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Gagan Singh making waves in the music industry

Gagan Singh, a recent graduate from U of T Scarborough’s Music and Culture Program, recently won an award for Best Original Musical Score for his music in the film Undone.

Gagan Singh may be relatively new to the industry but he’s already making big waves in the local film and music scene with his unique sound and identity. 

Singh, who graduated from U of T Scarborough with a specialist degree in Arts Management with minors in music and media this past June, recently won an award for Best Original Musical Score for his music in the film Undone. The film debuted at the 48 Hour Film Project in Toronto.

“It was a proud moment for me and the filmmaker,” says Singh, who has collaborated with director Lee Foster of Foster Films Canada on several feature and short films in the past.

He says he relished the challenge of having to come up with a soundtrack for a film based on a time travel premise all in under 48 hours.

“The entire project had to be completed start to finish in under two days so I mostly had to use my knowledge and intuition,” he says. “I did draw some inspiration from the music used in Interstellar, which is a favourite movie of mine.”

Singh was born in Scarborough and remains heavily involved in the Toronto music scene. He grew up playing percussion instruments and first learned to play the tabla, a classical Indian drum, before learning how to play the piano and drums.

He grew up watching and listening to Yanni, who inspired him to pursue world and new age music. He also admires the work of Canadian film composer Mychael Danna (Life of Pi) and Harry Gregson-Williams (Shrek and Chronicles of Narnia).

He credits the mentorship of Lynn Tucker with helping take his music to the next level, and also appreciates the extra training he received in conducting orchestra, which is an important skill he draws on for composing his own original music.

“What stands out to me about Gagan is his mix of creativity, passion and dedication to music production and film score composition,” says Tucker, an associate professor, teaching stream, in the Music and Culture Program.

“His vision and energy have really helped him achieve critical success. He has a really bright future.” 

Singh also praises the help he received from Gray Graffam and the team at The Hub in developing his music production business.

“They were instrumental in helping me register my business and to think strategically,” says Singh, adding he received help in discovering new grant opportunities and developing a sound business plan.

Singh plans to continue scoring music for films and commercials, and also hopes to score music for video games. He’s also working on a creative project with Mohamed Moinuddin from the Ameer Khusro Society of Canada in collaboration with several Canadian artists, many with international talent, as part of Canada 150 next year.

“It’s going to have a similar feel as an MTV Unplugged show, with a lot of great musical talent in a live setting,” he says, adding it should be ready for fall 2017. “I’m really excited about this project.” 


© University of Toronto Scarborough