Talvin Singh, born 1974 in London, is a producer, composer and tabla player, known for creating an innovative fusion of classical Indian music and drum n bass. Talvin Singh is generally considered to be involved with an electronica sub genre called Asian Underground. Talvin grew up in Leytonstone and began playing the tabla, breakdancing and listening to punk rock as a child. At the age of 15, he went to India where he studied tabla under Pandit Lashman Singh, returning to the UK after just one year. In spite of this classical training, Singh's tabla playing was not accepted by British promoters of classical Indian music, as he incorporated too many western influences. By the late 1980s, Singh had decided to turn towards the fusion of sounds, and soon he began working as a musician with such artists as Madonna, the Indigo Girls, David Sylvian, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Sun Ra, Björk, Massive Attack and the Future Sound of London. Talvin signed to Island records for a compilation including several of his own productions. He worked as a remixer until releasing his solo debut, OK, in 1999. The album was recieved well and he won the Mercury Music Prize for 1999.
In late 1995, Singh founded the Anokha club night with promoter Sweety Kapoor at East London's Blue Note, where drum'n'bass DJs and South Asian punk bands went head to head with the amped-up sounds of his tabla and percussion. Guest spots by LTJ Bukem and others made Anokha a Monday-night hotspot in London, and Singh signed to Island for an Anokha compilation including several of his own productions. He worked as a remixer until releasing his solo debut, OK, in 1999. The album won him the Mercury Music Prize for 1999. His music is unique in its combination of electronic dance music styles, particularly ambient and jungle, with the tradition of Indian classical music. In describing his music, as well as his approach to composing and producing, Singh has said, "It's not fusion music....it's not crossover, because I don't separate music. If you don't separate it then you don't need to fuse it or cross it over. You just treat it as one element. Whatever it is, fundamentally it's still a group of 12 notes." He has also collaborated with the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.