Birth name : Gnanadesikan
Also known as : Ilaiyaraaja, Raja
Born : 2 June 1943 (age 71)
Birth Place : Pannaipuram, Theni, Madras Presidency
Genres : Film score, World music
Occupation(s) : Film score composer, lyricist, music director, songwriter, singer, conductor, instrumentalist and Film producer
Instruments : Vocals, (playback singing), guitar, keyboard, harmonium, piano
Years active : 1976–present
Ilaiyaraaja (born Gnanadesikan on 2 June 1943) is an Indian film composer, singer, and lyricist, mainly in Tamil film Industry and other Indian film industries like Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi and Marathi. He is regarded as one of the finest music composers in India. He made his debut with the movie annakkil in 1976 as a music director.
Ilaiyaraaja was born as Gnanadesikan in Pannaipuram, Theni district, Tamil Nadu, India, but when he joined the school his father changed his name as "Rajaiya" but his village people used to call him as "Raasayya". Ilaiyaraaja joined Dhanraj Master as a student to learn musical instruments and the master renamed and called him as just "Raaja". In his first movie Annakili, Tamil film producer Panchu Arunachalam added "Ilaiya" (Ilaiya means younger in Tamil language) as prefix in his name Raaja and he named as "Ilaiyaraaja" because in 1970's there was one more music director A. M. Rajah who was a popular one.
Ilaiyaraaja is married to Jeeva and the couple have three children—Karthik Raja, Yuvan Shankar Raja and Bhavatharini—all film composers and singers. His wife Jeeva died on 31 October 2011. Ilaiyaraaja has a brother Gangai Amaran, who is also a music director and lyricist in Tamil film industry. He has two sisters Kamalammal and Padmavathi. Padmavathi is the writer of the book Life Of Music(about his life story).
Ilaiyaraaja'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 integrates synthesizers, 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.
Ninu Choodaka Nenudalenu
Sri Kanaka Mahalakshmi Recording Dance Troop
April 1st Vidudala
Sri Shirdi Saibaba Mahathyam
Siri Siri Muvva
Tik Tik Tik
Kooli no 1
Jagadeka Verudu AtiLoka Sundari