India has been blessed with diversity geographically as well as culturally. Every region of the country has a different cultural tradition and folk-lore. And music has a place of primacy in Indian culture. Music is associated with almost all the aspects of cultural life. Be it a religious ceremony in a temple or any other social event, it is almost impossible to separate music from a person’s lifestyle.
Traditional Indian artists could be found in every corner of the country, however with a little knowledge about the digitized world and the availability of a limited number of resources they were not able to present their talent earlier. But, with the recent explosion of new technologies in urban and rural world, the world of folk music has witnessed a drastic change.
Here is a list of some of the best folk musicians who made it big and are serving with integrity and versatility.
Angaraag Mahanta who goes by his stage-name Papon wanted to become an architect before realizing what his true calling was (Wonder what it would be like if we did not have the legendary singer Papon? Shocking! Isn’t it?) Papon had a musical heritage even before his sudden realization. His parents are doyens of Assamese music. But he had a different plan laid out for himself. He wanted to create something by himself. His voice has touched the hearts of many. Papon is also the lead singer of the folk-fusion band Papon and the East India Company.
- Mame Khan
Mame Khan hails from a Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. If you have been a coke studio fan then this name shouldn’t be a surprise for you. The singer of the ever famous song “Chaudhary” has created some of the most amazing music of all times. He has nurtured his art and introduced the gem of Rajasthani culture. His debut album Mame Khan’s Desert Sessionsn (2015), featured the saxophone along with the primary instruments of his community: the stringed kamaicha, the khartaal and the dholak. His performances resonates the entire folk-lore.
- Raghu Dixit
Talking about folk-music and not mentioning Raghu Dixit is like talking about Bollywood without Shahrukh Khan. Raghu is the front-man for the Raghu Dixit Project. It is a contemporary Indian folk band based in Bangaluru. It promotes the cultural heritage of Kannada music by giving an edge of modern contemporary. Over the past few years, the band has been a regular feature at venues around the world. Raghu has played in various concerts around the world and continues to baffle us with his versatility.
- Karsh Kale
Given the status of a pioneering figure in defining the Asian genre by mixing a variety of Indian folk with electronic, pop and rock music, Karsh has entered into the list of the renowned folk artists. Although he was born in Britain and brought up in America, his roots were always imbedded in Indian soil. He has given a new image to the Indian music and has creates something mesmerizing every time.
Swarathma is a Bengaluru based Indian Fusion band that features Vasu Dixit, Kumar KJ, Varun Murali, Sanjeev Nayak,and Jishnu Dasgupta. They blend the India music with Blues Rock and Regge. Every piece that they create has a story behind it. It captures the essence of their journey and their struggles. They’ve been on the cover page of Rolling Stone magazine’s Indian edition. They’ve swept some of the great awards over the course of their career. They create music with passion and love for their motherland.