Talvin Singh

Talvin Singh Matharoo (Punjabi tlviin mtthaaruu), was born in 1970 in London, England. He is a producer, composer, and tabla player. His innovative fusion of Indian classical music, drum and bass, has earned him a reputation. Singh is most commonly associated with the electronica sub-genre Asian Underground and, more recently, Indian and/or Asian electronics. Singh’s debut album Ok was released in 1999, after he had previously collaborated with Siouxsie, the Banshees, and Bjork. Singh has collaborated with many acts, including Massive Attack and Siouxsie and the Banshees in the early 1990s. Singh was born in Leytonstone, and began tabla playing as a child. Singh left the UK at 16 to study tabla under Pandit Lashman Singh. After a year, he returned to the UK. British promoters and supporters of classical Indian music did not accept Singh’s tabla playing, despite his classical training. Singh incorporated too much of his western influences into his tabla playing. Singh began to explore the fusion between sounds in the late 1980s. He rose to fame in 1991 by playing tabla and singing on “Kiss Them for Me”, a single by Siouxsie and The Banshees. The single reached number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100. Singh was then the sixth member of Banshees, and he took part as the second headliners on the inaugural Lollapalooza Tour. Bjork recruited Singh to be her percussionist, and also her director for her 1993 Debut album. Singh co-founded the Anokha club with Sweety Kapoor in East London’s Blue Note. This was a night where South Asian punk bands and drum’n’bass DJs battled it out with Singh’s percussion and tabla. Anokha became a London Monday night hotspot thanks to guest spots from LTJ Bukem, among others. Singh signed to Island in order for Anokha’s compilation which included several of his productions. Blondie’s “Maria” single featured him as a remixer. Singh’s solo debut album, Ok, was released in 1998. It was critically acclaimed, and won the Mercury Music Prize 1999. He also collaborated that year with David Sylvian. He worked with Madonna on her 2000 album, Music. Singh is an accomplished Tabla player and electronic musician, as well as a music theorist. He also records producers and DJs. He is best known for his solo work as an artist. However, he is also a well-respected tabla player, record producer, and visual practitioner. Singh was inspired by the classical Indian arts and first rose to prominence in 1980s London as a tabla drummer. Singh, a master tabla maestro from the Punjab school, traveled to India in his twenties to study under Acharya Paandit Singh. Singh’s experience in India made an indelible impression on him and he continues to perform and practice the art form internationally. Singh has collaborated with many Indian classical musicians, including Rakesh Churasia and Ustad Imrat Khan. In the late 1980s, Singh began to be involved in experimental music collaborations with Sun Ra, Courtney and others. This helped to popularize the growing Asian underground sub-culture movement. Singh is known for introducing Indian classical music to Western pop, dance and Jazz in the late 1980s and early 90s. Singh’s solo albums include the commercial and critical success Ok (1998), which won the UK’s most prestigious music prizes, the ‘The South Bank Prize’ in 1998 and the Mercury Prize 1999. Ok, Singh’s groundbreaking debut album, was recorded in Mumbai and Madras. It also featured contributions from Ryuichi Sakamoto and Ustad Sultan Khan. Singh has been involved in many artistic endeavors in parallel and conjunction with his music career. These include creating the legendary London club ANOKHA and performing at London’s Tate Gallery. He also created a sound installation at London’s Frith Street Gallery and composed music for experimental dance, theatre, and film projects. The Tablatronic is a hybrid electronic/analog drum that Singh created in 1990. It uses a rare internal microphone system. From Wikipedia

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