Three men called Singh

21 Apr 2010

It struck me the other day: three artists with whom I’ve worked recently, in three different countries, who are connected simply by name. Let me introduce you.

Firstly, Mr Sukhwinder Singh is a well-known playback singer on the Bollywood circuit in Mumbai, India. The term ‘playback singer’ refers to the person that sings the soundtrack pop songs for a Bollywood movie, which the actor will then lip-sync for the movie itself. Mr Sukhwinder Singh is the man who sang AR Rahman’s oscar-winning song Jai Ho from the film Slumdog Millionaire, which gives some understanding of his standing, if you’ll pardon the poetry.

With his latest project, Kuchh Karyie, he’s crossing over from playback singer to star in his first movie as an actor. Having mastered a few of his songs in the past I was asked to master Kuchh Kariye and also to recommend a mix engineer to mix the title track. I recommended an old friend and colleague, Adrian of the Better Button, who weaved his usual magic and made a mix worthy of a hit! Then, obviously, the final icing was added on the cake here at Hafod.

Tommy Singh is a local Cardiff artist who makes great dancefloor bhangra music as well as organising bhangra club nights around town. We’ve worked together on a few singles and he’s currently putting together an album. His songs have the effect on me that bhangra music generally does – it makes me feel good straight away.

Then come Ron Singh and the Kissmet boys from Peterborough in England. They call themselves a bhangra rock band, and they play an infectious festival-style brand of bhangra fused with, yes you’ve guessed it, rock. I met these guys in Copenhagen at the WOMEX trade show, where we shared Bombay mix and exchanged tales of India. A month or so later, they got in their beautiful vintage BMW with the number plate K155MET and cruised across the UK to Wales for a mastering session. To them, a mastering engineer with knowledge and experience of the style of music they make, and the instruments that they use, made us the obvious choice of studio, and made the journey worthwhile.

Honourable mentions must also go to my friend KJ Singh, based in New Dehli and Mumbai: a wise, experienced recording/mixing engineer and also a mean live sound engineer. It’s rare to be both, in my experience.

And also to Gulraj Singh, who works at Purple Haze studios in Mumbai (where Bollywood’s hot songwriting team of Shankar/Ehsaan/Loy are based) – a talented young engineer and remixer who will go far, in my opinion.

Links: (Sukhwinder Singh) (K.J. Singh)


Read more from Donal at