Blaaze is an Indian rapper, singer, songwriter, composer, and music producer. He prominently sings in the Tamil language. He is considered one of the pioneers of the Indian rap scene and has played a major role in introducing hip-hop in South India. Some of his famous songs include “The Boss” and “Style” from the film “Sivaji: The Boss,” “CEO in the House” from the film “Sarkar,” “Gangsta Blues” from the film “Slumdog Millionaire,” “Raajali” from the film 2.0, and more.
Lakshmi Narasimha Vijaya Rajagopala Sheshadri Sharma Rajesh Raman was born as Blaaze on Wednesday, 15 October 1975 (age 46 years; as of 2022) in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The reason why the name “Vijaya” was added to his name was because he was born on the occasion of Vijaya Dashami. He was born in India but was raised in Kitwe, Zambia. From 1980 to 1983, he went to Luanshya Trust School, Luanshya, Zambia, and he then went to Belvedere School in Harare, Zimbabwe. He went to Nkana Trust School, Kitwe, Zambia in 1985. In 1987, he joined Mpelembe Secondary School in Kitwe, Zambia. At, the age of 14, he went to England to study GCSE ‘O’ Levels at St. George’s School, which was a boarding school in Finborough – Suffolk, UK. In 1995, he did a diploma in Fim & TV Production, Film/Cinema/Video Studies at St. Xavier’s College. In 1997, he pursued a bachelor’s degree in Film/Cinema/Video Studies at Columbia College in Hollywood, United States. His father was an architect who designed stages for various events. When Blaaze was 9 years old, he used to tour with his family to perform Breakdance on the sets designed by his father during which he became more interested in hip-hop and decided to become a rapper.
Height (approx.): 5′ 9″
Weight (approx.): 65 kg
Hair Colour: N/A (Bald)
Eye Colour: Black
Blaaze belongs to a Brahmin family in Mylapore, Chennai.
Parents & Siblings
His father, R Venkataraman, was an architect, and his mother’s name is Sathya Bhama. He has an elder sister named Rekha Srinivasan who is the founder of Bhaarat Nritya Academy in New Jersey.
Wife & Children
Blaaze got married to Nandini Raman on 21 June 2000. She is a columnist and counsellor. He has two children. His daughter’s name is Mrishti Vaishnavi Raman, and his son’s name is Mrishal Neelakantan Raman.
At the age of 16, he began his rapping career in October 1991 by performing for President Chiluba of Zambia during one of his election campaigns. In 1992, he produced and performed in the music video of “Advice 4 Livin’” with the Zambian national broadcasting corporation, which was Zambia’s first-ever music video.
In 2002, he made his debut in the Indian film industry with the song “Baba Rap” from Rajinikanth‘s Tamil film “Baba;” his first opportunity to sing in Tamil cinema was given to him by A. R. Rahman. After that, he worked in multiple films with A.R. Rahman. In the 2003 Tamil-language film “Boys,” Blaaze rapped in two songs, “Dating” and “Secret of Success.” He rapped in the song “Aaha Thamizamma” from the 2004 Tamil-language film “Kangalal Kaidhu Sei.” After working on a few more films with Rahman, he received offers from other music directors in the film industry. Apart from rapping, he also appeared in music videos of many songs including “Yennadi Muniyamma” from the 2006 film Vathiyar, “Taxi Taxi” from the film Sakkarakatti released in 2008, “Vaanam Ellai” from the 2009 film Unnaipol Oruvan, and “Padapadakkudhu Maname” from the film “Moondru Per Moondru Kadal” in 2013.
Blaaze rapped and wrote the lyrics of the title track of the 2004 teen drama show “Remix.”
In September 2011, Blaaze released his debut and India’s first real hip hop ‘protest’ album ‘Time For Gandhi.’ In 2017, Blaaze collaborated with Music Director Paul Jacob and released the world’s first Sanskrit hip-hop album titled “Rap Bhakthi Mala.”
Blaaze and Sagar, a musician, composer, arranger, and architect, came together to form a band called “ZambeZi funK.” In 2004, he released their first song “In My Father’s Words.” “funKalistiC syllaBleZ” was the first album released by the band in 2007.
Blaaze contributed to writing the lyrics of the song “Secret of Success” from the film “Boys” released in 2003. He co-wrote the song “Dreams on Fire” for the 2008 British drama film Slumdog Millionaire; he also wrote the lyrics of the song “Gangsta Blues” from the film. In 2008, Blaaze wrote the official UN Anthem for Poverty, “Pray For Me Brother,” with the help of A. R. Rahman. He rapped in the 2012 Malayalam film “Casanova,” and he wrote the lyrics to two songs in the Vince Vaughn motion picture; he wrote “Couples Retreat” along with A. R. Rahman and “NaNa” alongside Vivian Chaix and A. R. Rahman.
In 2008, he worked as a Music Director for the song “What’s Up India” in the film “Saas Bahu Aur Sensex.” In 2010, he directed the original soundtrack (OST) of the action drama film “Striker.”
He won MTV Youth Icon of the Year in 2008 for his contribution to socially relevant issues through his music, and his lyrics for A R Rahman’s composition of “Pray For Me, Brother,” the official UN song on eradicating poverty.
- Place: Peter’s park at Yelagiri, Zambia
- His stage name Blaaze means ‘do your own thing.’
- He is the Morning Host on 94.3 Radio One.
- He considers his father R. V. Raman, 2 Pac, and Paul J as his role models.
- He was named Rajesh after the famous actor Rajesh Khanna.
- Blaaze is the world’s first Sanskrit Rapper to rap the entire poem of the Syamala Dandakkam, written by Mahakavi Kalidas in the 4th century.
- In 2016, Blaaze performed for Shaggy and C&C Music Factory as an opening act on their India Tour. He has also performed in a tribute concert to Bob Dylan.
- He can rap in English, Tamil, and Sanskrit.
- In 2020, Blaaze started a series called ‘Rap Kitchen’ in which he cooked food and rapped about it simultaneously. He spread awareness about the goodness of healthy food and having fun while cooking it. In an interview, he said,
I want to get across the message that food is important and if we all knew how to cook, we would be self-sufficient and less of a burden to our near and dear ones. Also through these videos, I hope to get the kids (who love hip-hop vibe) to get into the kitchen and discover a whole new experience. I love to rap and love to cook, so why not bring the two together?”
- In an interview, Blaaze revealed his songwriting process and said,
I think it’s important to always write your own lyrics. Especially, for a rap. Because it’s what you have in your head, what you want to say. I think it’s more than just trying to say something that people want to hear as opposed to something that you want to say. It’s poetry. Rap is rhythm and poetry… RAP.”
- In an interview, on being asked why he preferred rapping in English, and how A. R. Rahman helped him in rapping in Tamil, he replied,
I think in English, so it’s more natural for me to rap in English. But A. R. Rahman definitely brought out the Tamil angle. I’ve always understood and spoken Tamil but never thought I could rap in it. So I’m blessed to have him take it out from me. Tamil is not an easy language as well but definitely one of the most phonetically hip-hop equivalent languages… Many a time, a lot of people do criticise my accent when I talk in Tamil but at least I’m trying.”