“One of the biggest new music talents in Britain’” – Vogue
Soumik Datta is more than a sarod virtuoso. A polymath composer, producer, bandleader, TV presenter and Artistic Director of the Soumik Datta Arts charity, his work embraces traditional and contemporary art forms to address the urgent issues of our times.
Soumik is best known for his creative collaborations with Beyonce, Jay-Z, Bill Bailey, Nitin Sawhney, Anoushka Shankar, Arijit Singh, Akram Khan, Javed Akhtar and Shankar Mahadevan to name a few.
Soumik’s latest production ‘Hope Notes’ developed in residence at Southbank Centre weaves the stories of refugees through a soundtrack of sarod, strings and voices. Released at the Queen Elizabeth Hall during the start of the Russia/ Ukraine conflict, the work aims to raise awareness about refugee and migrant mental health issues. BBC Singers commissioned Soumik to write a new piece for choir and sarod to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence. The new work will premiere at Barbican Centre in October 2022.
In 2021, Soumik wrote, directed and scored ‘Songs of the Earth’ an award winning animation film about a young climate refugee from Bengal searching for her father across burning forests and melting glaciers. The film premiered at the UN climate conference (COP26), at No 10 Downing Street and Royal Albert Hall. Commissioned by British Council, the film (accompanied by an audio album and educational e-book) responds to the climate crisis through original narrative, songs and immersive visuals. Soumik’s previous highlights include performing at BBC Proms, Glastonbury Festival, presenting the three-part primetime, documentary series Rhythms of India on BBC4.
During lockdown, Soumik produced the YouTube series ‘Silent Spaces’ filmed and recorded inside 8 venues closed due to the pandemic. The British Museum, Sage Gateshead and Royal Albert Hall opened their doors to his creative team who broke the silence of these iconic cultural spaces with new music videos that addressed mental health issues during the pandemic. Soumik involves artists both new and known, rooted and experimental. An Ambassador for Earth Day Network Soumik’s art is about our world and yet unexpected, making us hear it, see it, feel it anew.