Kanwarjit Singh Sawhney (KJ Singh)
music composer and producer | sound engineer and designer |audio consultant | Big Chief – Asli Music
Lovingly called Pahji (or big brother) in Bollywood circles, Kanwarjit Singh Sawhney (KJ Singh) is an award-winning, internationally acclaimed music composer and producer, sound engineer and designer, and audio consultant in the Indian music and film industry. He is also the proprietor of Fast Forward Productions, an audio production firm that he founded in Delhi in 1987 but moved to Mumbai in 1997 with its mixing and mastering facility called A6TG. His latest venture is ‘Asli Music’, an independent ‘incubator’ music label which aspires to discover, develop and promote new talent. He is launching the label with the production of a spiritual album ‘ik On’kãr’ featuring the complete ‘Japji Sahib’ in the voice of upcoming Sufi singing sensation, Harshdeep Kaur.
In his ongoing 26-years career, KJ has worked with a number of prestigious movie banners to design, program and engineer sound for over 50 feature films, including Bollywood box office successes ‘Rockstar’, ‘Guru’, ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’, ‘Omkara’, ‘Maqbool’, ‘Rang De Basanti’, ‘Ghajini’, ‘Udaan’, ‘ Jhankar Beats’, ‘Maachis’, ‘Satya’, ‘Hu Tu Tu’, ‘Chachi 420’, ‘God Mother’, and ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’, Tamil blockbusters ‘Sivaji’, ‘Ravaan’ and ‘Endhiran’ (Robot), Malyalam film ‘Daya’ and the recentNational Award -winning Marathi film ‘Deeol’. He is also credited with the song mixing of the Hollywood hit 127 Hours, directed and produced by Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle and with the recording of AR Rahman’s vocals for the album ‘Superheavy’
KJ was conferred with the 54th National Film Award for ‘Best Audiography’ and Filmfare Award for ‘Best Sound Design’ for his work in the 2006-released film ‘Omkara’. He’s been also twice the recipient of the Pro Sound Systems – AES India Awards for ‘Best Recorded Film Soundtrack’ for the songs ‘Tu Bin Bataye’ from the film ‘Rang De Basanti’ and ‘Tere Bina’ from the film ‘Guru’ in 2006 and 2007 respectively.
In addition to movie projects, KJ has produced and mixed tracks for albums such as ‘Kandisa’ and ‘Black Friday’ by Indian Ocean, ‘Bulla Ki Jaana’ and ‘Avengi Ya Nahi’ (for two songs) by Rabbi Shergill, ‘Man Of Conscience’ by Susmit Bose and ‘Rangeele’ (for the song ‘Babaji’) by Kailash Kher. He has also worked with popular music bands Euphoria and Parikrama for producing and engineering their demo songs.
KJ has also done in-studio production and sound engineering for albums such as ‘Cricket Meri Jaan’, released during the 1999 World Cup, ‘Kaash’ and ‘Waqt Par Bolna’ by Hari Haran for Magnasound and Sony BMG respectively, ‘Sunset Point’ by Vishal Bhardwaj for the song ‘Babaji’ for Sony BMG, ‘Piya Basanti Re’ by Sandesh for Sony BMG and ‘Ishqa Ishqa’ by Rekha Bhardwaj for Music Today.
As a live sound engineer at music concerts, KJ has been associated with some of the most seasoned composers, singers and music bands of India, including AR Rahman (for ‘Jai Ho World Tour 2009-2010′, ’3rd Dimension World Tour 2005-06’ and ‘Unity Of Light World Tour 2003′), Hari Haran, Colonial Cousins, Jagjit Singh, Harris Jayaraj, Indian Ocean, Rabbi Shergill, Euphoria, and Parikrama.
In 1995, KJ became the founding member of the Indian section of the Audio Engineering Society, New York, USA and served as its Secretary from 1998-2000. He was the resident editor and brain behind their quarterly magazine Resonance, which was very popular amongst the audio fraternity in India. He has also been a Special Jury Member for the ‘Audio Section’ of NDTV Gadget Guru Awards since 2011.
KJ is an avid speaker and has conducted several workshops and seminars in audio engineering and music production for the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Apple World, Music Department at the University of Mumbai, Digital Academy Institute, Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, Audio Engineering Department at the Singapore Polytechnic (2011), PALM Music Trade Show (2002-2006) and as the product specialist for Apple Tour of India (2010).
KJ holds a master’s degree in political science from Hindu College, Delhi University and a diploma in sound engineering and music production from Trebas Institute of Recording Arts, Toronto, Canada. He is currently based in Mumbai.