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AparnaDutta Created By AparnaDutta on 20-Sep-2018 -- 01:05 AM

The presence of Sufi Singers in India is the result of several years of reign by Afghan, Mughals, and then the Delhi Sultanate. They not only got their cuisine to India but also their traditions and culture including a major part of music. Sufi music then found a new way into the hearts of Indian because of its immense lyrical importance and religiosity. Sufi singers in India have not just spellbound audience by their live performances but also through their singing in Bollywood movies.


List of Sufi Singers in India


Harshdeep Kaur- Sufi ki Sultana

Born on 16th December 1986, Harshdeep Kaur is an Indian Playback Singer who is renowned for her soulful Sufi renditions. She is called “Sufi ki Sultana”. She has had won two titles before establishing herself as a lead singer in Bollywood. Harshdeep won a singing competition in 2008 in which she competed from the Sufi ki Sultan genre with Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan as her mentor. Kaur wore a unique Sufi attire which later became her identity. She has worked with some of the prominent music directors of Bollywood like A.R. Rahman, Pritam Chakraborty, Vishal-Shekhar etc. Katiya Karun from Rockstar, Heer from Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Ik Omkar from Rang De Basanti are her famous pieces from Bollywood.



Ragini Rainu- Sufi songstress of India

She is young Sufi songstress of India and the disciple of the notable Santoor Maestro, Pandit Bhajan Sopori. She hails from Jammu and represents the Sufiana Gharana of Kashmir. She has a very strong base in Classical vocal system. Fluency and aesthetics are embedded in her songs. She started learning music at an early age and also has a Masters Degree in Music. She is also known to have performed in several international festivals of India and the first ever Sufi musician to have performed in Sankat Mochan Festival, Banaras which is India’s top most Music Festival.


Kavita Seth

Born in 1970, Kavita Seth is not only a playback singer but also a performer of Ghazals and Sufi Music. In addition she also leads  a Sufi Musical Group, called Karwaan Group. After moving to Delhi, she started performing in the All India Radio and Doordarshan. Meanwhile she also did her post graduation in Music. Though she gave her first performance at Khan-Kahe Niyazia Dargah in Bareilly. She not only specializes in Sufi music but also in ghazals, geet and folk songs. She has won several awards for her beautiful sufi rendition Iktara.



Sonam Kalra- The Sufi Gospel

She did not take music seriously in her early life. But she always had her base strong. Her musical journey actually began when she was pursuing her degree from Delhi College of Art. It was in 2000 that she took a break from her professional career as a copywriter to learn music. Her initial training began under Shubha Mudgal and Pandit Sarathi Chatterjee. She has had anchored many shows, one of them being the Commonwealth Games of 2010. She focused not just on Indian Classical but also Jazz and Classical Opera. The Sufi Gospel Project is her brainchild which now has had performed in diverse venues and events like fundraisers and Sufi music festivals. She has also performed for MTV Coke Studio Season 3.

Zila Khan- The Sufi singer and Actor

Belonging to the Imdadkhani Gharana, Zila Khan is not just a sufi singer but also an actor who gave her performance in the film Bajirao Mastani. She is also a composer and music director. She is the daughter and disciple of her father Ustad Vilayat Khan. She has great command over not just classical but also in Sufi, Ghazal style music. She is the recipient of the ‘Roll of Honour’ from the President of India.

Roohani Sisters- The Firecracker Sufi performers

This Sufi singer duo’s electrifying presence enthrals the audience to its zenith. Roohani Sisters i.e. Neeta Pandey and Jagriti Luthra have been learning music since they were five. Neeta learnt music from teachers of Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Delhi and from the Kiran Gharana. Jagriti learnt music from Padma Bhushan Guru Pt. Rajan Sajan Mishra from Banaras Gharana. Their idea of Sufism lies in devotion, dedication, and determination.



The Nooran Sisters- Sufism from Jalandhar

Belonging to the Sham Chaurasia Gharana of Classical Music, Nooran Sisters i.e. Jyoti Nooran and Sultana Nooran are originally from Jalandhar. They have been trained by their father for 10 years who himself was the son of a famous Sufi singer of the 70s. Nooran Sisters’ father recognized their talent at an early age and not just trained them but also got them recorded. They have performed on the occasion of 72nd birth anniversary of Jagjit Singh and also with MTV Coke Studio.

The Wadali Brothers- The Amritsari Sufi Blend

Puranchand Wadali and Pyarelal Wadali, commonly known as Wadali Brothers are from Amritsar district. Both the brothers were no where close to music field in their early years of life. Where one was a regular in wrestling, the other played the role of Krishna in village Rasleela. Their first musical appearance was in Harballabh temple, Jalandhar. In 2003, they entered the Bollywood through their rendition in the film Pinjar.



The Warsi Brothers- The Legacy of Sufi Music

The brother duo Nazeer Ahmed Khan Warsi and Naseer Ahmed Khan Warsi are together known as the Warsi Brothers. They are known as an Indian Qawwali Group. Their ancestors were performers in the Mughal Durbar and court singers for the Nizam of Hyderabad. They tour all around the world and spell bound people by their intense performances. They have collectively received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.


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