nitin sawhney

british-indian nitin sawhney was the only non-white pupil in his school days at rochester. his music teacher was a member of the national front and did not like the fact that nitin was practising music in the school. in his later life too, nitin experienced the phenomenon; that music evolves through oppression. for the prophesy album, released by v2, nitin travelled the world to record with 230 musicians. the album is a result of encounters with street kids in rio, nelson mandela, soweto pupils & american and australian natives. prophesy combines rap and drum & bass sounds with classic indian music, flamenco and samba. sawhney does not consider himself a fusionist. every kind of music is equal for him. this is why sawhney accepted the 2001 mobo award for world music only reluctantly. the world music category mixes up too many musical styles. in the early nineties, nitin was part of the acid jazz scene around gilles peterson (see london episode 12) and patrick forge. nitin started off playing in the band of his school-mate james taylor and later with talvin singh. he even tried his hand at comedy, with actor sanjeev bhaskar, co-writing the bbc cult comedy ‘goodness gracious me’. the show tackles british indian-clichés and stereotypes, for example, drunk indians who after the pub, instead of indulging in curry, go to an english restaurant to order extremely bland tasting food. sawhney diversified his talents further by becoming a film composer. when the bfi national film archive restored hitchcock's 'the lodger', they used his new score. sitin continues to tour solo and with a band.


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