My Home: Nitin Sawhney

Statues of Hindu gods rub shoulders with an awesome collection of guitars in the south London studio that Nitin Sawhney also calls home
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Musician Nitin Sawhney has won 11 awards, including a Mobo in 2002 for his album Prophesy and an Asian Pop award in 2000 for Beyond Skin. He co-created the TV comedy Goodness Gracious Me. He lives alone in a two-storey house in Tooting Bec, south-west London

I have lived in this area for 17 years, and in this house for five. I was amazed at how perfect it was when I found it. The structure was exactly what I wanted; I only had to refurbish and install a recording studio. I recorded my last two records here.

It was pretty embarrassing when Paul McCartney and Sinead O'Connor came to work on something in my tiny studio flat in Tooting, years ago, when it was filled with cardboard boxes. They were cool about it. Paul even picked up my guitar and strummed "Yesterday".

I can vary the acoustics in here according to what sound I want. It's a converted attic space; the stairs lead straight into it, and the only door leads to an old shower room, where I store my computers, hard drives and Midi connections.

The studio is decorated with figurines, including Kenny from South Park and Gollum from The Lord of the Rings. It was somewhat surreal when Andy Serkis - who played Gollum in the film - came over for the orchestration of a project we worked on for the PlayStation 3 console. He was sat in front of astatue of himself.

I can make live recordings in the living room, too - the suspended ceiling gives it great acoustics - and I keep a guitar in every room, in case I suddenly get inspired and need an instrument to articulate my idea. It's a great place to laze on the sofa, play a guitar, or sit at my Roland piano.

I enjoy the simplicity of my living room. Like my work, it's uncluttered, with cream walls and wooden floors, adorned with drums and a couple of favourite guitars. My taste influences my home and determines my musical style - I'm very much a minimalist. I spend a lot of time in this area; I come to the living room first thing in the morning to do my stretches.

I like to be surrounded by artefacts from many cultures, such as my statue of Sarasvati, the Hindu goddess of music, and the Aboriginal painting above my fireplace. These pieces remind me that I'm not wholly connected to one single belief. When I was young, my mother told me that Hinduism embraces many religions and philosophies, which is reflected in my work and my home.

The meaning behind the picture was explained to me by a tribal elder in Arnhem Land. It depicts two women, one of them pregnant, being devoured by a snake, on sacred turf. I love the aerial perspective; it reveals an amazing sense of imagination, distorting the distinction between reality and fantasy.

When I have guests over we can watch films on a projector screen - last time I showed an Indian film called Pakeezah and hired caterers. I can also sit here to play back any films I might be working on. This room is dedicated to my work and I have my Mobo, Mercury, Emma and Asian Pop awards here, and a framed copy of the cover for Prophesy.

A set of double doors leads into the garden, which is a soothing, tranquil retreat. I've done most of the work on the garden, which was concreted when I arrived. Last year I hired Peter Beardsley, who's had an installation at Tate Modern, to help me reinvent the space. We discussed what I wanted and decided on a relaxing water feature and calming flowers such as climbing jasmine. It's pretty self-sufficient, with a timed irrigation system, so I don't worry about it while I'm away on tour.

The kitchen is small and efficient. My surroundings reflect aspects of my personality and beliefs. The anti-Bush fridge magnets point to my discontent at the current political situation. I feel very guilty for paying taxes in this country, which supports the killing of innocent women and children in foreign lands. These feelings influenced my decision to build a property in Brazil, the profit from which - should I sell it - I would give to a charity, probably helping those suffering in Iraq.

Sting introduced me to the Bahhar region of Rio, and I immediately fell in love with the place. My 6,000sq ft house, which will be completed next year, overlooks the sea, a lagoon and the beach, and is surrounded by rainforest.

But I love this part of London. It's very multicultural, with black, white and Asian people living in harmony. It's great to wander up the high street, observing the different shops and restaurants. There's no tension and people are open and very accepting.

My parents moved from India to Rochester in 1963, and I was born there a year later. I moved to Liverpool to study law, before moving to London, where I met Sanjeev Bhaskar, with whom I worked on the script for Goodness Gracious Me. We formed a comedy duo called the Secret Asians, and were picked up by the BBC. We had a radio series for two years, before I went on to produce an artist for Warner Brothers.

I was drawn to London due to work more than anything, although I tour a lot and I'm always travelling around. There was a lot of session work in London and most of my friends have ended up here. Even though I live alone, there are always friends and musicians passing through.

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