Tikaram was born in Münster, Germany, the daughter of a Malaysian mother, Fatimah Rohani, and an Indo-Fijian father, Pramod Tikaram. Her father's military career meant that she spent her early life in Germany before moving to Basingstoke, Hampshire, England when she was in her early teens. She is the younger sister of the actor Ramon Tikaram and the great-niece of Sir Moti Tikaram, who was the first Lord Chief Justice of an independent Fiji and the world's longest-serving national ombudsman.
Tikaram started singing in nightclubs while she was still a teenager and came to the attention of WEA Records. Her debut album, Ancient Heart, produced by Rod Argent and Peter Van Hooke, was released in September 1988 when she was 19 years old.
1992 saw the release of Eleven Kinds Of Loneliness. On this album she ceased collaborating with Argent and Van Hooke and produced the album entirely by herself. It was her worst seller yet, not charting at all in the UK.
Guest vocals on the single "Je Te Voudrai Quand Même" from Pierre Schott's album Le Nouveau Monde, from 1992.
"Poor Wandering One", a song from Gilbert & Sullivan's "Pirates Of Penzance" recorded for a Disney soundtrack and produced by Mark Isham, but unreleased - then intended to be used on the soundtrack of "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle", where another version appears instead - then mentioned to appear as B-side, which hasn't happened.
Writer of three tracks on the Brontë Brothers 1993 album The Way Through The Woods: "Live A Little More", "Beneath The August Moon" (with Mark Creswell) and "A Winner Too" (with Mark Creswell).
Writer (with Mark Creswell) of the B-side "Need This Lover Growing" of Brontë Brothers 1993 single "Live A Little More".
Writer of the re-recorded version of "Live A Little More" by Brontë Brothers, 1994 single.
Vocals on "Redemption Song (Oh Happy Day)" (Marley/Hawkins) on the 1997 Moodswings album Psychedelicatessen.
Guest vocals on "I'm Looking Up To You" (also a single in Ireland) on Christie Hennessy's 1995 album Lord Of Your Eyes.
"My Love Tonight" commissioned for the Abitare Il Tempo exhibition in Milan, Italy, and appeared on Tikaram's 1995 album "Lovers In The City".