Tony Singh – Writer, Performer, Producer for Sirens of Shanti
Sirens of Shanti: the group, the production, the experience is the brainchild of Tony Singh, formerly of Juno Award-nominated bhangra septet Punjabi By Nature. His musical training started in high school where he played the saxophone and then as a percussionist playing with a variety of bands such as Traction in the 1970’s. He is self-taught in a variety of instruments. As his music education grew he experimented with unique combinations of music. ‘Punjabi By Nature’ was a collaboration that brought different influences from around the world into his musical landscape.
Unable to find anyone who could balance the East/West sound he envisioned, Tony’s foray into producing began when he self produced PBN’s first 3 song EP.
This led to co- producing (along with late Billy Bryans) Jmpn for Joy, nominated for the 1996 Juno Award for Best Global Album. West Park Music distributed that album in Germany. His video Dance with PBN received a MuchMusic Video Award nomination in 1995. In 1999, Singh produced the second album for PBN:
Raise The Roof. Singles produced by Singh have been featured on: Here and Now: A Celebration of Canadian Music – a 4-CD box set produced by the Canada Council and released in 1995 to mark the United Nations 50th Anniversary; and EMI’s Eurotic Dance compilation CD, released in 1996. Singles have also been licensed to Air Canada.
As a contributor to the music community in Canada, Tony served as a juror for The Ontario Arts Council and FACTOR in the POP music category during the mid 90’s. In 1997, the Sikh community awarded Tony a Sikh Award, presented by SEWA (Social Educational Welfare Association) in association with International Fateh Academy Award for dedication to the service of Sikhism and humanity. He was recognized for taking Punjabi culture outside of the
community and for bringing people of different backgrounds together in Canada.
Punjabi By Nature was cutting edge in the late 90s, and disbanded in 2003 following a North American tour and opening for the Beastie Boys and REM side project Tuatara. Afterwards, Tony took some personal time away from music to travel and learn more about indigenous music forms. Of his return to recorded music, Tony says “I want to do this again, but I want to make it more aggressive and bring in organic instruments — violins, mandolin, sarangi, dilruba, bansuri,tumbi, algoze.” And of his musical growth: “Punjabi By Nature always kept within our comfort level,” he says. “Sirens of Shanti represents more experimentation and diversity. On the one side, metal guitars on top of dance beats and on the other side, organic instruments. It can be a challenging mix, but it’s artistically fulfilling creating new sounds of ancient musical traditions blended with current Canadian styles.”
Once again, as the artist with the clear vision of the sound he wants to create,Tony will serve as producer of this debut album for Sirens of Shanti.