Music is something that doesn’t need any explanation or introduction. It is an important part of our life. There are many different types of music available in this world, which people listen to according to their feelings, emotions, and taste. Making good music is not an easy task, it takes a lot of dedication, creativity, time, and effort.
There are many people involved in the music-making process like music directors, singers, instrumentalists, etc. And, music directors are those who play a key role in making music. In this article, we will talk about some of the top Tamil music directors.
We are not comparing any music directors in this article. So, the Ranking and Numbers are just cynical. Each of them is individually at their best.
1. A. R. Rahman
Allah Rakha Rahman is an Indian music composer, record producer, singer, and songwriter. He is well-known for his work in Indian cinema, particularly in Tamil and Hindi films.
Rahman has won fifteen Filmfare Awards and seventeen Filmfare Awards South in addition to six National Film Awards, two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, and seven Golden Globe Awards. He received the Padma Bhushan, the nation’s third-highest civilian honour, from the Indian government in 2010.
Date of Birth: January 6, 1967
Place of Birth: Madras, Tamil Nadu
2. Anirudh Ravichander
Anirudh is an Indian musician and composer who predominantly composes music for Tamil movies. He is the son of actor Ravi Raghavendra. Two Filmfare Awards, nine SIIMA Awards, six Edison Awards, and five Vijay Awards are among his accomplishments.
Date of Birth: October 16, 1990
Place of Birth: Chennai
Ramani Bharathwaj, often known by his stage name Bharadwaj, is an Indian music producer, director, composer, vocalist, and songwriter best known for his work in Tamil films.
He received the Kalaimamani Award from the Tamil Nadu State Government for the year 2008 and has training in Hindustani, Western, and Carnatic music.
Date of Birth: July 3, 1960
Place of Birth: Ravanasamudram, Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu
4. C. R. Subburaman
C. R. Subbaraman, commonly known as C. S. Ram, was a well-known producer and Tamil music director. He was the son of Ramasamy. By working in movies like Devadasu, Ratnamala, Chenchu Lakshmi, Balaraju, Laila Majnu, and others, he achieved long-lasting popularity throughout his short life of approximately 36 years and cinematic career of 10 years.
Date of Birth: May 18, 1916
Place of Birth: Chintamani, Thirunelveli, Madras Presidency, British India
Date of Death: June 27, 1952 (aged 36)
Place of Death: Chennai, Madras State, India
South Indian film composer and singer Devanesan Chokkalingam, popularly known as Deva, primarily composes and sings for Tamil films. In a career lasting roughly 36 years, he has written songs and produced background music for Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, and Malayalam films. He has written the soundtrack for almost 400 movies.
Date of Birth: November 20, 1950 (age 72)
Place of Birth: Tamil Nadu, India
6. Devi Sri Prasad
Devi Sri Prasad Indian cinema composer, lyricist, singer-songwriter, and performer. He is most recognized for his work in Telugu-language films, though he has also appeared in a few Tamil movies.
He has won Filmfare Awards, nine Best Telugu Music Director, one Special Award for Best Background Music, five CineMAA Awards, seven SIIMA Awards, and one Nandi Award. Prasad is one of Tollywood’s finest music composers.
Date of Birth: August 2, 1979
Place of Birth: Vedurupaka, Andhra Pradesh, India
7. G. Ramanathan
Gopalan Iyer Ramanathan was an Indian music composer, who predominantly worked for the Tamil industry. He is regarded as one of the major Tamil music directors who popularised Carnatic music. He is also known as Isai Methai (Genius of Music) or Sangeetha Chakravarthy (Emperor of Music).
His connection to M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar makes him significant. Most of the box office successes of the top Tamil film at the time in the 1950s were dominated by G. Ramanathan’s music.
Date of Birth: Not Known
Place of Birth: Bikshandarkoil, Trichinopoly District, Madras Presidency, British India
Date of Death: 20 November 1963
Place of Death: Chennai, Madras State, India
8. Harris Jayaraj
Harris Jayaraj is an Indian composer from Chennai, Tamil Nadu. He primarily creates soundtracks for Tamil movies, but he has also done Telugu and Hindi soundtracks for a few movies.
He has received the Kalaimamani Award from Tamil Nadu’s government and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the state’s governor, Konijeti Rosaiah. Also, Jayaraj has been nominated for 20 Filmfare Awards South since 2001, and he has won 6 of them.
Date of Birth: January 8, 1975
Place of Birth: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Ilaiyaraaja is an Indian musician, composer, arranger, conductor, instrumentalist, orchestrator, lyricist, and singer, well-known for his contributions to Tamil films in Indian cinema.
One of the most creative Indian composers, he has produced over 7,000 songs and over 1,000 film scores over the course of a forty-five-year career, in addition to taking part in over 20,000 concerts.
Throughout his career, Ilaiyaraaja was honored with numerous prizes for his work. He was given the highest award for performing artists in India, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, in 2012 for his innovative and creative work in the realm of music.
He received the Padma Bhushan in 2010, which is India’s third-highest civilian honour, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2018, which is India’s second-highest civilian honour.
