Creator of an innovative fusion of Indian bhangra music and drum'n'bass electronica, Talvin Singh
was classically trained on the tabla but rejected most of his learning when he founded the Anokha club night at East London's Blue Note. Singh
grew up in Leytonstone, and though he began playing tabla at the age of five, he also liked to breakdance to electro and listen to punk rock. He was transplanted to India at the age of 16 to pursue a classical education, but later returned to Britain in the late '80s and began picking up work as a musician, with a diverse cast of artists -- Sun Ra
, Future Sound of London
, Siouxsie & the Banshees
, and the Indigo Girls
, among others.
By late 1995, Singh
founded Anokha, the club night where drum'n'bass DJs and 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 hot spot in London, and Singh
signed to Island for an Anokha compilation including several of his own productions. He also worked as a remixer before issuing his proper solo debut, OK
. in late 1998.