The female folk singers of India

Soulful voice combined with the traditional lyrics make these singers exceptional

Of the Indian music that most know, the knowledge is limited to Bollywood music. However, there is a vast world of folk music sung by beautiful soulful female voices that have given these traditional folk songs meaning. Consisting of regional values and folklores, these female folk singers bring full justice to the songs.

Ila Arun Her name is synonymous with folk singing in India. A Rajasthani folk-pop singer, Arun has a unique husky voice that gels well with any song. She is the voice behind many chartbuster songs, among them being Ringa Ringa from Slumdog Millionaire, Choli ke piche kya hai and Morni Baga ma bole with Lata Mangeshkar. Not only singing, but she is also a popular actress and TV personality.

Malini Awasthi An Awadhi folk singer, she also sings in Hindi, Buldenkhandi, and Bhojpuri. She is known for her high pitch voice and popular rendition of thumari, Thaare Raho Baanke Shyam. She is a recipient of Padam Shri for her contribution to folk music. She has sung for films like Chaar futiya Chhokare, Dum Laga Ke Haisha, and Agent Vinod.

Lopamudra Mitra A Rabindra Sangeet singer, modern Bengali singer, and songwriter, Mitra is known for her Bengali folk songs. One of her most famous songs is Benimadhab, some modern songs, Tagore songs, and albums Bhalobaste Balo, Ei Obelaay and Jho rHote Pari.

Sharda Sinha A Padma Bhushan awardee, Sinha is famous for her version of Chhathgeet and is a popular folk singer of Bihar and is known as Bihar Kokila. Her songs are not only melodious but simple in tunes touching different aspects of life. She has also given her voice to a few Hindi movies and produced albums.

Basanti Devi Bisht She is known to be the only woman singer of the Jagar folk form of Uttarakhand. She started her singing career pretty late as Jagar traditionally is sung by men but she broke that tradition in an attempt to preserve this tradition. She was awarded the Padma Shri in 2017.

Dipali Barthakur Famously known as the Nightingale of Assam, Borthakur started singing at the age of nine. Her popular Assamese songs are Sonor Kharu Nalage Muk and Jundhone Junalite among others. She was awarded the Padma Shri for her singing but due to severe motor neuron disease, her career came to a halt.

Mamta Chandrakar Called the Nightingale of Chattisgarh, she started singing from the age of 10 and took it up professionally as a folk singer in 1977. She is the Padma Shri awardee.