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Darbuka Siva, is an actor, musician, music producer and a radio jockey based in Chennai, India. Growing up in the suburbs of what was then North Madras, Siva was aware of his music calling early on during schooling, but wasn’t able to do much because of the middle-class situation at home. But soon the time came to drop out of college and take music seriously.


As a starter, in 1999 he began playing drums on his own and from there on, it was a classic case of one thing leading to another. Siva started his performing career in 2002 with 'Oikyotaan', an outfit that was experimenting with Bengali Baul music. This experience shaped up Siva’s musical approach, inspiring him to go searching for his own sound. In 2005 he started 'Yodhakaa' – a contemporary Indian classical music group that worked with ancient Sanskrit texts. Siva joined Radio Mirchi in 2007 as an RJ and producer, where he hosted a research based show about traditional Tamil folk music. That later became the inspiration for him to create the collaborative folk music project 'la pongal' in 2010. In 2008, Siva started Artseek, a platform that primarily works as a support system for local Independent musicians looking for assistance on various aspects of their creative work.


In 2012, he started work on a Television series that he conceptualised - a music travelogue show filmed in some of the most musically rich places of India like Rajasthan and Goa. This project was followed by a self-imposed sabbatical. In September 2013, Siva was selected as an artist-in-residence for OneBeat- a US State department project produced by Found Sound Nation, that brings 25 musicians from all over the world for a music residency in Atlantic Center for the Arts, Florida and an East coast tour of the US.


After returning from OneBeat, Siva was picked for a new trade by way of a feature film role in a Tamil movie titled Rajathanthiram, which led him to some more projects. Currently he is working on Darbuka Siva bro’ject, a collection of various expressions that truly represent his current state-of-mind through sights, sounds and collaborations inspired by people, places and experiences all along.


In February 2016, Siva was picked as a Facilitator/Artist-in-residence for The Dosti Music Project which brings together a group of musicians from Pakistan, India, and the U.S. for a month-long residency and tour. The project invites a group of musicians from a wide variety of traditions to the U.S. to collaboratively write, record, and perform original music, reinvent traditional music, and develop initiatives that will make a positive impact on communities locally and internationally.




2015 Dosti Music Project, U.S.A (Facilitator/Artist-in-residence)

2013  OneBeat, Florida, U.S.A (Artist-in-residence)

2012  Ink Fellows Program, Pune, India (Fellowship)

2012  TEDx Chennai Star, India (Award for achievements in local independent music)




2016 Bessie Smith Cultural Center Chattanooga, US

2016  Stopover Festival, Savannah, US

2014  Celtic Connections, Glasgow, Scotland

2013  OneBeat tour, East coast of US

2013  NH7 Weekender music festival, Bangalore, India

2012  Pudhu Yugam, Goa, India/ Music documentary for television

2012  Pudhu Yugam, Rajasthan, India/ Music documentary for television

2012  The Dewarists, Chennai, India/ Television series

2012  Coke Studio India, Bombay, India/ Television show

2011  Chennai Sangamam, Chennai, India/ Folk music festival

2010  Kalaa Utsavam, Singapore/ Festival of Indian arts

2010  Commonwealth Games, Indian arts festival, Delhi, India

2010  SAARC bands festival, Delhi, India

2009  WOMAD, Charlton Park, UK

2009  Lovebox Festival, London, UK

2008  MTV music awards, Bombay, India

2008  Sori Arts Festival, Jeonju, South Korea

2008  Vladivostok Philharmonic Hall, Vladivostok, Russia

2008  Namaste India Festival, Tokyo, Japan

2008  Roots Festival, Tour of North East, India

2008  The Shanghai Spring International Festival, Shanghai, China

2007  Chennai Sangamam, Chennai, India/ Folk music festival

2007  Kala Utsavam, Singapore/ Festival of Indian arts






2014  Darbuka Siva bro’ject

2014  Silvia, global music ensemble

2014  Radio City, FM Station, India

2012  Pudhu Yugam, TV channel, India

2012  Jaazthee, Tamil popcorn/rock muthu music

2009  la pongal, Performance platform for Indian folk music

2008  Artseek, Platform for contemporary music

2007  Karnatriix, New-age world music

2006  Radio Mirchi, FM station, India

2005  Yodhakaa, contemporary Indian classical music

2005  The Raghu Dixit Project, Indian folk rock

2004  Zahrra, World music band

2003  Oikyotaan, Experimental Baul music group


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