DJ Swami (real name Diamond Duggal) is a DJ producer, songwriter and guitarist. He is also the leader of UK pop/ electronic/ bhangra band Swami. He is twice winner (2005 and 2008) of Best Producer category at the UK Asian Music Awards.
An internationally accomplished British Asian DJ and music producer, having produced a variety of platinum-selling award winning recording artists, including Shania Twain, Pras, Apache Indian, Nazia Hassan, Zoheb Hassan, Maxi Priest, Stereo Nation and China Black as well as remixing Erasure, The Beat and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. He has also performed and toured as a guitarist with Robbie Williams, Boyzone, and Blue.
His most successful solo Swami album to date was 2004’s DesiRock, the title track from which has been used in a variety of movies, TV shows, and video games.
Born Diamond Jyoti Duggal, he grew up in the Handsworth district of Birmingham, England in a melting pot of second-generation Indian and Jamaican multi-culturalism. By the age of 12 he was already playing guitar in local reggae and rock bands. While learning the craft of music through listening to records by Jimi Hendrix, Ravi Shankar, Kraftwerk, Laxmikant Pyarelal and local Birmingham artists Steel Pulse and UB40, Diamond witnessed his first glance of a new musical hybrid and what was ultimately to become his life’s passion.
In 1997, Diamond started the group Swami with drummer and brother Simon ‘Subs’ Duggal, vocalist Taz Singh and Indian percussionist Kam Bura. The band performed a number of local and European shows before releasing their debut album Desi Nu Skool Beatz on their SubDub Records label in 1999. The album was given an international release in 2000 on Nation Records (Beggars Banquet). The guitar surfing electronic title track “Mehbooba” went on to feature in the Olsen Twins Warner Brothers movie New York Minute (2003).
Diamond took to the studio in 2002 to work with Shania Twain on her follow-up album to Come On Over entitled Up!. The album was produced by a totally international team co-ordinated between producer Mutt Lange, Diamond and Simon Duggal. Shania Twain’s Up! topped the American Billboard for six weeks in late 2002 with multi-platinum sales exceeding 15 million and received two Grammy nominations in 2004.
Swami’s follow-up album was So Who Am I on SonyBMG in 2005. The title track “DesiRock” embraced clubs the world over with DJ Swami’s unique left field electronic beats and anthemic bhangra melodies and reached even wider audiences in the EA Games FIFA World Cup 2006 video game as well as the UK movie Mischief Night (2006).
In 2005, Swami won “Best Producer” at the UK Asian Music Awards.
The album features mainstream collaborations from the USA, South Africa, France, England and India.
In June 2007, DJ Swami was listed in the official Guardian Glastonbury Festival Guide as one of the Top 5 acts to see at Glastonbury 2007 alongside Amy Winehouse and the Arctic Monkeys.
In January 2008, Swami’s album Equalize (released 2007) was voted album of the year by DesiHits.com. The album features mainstream collaborations from the USA, South Africa, France, England and India.
In March 2008, DJ Swami won “Best Producer” at the UK Asian Music Awards for a second time.
In August 2008, Swami’s “Hey Hey” music video received its Canadian premiere at Toronto’s FILMI South Asian Film Festival, as part of FILMI’s debut music video night programmed by Deejay Ra.
In April 2010, DJ Swami won best Mix Engineer at the South Africa Music Awards (SAMA).