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Background information
Birth nameSivamani
Born (1959-12-01) 1 December 1959 (age 63)
Madras, Madras State
(now Chennai, Tamil Nadu) India
  • Percussionist
  • Composer
Years active1971–present

Sivamani (born 1 December 1959), commonly known by his stage name Drums Sivamani, is an Indian percussionist. He plays many instruments including drums, octoban, darbuka, udukai, ghatam and kanjira. He performed drumming during the Indian Premier League in 2008 and 2010. He is affiliated with the Chennai Super Kings team, but gained recognition through his role as A. R. Rahman's lead percussionist. They have been close friends since childhood. In 2019, he was conferred with Padma Shri.[1]


Sivamani is a Chennai-based percussionist. He began drumming at the age of seven.[2] Sivamani started his musical career at the age of 11, and later shifted to Mumbai. He was inspired by Noel Grant and Billy Cobham. He has played for M.S.Viswanathan, K.V. Mahadevan, G. Devarajan, Illayaraja, A. R. Rahman and others. In 1990, he shared the stage with Billy Cobham at Mumbai's Rang Bhavan.[3] He has stated that S. P. Balasubrahmanyam is his godfather.[3]

Sivamani's earliest experiments with music were with Carnatic maestros including Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan, T. V. Gopalakrishnan, Valliyapatti Subramaniam and Pazhanivel, and L. Shankar. During the early stage of his career, he collaborated with T. Rajendar for many of his music compositions. Sivamani also appeared on screen for the song " Dhinam Dhinam Un Mugam" alongside Actor Anand Babu for the movie "Thangaikkor Geetham" directed by T. Rajendar.[4] The tabla player Zakir Hussain invited him[when?] to share the stage with himself and Trilok Gurtu at a fusion concert in Mumbai. Sivamani has since collaborated with several musicians including Louis Banks.[2] He has done world tours with A. R. Rahman[5] and collaborated with him for Bombay Dreams. He has also been a part of a musical group called Shraddha which comprises Shankar Mahadevan, Hariharan, U. Srinivas and Loy Mendonsa.[6]

Sivamani has a band called "Asia Electrik" with Niladri Kumar, Louiz Banks and Ravi Chari. He also plays at another world music band named "Silk & Shrada."

Sivamani has played drums for many film score composers hailing from Tamil Nadu.[4] He has played drums for many Indian films including Roja, Rang De Basanti,Swades, Taal, Lagaan, Dil Se.., Guru,Kabul Express and Rockstar .[7][8][9] Some of the songs that he has contributed to include "Kadhal Rojave," "Pudhu Vellai Malai" Chaiya Chaiya and Nadaan Parinde.[7]

sivamani has also acted in two Telugu films: Padamati Sandhya Ragam and Sirivennela. He has also acted in the Hindi film Madaari (2016).

sivamani has performed in Dubai, Moscow, New York, Doha and Toronto. During the Mumbai Festival 2005, Coca-Cola India invited him to perform at the Limca Fresh Face 2005 event, where he created melody from Limca bottles.[10] He has also worked on Galli Galli Sim Sim, an educational series on Pogo and Cartoon Network.[8] He also composed music for the ZEE5 original film Atkan Chatkan (2020) where he worked alongside A. R. Rahman.[11]


In 2009, Sivamani was conferred upon with the title of Kalaimamani by the Government of Tamil Nadu, which is the highest State Honour in the field of arts. In 2015, he was honoured with the ‘Best Instrumental Act’ at the prestigious LIVE Quotients Awards (LQA 2015).

In 2019, Sivamani was conferred upon with the title of Padma Shri by the Government of India.


  • Golden Krithis Colours, (1994) a Carnatic Experimental album. BMG Crescendo (collaboration with A. S. Dilip Kumar (A. R. Rahman), Zaakir Husain and Srinivasan and Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan)[12]
  • Pure Silk (2000)
  • Krishna Krishna, a club track released in UK, with Malayalam composer Rahul Raj.
  • Drums on Fire (2003). New Earth (collaboration with James Asher)[2]
  • Kaash (first ghazal album with Hariharan)[3]
  • Mahaleela (first individual album by Sivamani)
  • Arima Nambi (2014)
  • Kanithan (2016)
  • Amali Thumali (unreleased)


  • Sirivennela; Telugu (cameo) (1986)
  • Padamati Sandhya Ragam; Telugu (supporting actor) (1987)
  • Arima Nambi; Tamil (music director) (2014)
  • Madaari; Hindi (Drums Artist) (2016)
  • Kanithan; Tamil (music director) (2016)
  • Mersal; Tamil (Drums Artist) (2017)
  • Aravinda Sametha Veera Raghava; Telugu (Drums Artist) (2018)
  • Arjun Suravaram; Telugu (producer for song "Che Guevara", beat reused from Kanithan) (2019)
  • Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo; Telugu for the single "Ramuloo Ramulaa"(Drums Artist) (2020)
  • Dehati Disco Hindi (music director) (2022)


  1. ^ "Shankar Mahadevan, sivamani and Prabhudeva named for Padma Shri award - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Drumming up success". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 24 March 2003. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. Retrieved 31 December 2006.
  3. ^ a b c "Miindia welcomes A R Rahman & group to Michigan". Archived from the original on 31 December 2006. Retrieved 31 December 2006.
  4. ^ a b "Official Sivamani Website". Retrieved 17 December 2007.
  5. ^ "Percussionist Shivamani launches music forum". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 3 September 2006. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. Retrieved 31 December 2006.
  6. ^ "Feast of fusion music". 25 April 2003. Archived from the original on 6 October 2003. Retrieved 31 December 2006.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  7. ^ a b "Drummer Sivamani to perform in Doha". Gulf Times. 11 December 2006. Archived from the original on 12 December 2006. Retrieved 31 December 2006.
  8. ^ a b "sivamani has the right beats". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 29 April 2006. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2006.
  9. ^ "Beat It!". 23 December 2006. Archived from the original on 16 February 2007. Retrieved 31 December 2006.
  10. ^ "Ace percussionist Sivamani creates melody from Limca bottles, enthralls Mumbaikars". Retrieved 31 December 2006.[dead link]
  11. ^ "Atkan Chatkan trailer: A R Rahman and Sivamani join forces for inspirational film". The Indian Express. 2 September 2020. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  12. ^ "Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan". Retrieved 31 December 2006.

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