Niraj Chag is a musical visionary whose work has the power to touch the very core of our being. With his innovative use of both Eastern and Western music traditions, Niraj’s work links past and present, and crosses cultural boundaries in ways that provide food for the soul and the mind.
From albums, to film scores, theatre and live events, Niraj has embraced projects from the humble to the ambitious.
Niraj’s documentary soundtracks have reached a worldwide audience. Having embraced technology from a young age Niraj is one of the few artists working on large-scale projects to not only compose & produce but also to play and mix all the instruments himself. Beginning with One Night in Bhopal (BBC1) he has since composed for Emmy Award winning and Bafta Nominated The Power of Art, The Age of Terror (BBC2), Darwin’s Dangerous Idea (BBC2), Origins of Us (BBC2) and The Rise of the Continents (Discovery Channel).
Niraj’s album work allows him to explore and bring to life his own narrative. His debut Along the Dusty Road (Buzz-erk Records, 2006) featured songs in six languages and won him a fan base as well as an Asian Music Award as ‘Best Underground Artist’. 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 themed The 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”. He followed the album with a sell-out tour featuring an East European choir. Niraj’s third album Mud Doll was released in June 2015 and was awarded ‘Album of the year’ by Eastern Eye magazine.
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 create a piece for the official Olympic Torch event on London’s South Bank. With the torch passing from China to the UK, Niraj found himself heading the other way, as he took up a residency at The Factory in Shanghai, working with Chinese urban and classical musicians. Following this Niraj co-created the online magazine Eastern Soul, which showcased a unique combination of musical artists in a series of articles and podcasts. In 2014 Niraj won a PRS commission and created You Run On Tracks, Not Roads, a politically charged piece about nationalism, which was performed in London and Glasgow as part of the commonwealth games celebrations. In 2017, Niraj partnered with Wise Buddha to create the station sound for the BBC Asian Network as well as creating the music for BBC1’s ‘Oneness’ (Bhangra) campaign ads.
Niraj’s desire for innovation is also evident in his work for the stage, as composer for the West End musical Wah! Wah! Girls (Sadler’s Wells) he 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 winning Rafta Rafta (National Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (Royal Shakespeare Company), Dara (National Theatre), Captive Queen (Shakespeares Globe Theatre) and Olivier Award Winning The P Word (Bush Theatre). Niraj has scored over 30 dance productions including Diwali at The White House 2022 (Sa Dance/The White House)
Niraj’s scope of work continues to expand. Having created the score for feature film All in Good Time (Studio Canal), he has since gone on to score BBC feature length drama Our Girl (BBC) and feature film Little English (Resource Productions).