TV on the Radio was formed in New York in 2001. The initial lineup featured a vocalist Tunde Adebimpe, guitarist and keyboardist David Sitek, drummer Jaleel Bunton, guitarist and back vocalist Kyp Malone and bassist Gerard Smith. The founder of the group is David Sitek, who is also a producer.
The band works with different genres, such as trip-hop, soul, post-punk, indie-rock, and electronic music.
In 2002, TV on the Radio released its demo-album, OK Calculator. Musicians used their own money to fund the demo. They did an excellent job with the album and got an offer to sign two contracts. The first one was with an American label, Touch And Go. They went on to collaborate with a British label, 4 AD.
Two years later, the band released its debut album, Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes, which brought the group a prestigious award, Shortlist Music Prize. Even though the album didn’t make it into American charts, it climbed to the 175th spot of the UK Albums Chart and appeared on a French chart. Many organizers started trying to book TV on the Radio for private events.
In 2006, the band released its second LP, Return to Cookie Mountain. It earned positive reviews from the critics at Pitchfork Media. In the USA and Canada, the album was released with the assistance of Interscope label. To record it, the group invited such artists as David Bowie, Omega Moon, Celebration, Dragons of Zynth, and Blonde Redhead. To promote the album, the group performed the single "Wolf Like Me" on the late-night talk show, Late Show With David Letterman. That episode of the show collected over 2 million views on YouTube.