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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38 Responses to “New Generation of Sikh Women Musicians and Gurbani”

  1. Wahegurooojikakhalsa! Wahegurooojikifateh!

    Brother Gurumustuk Singh ji the above kirtan recordings are mind blowing. I’ve downloaded them all, the only one which I cannot seem to download the is the recording where Bhenji Dileep Kaur does simran with a guitar – could you please post it up in a format where I can download it.

    Thank so much brother

    Guru Ramdas Rakho Sarnaeeeeee!

    Satnam

  2. One of my favorite female Sikh musicians is Sat Kirin Kaur Khalsa, (as well as Sat Kartar K, Sangeet K, Bibi Bhani Kaur, Dev Saroop Kaur, Prabhunam Kaur, Guru Das Kaur). It is just so recent that any Khalsa women get heard as it has not been in the tradition of the Gurdwara’s to have womens’ Jatha’s.

  3. Thanks for the tip Sukha Singh. I fixed the link so you can download that one track which had a problem.

  4. Amitoj Singh says:

    Bibi Baljit Kaur Khalsa is pretty popular in India. Also I've heard Bibi Indermohan Kaur from Canada. http://www.akji.org/media/uk/2005/coventry100905/
    And Bibi Tarvinder Kaur from the akhand kirtani jatha.

  5. Jagjit says:

    one of the best female simran I have heard of all time..

    Jasbeanti, Suksimran & Melvin – Simran (18/2/2007).mp3

    2 girls from Malaysia, Jasbeanti Kaur leading and Suksimran Kaur providing the powerful back up vocals!

    http://jagjit7.blogspot.com/2007/02/saturday-nite.html

  6. Sat Darshan Kaur says:

    Sat Nam! I really enjoy the kirtan of Ravi Kaur and Guru Prakash Kaur. They always touch my heart with energy and inspiration. I am waiting for them to make a CD! hint hint… :):) I also enjoy so many other female kirtanees so keep it up!

  7. Gurdeep says:

    Waheguruji Ka Khalsa, Waheguruji Ki Fateh!

    Wow there are many tracks I can listen to. Thankyou everyone for posting. I recently got into listening to Snatam Kaur and her music is really soothing. Today while I was at the doctor’s I started thinking of how women are more in touch with their souls than men. When we’re born we are innocent and so our souls have not had that “seclusion” that we give them as we grow older. And I feel that women have that same connection with their souls as when we were just babies. They are truly special people.

  8. Sat Nam jio – I think Snatam Kaur, Sat Kartar Kaur, Sada Sat Kaur, and Gurudass Kaur all top my list of faves. I also love the female voices on Dya Singh’s CDs – I believe are his daughters? and/or other relatives? There are so many inspiring and wonderful voices in our Dharma and the extended community. Check out some of the others on Spirit Voyage, too!

    Wahe Guru. Great topic, jio.
    Gurukarm Kaur

  9. All told, I prefer listening to Kirtan and devotional by women. Truely the sweetness and depth of compassion is readily felt. Since there is so little Gurbani available by Sikh women some of my faves are: 1.Rajnarind Kaur (NY) doing bani’s, 2.Abeeda Parveen doing Kabir, 3. Rekha doing Sufi chants in Ishqa Ishqa, 4.Reshma and 5.Prabha Atre doing Raag Kalvatee
    6. Bibi Jaswant Kaur from Delhi who is 84 years young and singing Gurubani Raag like an angel and last but not least my dear sweet 7. Charanjit Kaur 8 months old who sings at night to her Mama-Papa.

  10. PritamSingh says:

    Vaheguru

  11. Manbir Singh says:

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
    Waheguru Ji Ke Fateh

    There is a group by the name ‘Gurmat Gian Group’ at Ludhiana India. This group is headed by Gurpreet Kaur. Other members are Keerat Kaur, Jasleen Kaur and Japjit Kaur. There are 3 CD collections available in market.

    1. Tere Kavan Kavan Gun Keh Keh Gawa – T Series
    2. Mere Baid Guru Govinda – Sarab Sanjhi Gurbani-Texla
    3. Saajanrraa Mera Saajanrraa- Sarab Sanjhi Gurbani-Texla

    These are worth listening !!

  12. Maninder Singh says:

    I really like the keertan of these bibi’s, i don’t know thier names, but they really sing very well!!

    See one of their album:

    http://sikhvideos.com/guru-arjan-dev-ji-vol2.htm

  13. Naamdeep Kaur says:

    Dileep Kaurs simran with the guitar is so uplifting, yet fills your heart with so much bairaag. Very pwerful simran filled with alot of energy.
    Waheguroo…

  14. Devinder Singh says:

    Well its our responsibility to lift them up
    encourage them ,and encourage there ART >>>>>

    KEEP IT UP >>>> MAY GURU GIVE YOU MORE UNDERSTANDING and help others to understand toooo

  15. Manbir Singh says:

    Waheguru Ji Ke Fateh

    Dear friends, here is a link to download beautiful kirtan done by Gurpreet Kaur’s group – Gurmat Gian Group of Ludhiana

    http://www.yousendit.com/download/MFo3c0x5Z2d6NE41VEE9PQ

  16. Mohinder Singh says:

    Veer Jeo,
    Sat Siri Akal,

    How come your brother Dharam Singh does not update his blog. I have been waiting for him to update a single but it’s been long time since he posted anything new. How is he doing in India? How’s his studies going on? I hope everything is well with him and he is in his high spirits. Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh !!

    Mohinder Singh

  17. WaheGuru Ji ka Khalsa WaheGuru ji ki Fathe ji …

    Gurpaal Kaur Ji and Rupjit Kaur ji (Acapella Jatha) they are angels…waheguru.Bibi Snatam Kaur Ji,Bibi Dileep Kaur Ji…My Maths teacher’s wife :-D Gurpreet Kaur ji … she does kirtan in our Gurdwara(Gurudwara Kutiya Sahib) every single evening.Nishkaam! :-D

    However,I feel really sad when i see none of the Kaurs do kiratn at Sri Darbaar Sahib…this is injustice.This should not happen.Sikhism is known for eqaulity.But at practical level it is Failure.Women do not have any eqaul rights at the highest respectable place of the religion even.Neither for doing seva nor for kirtan.

    “Dhan Guru Ramdaas Mahraaj jiyo… when that day will come when sangat may hear your beloved daughters doing kirtan at your home :’( ”

    Guru Anng Sanng

    Gur Bar Akaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllll

  18. Nihaal_Singh says:

    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ki Fateh,
    i am loking for this shabad called “Tere Kavan Kavan Gun Keh Keh Gavaan” but i cant find it anywhere. When i heard it it sound like a woman singing it but some1 told me that its a man singing so i am a bit confused, i also dont know the album name so can someone help me wid this plzzzzzz
    Thank You.

  19. Manbir Singh says:

    Dear Nihal Singh Ji

    There is a CD released by T Series – Tere Kavan Kavan Gun Keh Keh Gavaan. The singers are of Gurmat Gian Group of Ludhiana comprising of Gurpreet Kaur, