Vishal Bhardwaj was born and brought up in U.P. He comes from a creative family, his father, Ram Bhardwaj, being a popular poet and lyricist.
He moved to Delhi in his youth and would play as an accompanist to ghazal singers of repute. He later worked in the for R.V. Pandit, who gave him a job in his CBS music company in Delhi.
Gulzar saab gave him a break in movies. He had previously worked with him on TV serials such as Jungle Book, Alice in Wonderland and Guchche. Vishal composed the music for Maachis, a film directed by Gulzar. The musical score for Maachis was much appreciated and Vishal received the Filmfare R D Burman Award in 1996 for the same. Since then, Vishal has scored music for several Hindi films such as Satya, Chachi 420 among others.
Vishal Bhardwaj started his career as a director, with his children's film Makdee. He then made an adaptation of the Shakespearan play Macbeth, in the Maqbool. This was followed up by yet another children's film, The Blue Umbrella based on Ruskin Bond's story of the same name. Omkara marked the second of Vishal's Shakespearan adaptations, based on Othello, this time.
Vishal is known to work closely with Gulzar, who has chosen Vishal's music in all his directorial films since Maachis. He has also provided lyrics to all of Vishal's films.
Vishal Bhardwaj is sometimes referred to as 'Vishal' and 'Vishal Bharadwaj'. He is married to singer, Rekha Bhardwaj.