films went on to become very successful ventures, both commercially and critically. His subsequent releases that year include Silambarasan's debut directorial,Vallavan and the action entertainer Thimiru. Yuvan Shankar Raja was hailed as the 'real hero' of the former, which featured some of the year's most listened tracks like 'Loosu Penne' and 'Yammadi Aathadi', while the latter film was amongst the year's highest-grossing films. In November 2006, the Paruthiveeran soundtrack album got released, which saw the composer foraying into pure rural folk music. Though initially releasing to mixed reviews, with critics doubting that the songs could attract modern youth audience, his first attempt at rural music turned out to be a major success, following the film's outstanding run at the box office. The film, Ameer's third feature film as well as Karthi's debut venture, received universal critical acclaim after its release in February 2007 and became a blockbuster, whilst particularly the song 'Oororam Puliyamaram' was a chartbuster number in Tamil Nadu.

In 2007, he had a record ten album releases in one year. The first was the soundtrack of the romantic drama film Deepavali, following which the audios of the sports comedy film Chennai 600028, the Telugu family entertainer Aadavari Matalaku Ardhalu Verule, Vasanth's thriller film Satham Podathey and the romantic films Thottal Poo MalarumKannamoochi Yenada released, all of which being well-received besides garnering positive reviews.

The films, Chennai 600028, Venkat Prabhu's directorial debut, and Aadavari Matalaku Ardhalu Verule, Selvaraghavan's Telugu debut, in particular, were great commercial successes and one of the year's most successful films in Tamil and Telugu, respectively. In late 2007 then, the audio and the film Kattradhu Thamizh got released. The soundtrack album, which was released as Tamil M. A., as well as the film itself, had been met with exceptionally positive reviews and critical acclaim. The music was widely considered a 'musical sensation' and noted to be a proof of Yuvan Shankar Raja's 'composing skills'. However, despite outstanding reviews by critics, the venture failed to evoke the interest of the audience and didn't enjoy much popularity. His final release of 2007 was Billa, a remake of the 1980 Rajnikanth-starrer of the same title. This film, remade by Vishnuvardhan, starring Ajith Kumar in the title role, also featured two remixes from the original version. The film emerged one of the top-grossers of the year, whilst also fetching rave reviews for Yuvan Shankar Raja's stylish musical score.

In 2008, five films, featuring Yuvan's music were released, two of them being the Tamil and Kannada remakes of Aadavari Matalaku Ardhalu Verule, titled Yaaradi Nee Mohini and Anthu Inthu Preethi Banthu, respectively, which partly featured the original score and songs. The Tamil version, in particular, was able to repeat the success of the original film, emerging a high commerical success, while yielding Yuvan his second Filmfare nomination. The other releases that year include Seeman's Vaazhthugal, Venkat Prabhu's comedy-thriller Saroja, Ajith Kumar's action thriller Aegan and Silambarasan Rajendar's masala flick Silambattam, out of which, Saroja and Silambattam proved to be successful at the box office, with Yuvan Shankar Raja's score in the former and his songs in the latter garnering accolades and several awards at the 2009 Isaiyaruvi Tamil Music Awards. Out of his nine 2009 releases, hardly any managed to succeed, in spite of receving widespread critical acclaim, since the respective films failed to attract at the box office. Excluding the romantic comedy Siva Manasula Sakthi, featuring his most popular song of the year 'Oru Kal', his other films were box-office bombs, while few songs like 'Siragual' (Sarvam) and 'Aedho Saigiral' (Vaamanan) still became popular. He had also provided a rural score again in Kunguma Poovum Konjum Puravum and a sarangi-based score for the urban action drama of Ameer's Yogi, both going unnoticed. His score for his Telugu romantic musical Oy!, meanwhile, fetched him the Special Jury Award at the 2010 South Filmfare Awards.

The soundtrack album of Paiyaa released in late 2009, while the film released only the next year. The album was regarded as a 'blockbuster album' and 'magnum opus', as it went on to become exceptionally popular, much prior to the film's release, and probably one of Yuvan Shankar Raja's biggest success of his career. The song 'Thuli Thuli' had become the first Tamil song to be featured in an all India index of the Top 20 songs on radio for the month of April 2010, indicating this song was the most frequently played Tamil song on all Indian FM radio stations in the history of Tamil film music. The film itself became one the highest earners of the year, particularly supported by Yuvan's score and songs.

Besides Tamil films, he has also scored music for films in other South Indian languages. Around 35 of the Tamil films, for which he had composed music, were afterwards dubbed into Telugu, Kannada or Malayalam languages as were the respective soundtracks. Apart from these ones, he also worked 'straightly' on Telugu projects such as Seshu, Malli Malli Chudali, Happy, Raam, Raju Bhai and Aadavari Matalaku Ardhalu Verule, making him a well-known composer in Andhra Pradesh, too. His latest Telugu album Oy! has become a grand success as it topped the charts for several weeks.

In 2010 he had also made his Bollywood debut by composing one song ('Haq Se') for the soundtrack of the film Striker that stars his close friend Siddharth, who happens to be the album producer. The song has been receiving thoroughly positive reviews. His latest soundtracks, which got popular among the masses, include Naan Mahaan Alla, Goa, Paiyaa, Vaamanan, Sarvam and Boss Engira Bhaskaran.

