Rajinder Singh Panesar, aka Raju Singh, was born on 3 April 1969 in Mumbai, India. Son of Gursharan Kaur Panesar and Charanjit Singh Panesar, His father hails from Amritsar and his Mother from Ferozepur, Punjab.
Singh’s family lived in Juhu, Mumbai. He attended St. Xavier’s High school, Vile Parle and completed college from Mithibai college in 1986. Raju Singh has been an integral part of the music industry from a very young age of 16 years when he would play the Bass guitar for the veteran music director R.D. Burman.
Learning from the masters from such a young age has imbibed in Raju a deep understanding of the role of music in films. Singh’s school friends remember him as a guitar and drummer boy. Singh did his first album an Instrumental Tracks Power Of Music with his friend Aadesh Shrivastav in the year 1987 under the label of Venus.
He attended Sangeet Mahabharati founded by Pt. Nikhil Gosh and Complete Theory of Trinity College of London. The first instrument he learned to play was the guitar, followed by tabla and piano. His guitar teachers were Late Mr. Bismak, Mr. Bony D’ Costa, Mr. Dilip Naik, Mr. Mendes and Mr. Das. He learned Tabla from Late Mr. Eknath Pimpley and Late Mr. Prakash Gore. His Piano teacher was Mr. Mendes. Singh can play Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Tabla and Piano.
Looking back to his childhood Singh says, “I used to accompany my dad to the studio and often watch him play with the likes of S D Burman, R D Burman, Kishore Kumar & Lakhsmikant Pyarelal, this created a strong desire to be one amongst them. After returning home I used to play in front of the mirror and dad used to secretly watch me and when I was done he used to appreciate my work. His words helped me build myself in music.”
As a child, Singh used to accompany his teacher Mendes to an NGO near Worli every Sunday and they used to spend time playing different types of instruments with many other musicians. Singh says “This practice taught me an important lesson, the lesson of humility which proved to be useful in every walk of life.
As a musician, Singh started playing for Uttam Singh who introduced him as a guitarist for the song Mere Pyar Ki Umar for the movie Waaris, sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Manmohan.
Initially, he started off as a guitarist with R D Burman and had the honour to be a part of his last movie 1942: A Love Story then slowly progressed on to become an arranger, music director, composer and scorer for Bollywood movies later composing and directing for television and advertising. One of the famous hits is Soniyo from Raaz: The Mystery Continues, Gungunati Hain from Satta.
Raju Singh has worked with one of the renowned banners Vishesh Films, he has worked on a total of 25 films within a decade with Mahesh Bhatt & Mukesh Bhatt. Some of the famous films that he worked on are Tum Mile, Jannat 2, Murder 2, Khamoshiyan, City Lights, Mr. X & Crook
Raju Singh started his career in TV title songs from the TV Serial Dekh Bhai Dekh produced by Jaya Bachchan in 1993 then there has been no looking today he has given music to nearly 125 serials amounting to more than 12,000 episodes.
Singh is married to Sherley Singh with two children Joshua Singh and Rachel Singh. Joshua, also a musician, was a ukulele player and drummer for the band Spud in the Box from 2013 to 2017 and Rachel is currently studying at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, United States.
His father Charanjit Singh Panesar was a musician who often played as a guitarist with R D Burman and his dad S D Burman. In 1982, armed with Roland gear, Singh set out to update the entrancing drone and whirling scales of classical Indian music with his record Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat.
After nearly three decades of near-complete obscurity, the album resurfaced when Bombay Connection label impresario Edo Bouman snapped it up while travelling in India. After which he has been given the title ‘the father of Acid House’ for the album.
His mother Gursharan Kaur Panesar a housewife was a painter and an artist, with only one sibling, a younger sister, Jasleen Khanna.