Karthik Raja is an Indian composer based in Chennai, India. He made his debut as film composer in the Tamil film Pandiyan (1992) and went on to score music for many critically and commercially acclaimed feature films.
Karthik Raja is the eldest son of musician Maestro Ilaiyaraaja. His brother Yuvan Shankar Raja and sister Bhavatharini, who are also Tamil film music directors and playback singers, have worked with him on notable projects. He did his schooling at St. Bede's School and Boston Matriculation higher secondary school in Chennai and graduated from Loyola College, Chennai. On 8 June 2000, Karthik Raja married Raja Rajeswari at Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Born to a family of musicians, he had exposure to various kinds of music at a very early age. He had his formal training in Western classical music from the Trinity School of Music, mainly in piano (affiliated with Jacob John). He also had training in Carnatic music from T. V. Gopalakrishnan and Malayalam composer V. Dakshinamoorthy.