Currently he has around 15 projects on hand, including Bala's Avan Ivan, the Silambarasan Rajendar starrer Vaanam, Venkat Prabhu's Mankatha, starring Ajith Kumar, Ameer's Aadhi Bhagavan, the N. Lingusamy directorial Vettai and a dozen other small-budget films.

Yuvan Shankar Raja's collaborations with several film directors such as Selvaraghavan, Ameer Sultan, Vishnuvardhan, Venkat Prabhu and Linguswamy have always resulted in highly successful soundtracks. Likewise he has often worked together with noted Tamil poet Vaali and young Tamil lyricists including Na. Muthukumar, Pa. Vijay and Snehan to come up with much-loved compositions.

Besides composing, Yuvan Shankar Raja is a noted playback singer as well. As of September 2010, he has sung over 80 songs, mostly his own composed songs and several times for his father Ilayaraaja and his brother Karthik Raja. He lent his voice first in 1988, when he was 8 years old for a song in the film En Bommukutty Ammavukku, composed by his father. Since, he frequently sang for his father in films such as Anjali (1990), Chatriyan (1990), Thalattu Ketkuthamma (1991), Friends (2001), Kaathal Jaathi (2002) and Ramana (2003). Under his brother's direction, he had sung in the films Naam Iruvar Namakku Iruvar (1998) and Ullam Kollai Poguthae (2001). In 2010, he had performed a song for the film Sidhu, composed by his friend Dharan.

However, he is better known as a singer of his own composed songs. Films, featuring some of his most popular songs as a singer, include Thulluvadho Ilamai, April Maadhathil, Punnagai Poove, Pudhupettai, Pattiyal, Azhagai Irukkirai Bayamai Irukkirathu (in which he had sung all songs), Deepavali, Kattradhu Thamizh, Siva Manasula Sakthi, Sarvam, Paiyaa and Naan Mahaan Alla.

Besides scoring film music and soundtracks, he also produces personal music albums from time to time. In his very early years, in 1999, when he was not familiar to most people yet, he made the Tamil pop album The Blast, that contained 12 tracks, featuring vocals by Kamal Hassan, Unnikrishnan and Nithyashree Mahadevan. However, the album went downright unnoticed. Currently he is working on his second album, the rights of which have been acquired by Sony BMG and is yet to be titled. It is reportedly a bilingual album produced in both Tamil and Hindi and is due to release.

In 2010, he joined hands with former President of India A. P. J. Abdul Kalam for a grand music video album titled 'Song of Youth'. The popular song of the same title, based on which the album is made, was written by Kalam and is set to tunes by Yuvan Shankar Raja, who, along with Kalam and many other celebrities from the field of sports and entertainment, will feature in the video as well. The album is a trilingual, produced in the three languages Tamil, Hindi and English and will be released shortly.

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2011 has been a great year for Tamil music. Kolaveri Di topped the charts all over the world and we had several songs with pulsating rhythm and poetic lyrics. All ears are tuned to the South for more soul stirring numbers and 2012 is sure to provide more food for the audience.

10. Ghibran - Shareth

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Vaagai Sooda Vaa had a unique location, storyline and the music aided its acclaim. With his strong debut, Ghibran is raring to go.

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Nootrenbadhu mixed Chennai's city vibe with San Francisco's urbane rhythm. The songs catered to both tastes and Nee Korinal mesmerized the audience.

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DSP has created several memorable folk numbers. Singam and Manmadhan Ambu were 2010 chartbusters. He has Singam 2 and a Karthi movie which would be greatly anticipated.

8. Aniruth

'Why this Kolaveri Di?' created more than a couple of records. Even before the movie released, the song garnered applause and accolades. Anirudh is already a talent to scout for and 3 will further prove his worth.

7. Thaman

Kalasala Kalasala created such havoc and worked wonders for STR & Thaman. His beats break all restraints and are a rush of blood to the head. He has a number of projects lined up for 2012 and let's hope he breaks his own records.

6. Vidya Sagar

Rocket Raja was a rage and established Karthi as a great dancer. With Vidya Sagar's music Kaavalan climbed the charts ending Vijay's unlucky streak.

5. Vijay Antony

Vijay Antony understands the pulse of a Vijay movie. Velayudham had some fast numbers which we couldn't resist shaking our leg to. He will don the greasepaint in 2012 for Naan but let's hope that doesn't stop him from composing catchy tunes.

4. GV Prakash Kumar

GV Prakash and Dhanush have been 2011's stellar combination. Aadukalam's music was blaring from every street corner in the beginning of the year and Mayakkam Enna's songs end the year on a high note.

3. Yuvan Shankar Raja

Yuvan has definitely made his father proud. Machi Open the bottle is the preferred song in all parties for good reason. He has an enviable list for 2012 - Billa 2, Vettai Mannan to name a few.

2. Harris Jayaraj

Harris Jeyaraj has had a good run in 2011. Yennamo Yedho was this year's greatest hit and Madhan Karky penned new words to suit the Tamil palette. Although 7aum arivu failed to garner the right response, Nangai from Engeyum Kaadhal worked its magic with its racy beats.

1. AR Rahman

AR Rahman brought the Golden man to the Indian soil. If the world took their time to notice his brilliance, the Tamil audience needed just one song. He was a rage and is still one with songs from Endhiran and VTV featuring in our playlists even after a year.