New Generation of Sikh Women Musicians and Gurbani

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In the little circle of friends and people that I interact with I have noticed quite a few young Sikh women who have really touched my heart through their music, voice and the Gurbani that they sing. It’s the type of thing that when I hear them sing I just feel bliss and at peace. I know that it might be different for you, and that someone you love listening to might not have the same effect on me, so I am just sharing my own experience.

It does not seem to be very common to have Sikh Women play Gurbani Kirtan in most Gurdwaras (especially in India). We are so used to seeing the typical male ragi jatha. We have never even seen/heard a female jatha do kirtan in Harimandir Sahib. I think times are changing though and it is only a matter of time before we are "out with the old ways" and in with the new. Maybe in the past women were not encouraged or allowed to "take the stage" in Gurdwaras, but I think as Sikh women feel more empowered this will change. The previous obedient submissive woman will change to something more in line with the times. This change I think is happening more rapidly in the west (USA, Canada, UK) where Sikh women are growing up under different circumstances and are able to explore music in a way that traditionally in India was not as common.

In my sangat here things are quite different from the norm. Probably over 95% of the musicians that play at Gurdwara are women. Women around here love to be musically involved! I guess the guys are not as interested in music. Maybe too busy playing warcraft or some other video game. Seriously though, One can only guess what the difference is for men and women. When I was younger I used to love playing piano, however in school I never had the opportunity to learn more or study other  instruments. Now all I have is my voice…so I love to at least sit with others and sing as backup. My mother always tries to encourage me, but I have too much going on in my life right now so will have to wait till a later stage in my life to seriously study music.

I am always inspired when I hear young Sikh women express Gurbani music in their own way. I feel like more and more young Sikh women are feeling empowered and able to use their voice and musical talents to share Guru’s Bani in a way that comes from the heart.

There is something about the musical energy and sound of a woman that is different from that of a man. I feel like women have a motherly nurturing energy and naturally sing more from the heart.

Every culture expresses musically in a different way based on upbringing and musical influences of that region/culture and I see this musical influence through all the new young Sikh musicians. So someone who grows up in America, Chile, Mexico, UK, India, etc., will will be the influenced by the type of music they grow up with. Having grown up a lot in India and America I love music with a mix of western and Indian influence. I hope that the Sikh youth of today feel free to explore music and sing from the heart. Music has a way of bringing people together in a way that words and dialog cannot.

Who are Some of Your Favorite Female Sikh Musicians?

I was thinking about doing a poll, but then I realized that there are probably (or at least hopefully) lots of Sikh women who are musicians out there who I don’t know about. I would love to know some of your favorites! Post a comment on this blog listing your favorites. If you have any mp3 files, send them my way so I can share them with everyone. You can use the service yousendit.com to send the file to my email gmustuk at sikhnet com (make the obvious correction in the email).

I am sure there are many more young Sikh musicians out there but here are some of my favorites, and ones that I listen to. If you click on the links you can hear some of their music and download mp3 files.

(I’m sure I missed someone but this is what I can think of right now)

When I first started this blog post I was just going to post a few new audio tracks that I found on the internet of Dileep Kaur…and now look what I got myself into!!?? Hahaha… a much longer blog post and a whole other topic, that is for sure. Anways… here are some audio tracks for your enjoyment…

Dileep Kaur – Simran

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Dileep Kaur – Simran (Guitar)

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Dileep Kaur – Sun Sajjan Preet

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Dileep Kaur – Vaho Vaho Gobind Singh

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Bibi Rena Kaur – Simran

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