Many women folk tradition vocalists got rousing accolades at the Rajasthan International Folk Music Festival here with singers like Bhanwari Devi receiving special attention from the audience for their powerful renditions.
A mother of nine and supporting a family of 22, Devi was accompanied by her sons who played indigenous instruments like sarangi and dhol on stage.
Singing from under a veil, Devi says she does not even think about “leaving behind her career in music, and even wishes to sing for Bollywood some day.”
“I can’t think about anything but music. I have been singing from a very early age and I want to continue this until I die. I have been getting offers from Mumbai and I have accepted all. I definitely want to try my luck there,” she told PTI.
Hailing from the state’s Bhopa-Bhopi tradition, Devi made mark when she was being picked by the composer Ram Sampath to perform with him at a live show. She started singing at an early age of six and has been continuing since then.
“After me I don’t think there is any female from my family to continue with the tradition. My sons are well versed in this gharana and they will continue with the legacy. But none of my daughter-in laws or other girls have interest in this,” she said.
This is the fourth time Devi has performed at the RIFF and is soon set to tour Norway soon. The demand to hear her vocals also took her on a tour to Edinburgh International Festival.
“RIFF has given me platform to show that a woman like me, who comes from rural family, can also dream of something big. The folk culture can never die and if it does so, the human race too will die,” the singer said.
Another folk star Sumitra, whose source of inspiration has been her father, has been praised for her rustic voice. She performed with Dutch saxophone player Yuri Honing during the festival.
“I saw her performing live at a music festival and then and there I wanted her to collaborate with me. The power that she has in her voice is incredible,” Honing said.