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Known for

Music Director




31 August


Tamil Nadu, India

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Yuvan Shankar Raja


Yuvan Shankar Raja (born 31 August 1979) is an Indian film score and soundtrack composer and singer-songwriter. He mainly scores music for Tamil films. Considered a versatile composer, he is particularly known for his use of Western music elements and is often credited with having introduced hip-hop to the Tamil film and music industry and started the "era of remixes" in Tamil Nadu which included mixed EDM and jazz. He is frequently referred to as the "BGM King", and the "Young Maestro" of Tamil Film Music. Yuvan has won two Filmfare Awards South, five Mirchi Music Awards South, four Vijay Awards two Tamil Nadu State Film Awards.


Within a span of 25 years, Yuvan has worked on over 150 films. Being the youngest son of composer Ilaiyaraaja, he began his musical career in 1996, at the age of 16, when he composed the film score for Aravindhan. He got his breakthrough with the Thulluvadho Ilamai (2002) soundtrack, and established himself as one of Tamil cinema's most sought-after composers by the mid-2000s. He won the Filmfare Award for Best Music Director – Tamil in 2004 for his score in the drama 7G Rainbow Colony. In 2006, he became the only Indian composer to win the Cyprus International Film Festival Award for the soundtrack of Raam. He also won the Filmfare Special Award – South in 2009 for his Telugu musical Oy!

In 2015, Yuvan created his own music label, U1 Records, and in 2017, he started his own film production studio, YSR Films.

Early life

Yuvan Shankar Raja was born on 31 August 1979. He is the third and youngest child of musician and film composer Ilaiyaraaja. He is the younger brother of music director Karthik Raja and playback singer-music director Bhavatharini. Yuvan once confessed that his brother Karthik Raja was more talented than him, but he did not get a successful break into the music business since he did not get a "good team to work with". His father as well as his siblings have sung many songs under his direction. Film director and film composer Gangai Amaran and R. D. Bhaskar are his uncles and their sons Venkat Prabhu, Premgi Amaren, and Parthi Bhaskar, who are working in the Tamil film industry as well, are his cousins.


Yuvan Shankar did his schooling at St. Bede's Anglo-Indian Higher Secondary School in Chennai, and discontinued his education after his tenth class. He started learning music from Jacob Master, attending piano classes at "Musee Musical" in Chennai, which is affiliated with 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. He admires the work of his father and other composers such as S. D. Burman, R. D. Burman, M. S. Viswanathan, and Naushad Ali and the voices of singers Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, P. B. Sreenivas, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, and P. Susheela.