Karthik Raja, the eldest son on music director Ilaiyaraaja and brother of Yuvan Shankar Raaja, is a music director in the Tamil film industry. He was exposed to music from an early age. Apart from formal training in music, he also learned from assisting his father.
After composing a few tracks and background scores, he made his Tamil film debut as a music director in Alexander (1996). The very next year, he made a solid Bollywood debut for Grahan (1997) and won the Filmfare R.D. Burman Award for New Music Talent. Unfortunately, the movie was delayed and released only in 2001. However, his Tamil film music career was steady and he his scores for Ullaasam, Naam Iruvar Nammaku Iruvar, Kadhala Kadhala, Dumm Dumm Dumm and Naalai were well received.
The last few years of the 2000s saw his popularity waning and he took a break from film music. In 2012, he made a successful comeback with the score for the Telugu film, Tuneega Tuneega.