Nitin Sawhney is a award-winning writer, world-class producer and songwriter, a DJ, orchestral composer, comedian, an actor and a cultural pioneer.
He grew up in Rochester in Kent, in an area that was a stronghold for the National Front in the seventies. As a child, his experience of racism led him to think it was normal for Asian People to experience racism - it was only later on that he realised that he could use music as a vehicle to change things saying, "From oppression comesexpression…and music offers some respite."
An acclaimed flamenco guitarist and classical/jazz pianist, Nitin has released seven studio albums - each one garnering critical acclaim. His breakthrough 'Beyond Skin' album took a prestigious Technics Mercury Music Prize nomination and won Sawhney the coveted South Bank Show Award while 2001's 'Prophesy' won a MOBO Award as well as the BBC Radio 3 Music Award.
Known for his incredible degree of versatility and exceptional standards of excellence, Sawhney has established himself as one of the world's leading scorers for film and television and has scored over 30 films, as well as TV advertisements for the likes of Nike and Sephora. His music for Channel Four's Second Generation saw him nominated for the prestigious Ivor Novello Award for Film and TV Composition (2004), and his scores have accompanied everything from dark, high-tension drama to light-hearted animatronics. He recently scored Oscar-nominated director Mira Nair's adaptation of author Jhumpa Lahiri's, "The Namesake" for Fox Searchlight, as well as Natural World Symphony, a one hour natural history special, for BBC Worldwide. Over the last two years alone,
He has performed with and written for leading orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, The Prague Philharmonic, Metropole Orchestra, London Philharmonia, Britten Sinfonia, BBC concert Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Northern Sinfonia. He is currently scoring Heavenly Sword (starring Andy Serkis) for Playstation 3 – widely regarded as the most anticipated game in videogames history.
Sawhney's skills as producer and composer were called upon in 2000 when Cirque du Soleil approached him to produce the studio album of Varekai, which brought his unique sound to an even-wider audience. In 2002 he worked with Akram Khan and Anish Kapoor, scoring the music to Khan's critically acclaimed choreographed work Kaash, which toured worldwide between 2002 and 2003. Nitin Sawhney has since been commissioned to score the forthcoming (2007) Mahabharata adaptation by Olivier-award winning writer Stephen Clarke, as well as Khan's new piece, Zero Degrees, which premiered to rave reviews at Sadler's Wells Theatre in July 2005 and was recently nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award (contemporary dance). He has either written, remixed, played, or produced for a host of world-class artists, including Sir Paul McCartney, Sting, Sinead O'Connor, A R Rahman, Jeff Beck, and Will Young.
Much of Nitin's attention remains focused on the areas of education and community building, accepting the role of Artist in Residence for no less than five separate performing arts organisations across Great Britain and Asia. He joined Sir George Martin as a patron for the British Government's Access-to-Music program (which brings non-traditional music education programs to inner-city children), and is also patron of the Raindance East Film Festival and the British Independent Film Awards.
Nitin Sawhney appears regularly as an arts and current affairs commentator on topical discussion and news programs such as the BBC's Newsnight, Newsnight Review, and HardTalk. He has also written for UK national broadsheets: The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent and The Observer.
There is no disputing the valuable creative contribution he has made to British and International culture which is nothing short of remarkable. His contemporary style uniquely transcends cultural barriers and stereotypes.