Nitin Sawhney Biography
"To Understand Nitin Sawhney is to understand Britain in the run up to the millennium -" 2ND GENERATION MAGAZINE
Nitin is an"Asian Modernist" .(THE FACE) His music is the result of a lifetime listening to and assimilating British music outside and Indian music at home. His musical vocabulary draws on Asian traditional & contemporary sounds, flamenco guitar & Latin rhythms, drum n bass, tabla juxtaposed with techno bass and a rich array of varied and original voices. In his music, Nitin continually deconstructs barriers between club style, tranquil ambient groove and world music.
Nitin released his first CD Spirit Dance (Spirit Dance/ World Circuit) in 1993. It successfully married the rhythmically complex music of Northern India and the harmonically complex music of the West. The trio featuring Pritam Singh on tabla and Keith Waithe on flute toured extensively and built up a loyal following from gigs that included Glastonbury and WOMAD as well as dates in Europe and Canada.
In 1995, Nitin joined the Outcaste label and released his second CD - Migration on August 21 1995 to coincide with Independence Day for India and Pakistan (August 14/15).This CD addressed the themes of journey, transition and adjustment. From the title track, with its ingenious and seamless integration of Indian music and rare groove, to 'Hope', with stunning vocals by Natacha Atlas and 'Heer Ranjha' a modern rendition of the tragic forbidden love story that inspired Waris Shaha's epic poem (a firm favourite on Giles Peterson's Kiss 100 show;) - Migration was a triumph of East/West fusion and received rave reviews.
1996 saw the release of Nitin's 2nd album for Outcaste - Displacing the Priest. "This was an ambitious, complex project - a personal reflection upon spirituality and organised religion and the gulf that can sometimes exist between the two. At its heart, a series of compositions illustrated and illuminated the British Asian search for self, the reaching out for identity common to all generations born of an immigrant race, and the religious road map which so often shapes that journey. Displacing the Priest was about discarding this map and relying on instincts: turning away from the ready made answers of organised religion and its self - proclaimed rule - makers and finding a personal spirituality elsewhere.
The record opens with a prayer; an ancient Hindu invocation that Nitin recorded at a temple in Chandigarh. Through a dreamy, ambient rainstorm (recorded from the top of a mountain) it segues into modern electronic percussion and Jayanta Bose's compelling vocals. In a way 'Oceans and Rain' is a big musical metaphor - the pursuit of a modern abstract spirituality born from ancient organised religion. 'In the Mind' continues the meeting of cultures in the form of Asian classical vocalist Davinder Singh and young soul singer Denise Anyougu grooving together beautifully against a subtly funky electronic backdrop. Two traditional forms of Asian vocals are combined in 'Bengali Song' and 'Voices' with a funky Fender Rhodes and a backing of high - speed contemporary human beat - box - aural reminders that traditional music and spirituality are where you find them, not just in ancient prayer and the natural world." (Linton Chiswick - Time Out)
All of Nitin's albums have received rave reviews in the press. But Nitin's talents are not just limited to his recordings. Throughout the last few years, he has been pursuing what has become a highly successful career composing extensively for film ,TV, Radio and theatre.
He has appeared on or had his music played on every UK TV Channel as well as several international & extraterrestrial channels. Nitin's TV work has included the music for the Screen 2 film - "Flight," "Triumph of the Nerds" - a documentary about technological guru Bill Gates and "How to Build a Plane in 30 Days" for Channel 4.
He has taken part in 2 series of Mad About Music for the BBC and his band played on Later with Jools Holland - (he also finished the programme with a Boogie - Woogie duet with Jools. )
Nitin has lectured on his approach to music for the Open University, on Take 15 - an ITV production recorded at Interchange in London, and for Wolverhampton University, as well as presenting many workshops around the country.
Another strand to Nitin's full career is comedy. He was the writer and performer on the Sony Radio award winning series "Goodness Gracious Me " while also providing the theme and incidental music to both the Radio show and the forthcoming TV series.
Nitin is currently writing the music for the new film from the Independent Indian filmmaker Dev Benegal, as well as undertaking the writing of the score for a major Indian/UK film scheduled for next year.
With the 50th anniversary of Indian/Pakistani Independence in 1997, Nitin's compositions were in great demand & he wrote music for 3 plays performed around the country - a huge community version of the Mahabharatha in the Eastern arts region, a production of Heer Ranjha in Birmingham and Tamasha's production of Partition performed at the Edinburgh festival , the Tricycle Theatre London and around the UK.
Nitin is producing and co - writing and the debut album of the highly talented multi million pound Warner Brother's signing, AMAR - she sings in both Hindi and English and is destined to take the record buying public by storm. Recording will take place in India in November and Release is scheduled for early next year.
Nitin has recently re - Mixed tracks for US3, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (on his soon to be released Tribute album) and AR Rahman.
Nitin is hard at work on his 4th album which is destined to reveal his talents to an ever wider audience.
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