Date of Birth: June 3, 1943
Place of Birth: Theni district, Tamil Nadu, India,
10. James Vasanthan
James Vasanthan is a motivational speaker, film director, film music composer, and Indian television (Tamil) host. He worked as an anchor for more than 20 years for well-known Tamil satellite television stations including Sun TV and Vijay TV before making his debut as a film music composer in the Tamil film industry in 2008 and as a director in 2015.
Date of Birth: Not Known
Place of Birth: Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India
11. Justin Prabhakaran
Justin Prabhakaran is an Indian film scorer and soundtrack composer. In addition to one Hindi film, he has composed music primarily for Tamil movies as well as a few Malayalam and Telugu ones. His first movie score was for the 2014 Tamil film Pannaiyarum Padminiyum.
He also composed the soundtrack for Basil Joseph’s debut film, Kunjiramayanam, and more than 55 short films.
Date of Birth: June 10, 1986
Place of Birth: Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
12. K. V. Mahadevan
An Indian composer, singer-songwriter, music producer, and musician, Krishnankoil Venkadachalam Mahadevan is well-recognized for his work in the Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada cinema industries.
Beginning his career in 1942 with Manonmani, M. S. Viswanathan, and T. K. Ramamoorthy’s contemporaries, Mahadevan composed the music for more than 600 feature films over the course of four decades. He has won two National Film Awards, three Andhra Pradesh state Nandi Awards, a Tamil Nadu State Film Award, and a Filmfare Award South.
Date of Birth: March 14, 1918
Place of Birth: Krishnancoil, Nagercoil, present-day Kanyakumari District Kuralarasan
Date of Death: June 21, 2001
Place of Death: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
13. M. S. Viswanathan
M.S.V., also known as Manayangath Subramanian Viswanathan, was a Tamil music director, singer, and actor who primarily worked in the Tamil film industry. He was known as Mellisai Mannar. He composed songs for more than 800 Indian movies and numerous albums, particularly in the Tamil, Malayalam, and Telugu languages.
Viswanathan has performed both singing and acting in a few Tamil movies. In August 2012, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa bestowed upon him the title of Thirai Isai Chakravarthy (Tamil for “The Emperor of Cine Music”) and gave him a new car.
Date of Birth: June 24, 1928
Place of Birth: Palakkad District, Kerala, India
Date of Death: July 14, 2015
Place of Death: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
14. Mani Sharma
Mani Sharma is a Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, and Hindi film composer, multi-instrumentalist, and music producer. He has won three Filmfare Awards South, two state Nandi Awards, and three Mirchi Music Awards South for Best Music Direction.
His compositions are renowned for fusing conventional orchestra, electronic music, and world music with Indian classical music. Due to his melodic tunes, he is frequently referred to as Melody Brahma and Swara Bramha.
Date of Birth: July 11, 1964
Place of Birth: Machilipatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India
Indian film composer, playback singer, and lyricist Koduri Marakathamani Keeravani primarily composes for Telugu films but also writes lyrics in Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam.
For the 1997 Telugu movie Annamayya, Keeravani got the National Film Award for Best Music Direction. He has received a Tamil Nadu State Film Award, eleven Andhra Pradesh state Nandi Awards, and eight Filmfare Awards. Also, he was nominated for a Saturn Award for Baahubali: The Beginning’s Best Music (2015).
Date of Birth: July 4, 1961
Place of Birth: Kovvur, Andhra Pradesh, India
From the late 1950s to the early 1990s, the Indian musical team Rajan-Nagendra was a well-known composer of film music for Kannada and Telugu movies. For nearly four decades, Rajan and his brother Nagendra created a niche for themselves.
About 375 films were scored by the duo, with more than 200 of them being in Kannada and the remaining ones being in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Tulu, Hindi, and Sinhala. In the course of a four-decade career, they produced countless hits and hundreds of catchy songs. Additionally, they are the longest-running musical duo in the industry.
Date of Birth: 1933 (Rajan) and 1935 (Nagendra)
Place of Birth: Mysore, Mysore State, British India
Date of Death: October 11, 2020 (aged 87) (Rajan) and November 4, 2000 (aged 65) (Nagendra)
17. S. J. Jananiy
A musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer from India, Subramanian Jaya Jananiy is also known by the names Cuddalore Janani and S. J. Janani. She is living in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. In 2001, the Indian government presented her with the National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement.
The Tamil Nadu government also gave Jananiy the Kalai Ilamani Award in 2003. Jananiy has received training in Carnatic, Hindustani, and Western classical music. In addition to playing violin, veena, and guitar for studio recordings, she is also a keyboardist and pianist.
Date of Birth: December 10
Place of Birth: Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, India
Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani, and Loy Mendonsa make up the Indian musical trio known as Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. They have composed many songs in different languages—Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, and English.
The trio is among the most widely respected musicians in India and has received multiple honours, including the National Film Award (India), Filmfare Awards, and IIFA Awards. They are frequently described as the “Amar Akbar Anthony” in Hindi cinema.
Date of Birth: March 3, 1967 (Shankar), October 12, 1963 (Ehsaan)