Soumik Datta is a musician, composer, television presenter and virtuoso player of the 19 stringed, fretless sarod. Born in India, brought up in London, he connects his Bengali roots with global strands and is considered 'one of biggest new music talents in Britain’ (Vogue).
Trained by the sarod legend, Pandit Buddhadev Das Gupta while completing his Masters in Composition at Trinity College of Music, Soumik’s performances bridge the world of Indian classical and contemporary music. His music and innovative projects connect ancient Indian influences with progressive sounds ‘building bridges between the traditional and contemporary’ (GQ). He has collaborated with Beyonce, Jay-Z, Bill Bailey, Nitin Sawhney, Anoushka Shankar, Talvin Singh, Joss Stone, Akram Khan, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Javed Akhtar, London Philharmonic Orchestra and City of London Sinfonia.
Soumik is an outspoken advocate for the preservation of Indian arts. As a television presenter he has fronted two film series on the music of India. With his brother, photographer Souvid Datta, Soumik travelled across six states of India, filming and performing with over 100 traditional musicians, many being the last in their musical lineage. Supported by the Bagri Foundation, this collaboration resulted in 'Tuning 2 You: Lost Musicians of India' - a six-part, TV documentary series about musicians in rural India, which aired on Channel 4, 4OD. More recently Soumik presented a prestigious three part series for BBC4. 'Rhythms of India’, which received great critical acclaim follows Soumik as he meets and performs with classical, folk and pop musicians exploring how music helps us understand India’s past and its rapidly changing present. Watch the series on BBC iPlayer.
Soumik has performed at premier venues internationally including London’s South Bank, Shakespeare’s Globe, Barbican Centre; Konzerthaus, Berlin, OzAsia Festival, Adelaide; New Vision Art Festival, Hong Kong; Singapore Arts Festival; Diverse City, Kuala Lumpur; Fes Sacred Music Festival, Morocco and the Songlines Encounters Festival. In 2019, Soumik has been invited to play at Glastonbury Festival, WOMAD and BBC Proms. He continues to champion Indian arts in the mainstream and bring his ancient sarod into the modern, global arena. Follow his work on Instagram.
"Magical, 5 stars" The Scotsman
"An auditory amalgam of deep Indian ragas and urban beats" Independent
"A powerhouse of talent" The Hindu
"Building bridges between the traditional and contemporary" GQ Magazine
"Datta provides a fascinating whistle-stop tour, although some of the best moments are when the young musician hammers out beautiful rhythms on his sarod" The Sunday Times
"Soumik Datta makes an ideal travel companion for an illuminating three part journey across India" The Observer.