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Artist
Niraj Chag
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Yearning, wonder and empathy: feelings that make you bite your lip. And with emotion at the heart of his work, musical innovator Niraj Chag’s mission is simple – it’s to create unique‘bite your lip’moments in as many ways as he can. Working on a huge range of projects, from albums, to film scores, to theatre and live events, Niraj has been able to use the roots of Eastern and Western classical music in ever more inventive ways.

Niraj’s documentary soundtracks have reached a worldwide audience and brought emotional depth to some of the most compelling stories of today. Beginning withOne Night in Bhopal (BBC1, 2004)he has since composed for Emmy and Bafta winningThe Power of Art, The Age of Terror (2008) and a sweeping orchestral soundtrack forDarwin’s Dangerous Idea (BBC2, 2008). In contrast to this, Niraj produced a dance-oriented piece forSex and the City (HBO, 2003), while Origins of Us (2011) gave him the opportunity to create an electronic-tinged score. Having embraced technology from a young age Niraj is one of the few artists working on such large-scale projects to not only compose, but also to play and mix all the instruments himself. Niraj used all these techniques to create the music for one of the biggest stories of all -The Rise of the Continents(BBC/Discovery Channel, 2013).

By contrast, Niraj’s album work allows him to explore and bring to life his own narrative. His debutAlong theDusty Road(Buzz-erk Records, 2006) featured plaintive and uplifting songs in six languages and won him a considerable fan base as well as an Asian Music Award as ‘Best Underground Artist’. The album led to a Maida Vale session and atmospheric live set at the Roundhouse as part of the Electric Proms. Single ‘The Nomad’ went on to be selected as itunes single of the week. He followed this up in 2009 with the intense and darkly themedThe Lost Souls. The album featured opera, breakbeats and western classical music alongside South Asian classical and folk music. BBC Music said of the album “The Lost Souls has a point to make: the role of the heart over the mind; the plight of the dispossessed in a world beset by religious and intellectual divisions” and went on to describe the music as “Simply gorgeous.” He followed the album with a sell-out tour featuring an East European choir.

Many of Niraj’s projects are achieved through working with unusual and challenging combinations of musicians. In 2008 he worked with opera singers, a 40-piece brass band and 600 vocalists to createa piece for the official Olympic Torch event on London’s South Bank. And with the torch passing from China to the UK, Niraj found himself heading the other way in 2009, as he took up a residency at The Factory in Shanghai, working with Chinese urban and classical musicians. Following this in 2011 Niraj co-created the online magazineEastern Soul, which showcased a unique combination of musical artists in a series of articles and podcasts.

Niraj’s desire for innovation has been sustained in his work for the stage. In 2012 as composer forthe West End musical Wah! Wah! Girlshe created his music within a new system that allowed musical stems to be played and remixed dynamically in a live setting. Other significant theatre commissions include Olivier Award winningRafta Rafta(Royal National Theatre, 2007) and Much Ado About Nothing (Royal Shakespeare Company, 2013). In addition, Niraj has scored over 20 dance productions including Shobana JeyasinghsClassic Cuts(Royal Opera House, 2012)an avant-garde piece which merged South Indian Carnatic music and Bollywood samples.

Niraj’s scope of work continues to expand.Having created the score for filmAll in Good Time (Studio Canal, 2012), he has since gone on to score BBC feature length drama Our Girl (BBC1, 2013). He is currently working on the follow up to The Lost Soulswith a planned 2014 release.

About
Yearning, wonder and empathy: feelings that make you bite your lip. And with emotion at the heart of his work, musical innovator Niraj Chag’s mission is simple – it’s to create unique‘bite your lip’moments in as many ways as he can. Working on a huge range of projects, from albums, to film scores, to theatre and live events, Niraj has been able to use the roots of ... more
Influence
India
Genre
eastern soul
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