Sainkho Namtchylak生于图瓦共和国，祖先是游牧民族，自小学习歌唱，曾组过民谣摇滚乐团。长大后到莫斯科学习声乐，除学习图瓦传统的双声唱法（Throat singing／khoomei），也包括喇嘛与萨满巫教的传统声乐技巧（图瓦的传统信仰是萨满教，后来因为曾被蒙古统治过，所以国教改为藏传佛教）。从1989年起，Sainkho开始跨足欧洲前卫即兴乐界，学习更多元化的发声技巧，并致力挖掘双声唱法与其它音乐风格融合的可能性，同年并与苏联前卫爵士乐团Tri-O首次合作。之后即以欧洲作为发展重镇，展开她漫长而精彩的世界巡回演出，并且有机会与各地杰出音乐家／表演团体合作，当中包括Peter Kowald、Buch Morris、Ned Rothenberg、Evan Parker、William Parker、Hamid Drake、Djivan Gasparian、Hector Zazou、Otomo Yoshihide、Hakutobo （白桃房）Butoh Dance Theatre等等，并先后出版近三十张专辑，音乐之外，Sainkho也参与许多电影、剧场与多媒体演出。
2002年由德国女导演Erika von Moeller执导的纪录片《Sainkho》正式面世，让世人对Sainkho的生活有更深层的了解，同年获家乡图瓦颁发"二十世纪图瓦最具创意成就奖"。
Sainkho那出神入化的演唱技巧固然让人惊艳，结合图瓦传统双声唱法、喇嘛与萨满巫教的传统声乐与当代发声技巧，时而像歌剧男高音般清亮，时而像鸟鸣、孩童撒娇、深沉的低吟，人们不免拿她跟Bjork、Zap Mama、Patti Smith、Nina Hagen或者Maja Ratkje相提并论，但其实奠定她在当今乐坛的特殊地位以及赋予她的音乐跨乐种、跨文化吸引力的，却是她一直坚持的实验精神。从她每张专辑都试图破格，把别具一格的演唱结合西方前卫爵士、即兴音乐、各地传统乐以致电子乐，加上诗化歌词，Sainkho成功塑造出一种特别强调声音技巧表现、而兼具许多不同国家传统的世界音乐。著名音乐杂志《The Wire》这样形容Sainkho的音乐：运用打击效果的喘息、啧舌声与高音域尖叫作为表情，在流行与传统音乐之外独树一帜，立足于完全不同的境界：一个纯人类、受此纪律驱动而超凡的境界。其它如《Jazz Review》以"她歌唱的核心普世性与人性几乎有种大自然元素般的魅力"，以及芝加哥世界音乐节的"令人惊叹的即兴家、声乐极端份子"等词表扬Sainkho在世界音乐圈的地位。
With her shaved head and seven-octave range, Sainkho Namtchylak would stand out on any stage. Add her particular mix of Tuvan throat-singing and avant-garde improvisation, and she becomes an unforgettable figure. The daughter of a pair of schoolteachers, she grew up in an isolated village on the Tuvan/Mongolian border, exposed to the local overtone singing — something that was generally reserved for the males; in fact, females were actively discouraged from learning it (even now, the best-known practitioners remain male, artists like Huun-Huur-Tu and Yat-Kha). However, she learned much of her traditional repertoire from her grandmother, and went on to study music at the local college, but she was denied professional qualifications. Quietly she studied the overtone singing, as well as the shamanic traditions of the region, before leaving for study further in Moscow (Tuva was, at that time, part of the U.S.S.R.). Her degree completed, she returned to Tuva where she became a member of Sayani, the Tuvan state folk ensemble, before abandoning it to return to Moscow and joining the experimental Tri-O, where her vocal talents and sense of melodic and harmonic adventure could wander freely. That first brought her to the West in 1990, although her first recorded exposure came with the Crammed Discs compilation Out of Tuva. Once Communism had collapsed, she moved to Vienna, making it her base, although she traveled widely, working in any number of shifting groups and recording a number of discs that revolved around free improvisation — not unlike Yoko Ono — as well as performing around the globe. It was definitely fringe music, although Namtchylak established herself very firmly as a fixture on that fringe. In 1997 she was the victim of an attack that left her in a coma for several weeks. Initially she thought it was some divine retribution for her creative hubris, and seemed to step back when she recorded 1998s Naked Spirit, which had new age leanings. However, by 2000 she seemed to have overcome that block, releasing Stepmother City, her most accessible work to date, where she seemed to really find her stride, mixing traditional Tuvan instruments and singing with turntables and effects, placing her in a creative firmament between Yoko and Björk, but with the je ne sais quoi of Mongolia as part of the bargain. A showcase at the WOMEX Festival in Berlin brought her to the attention of many, and in 2001 a U.S. tour was planned.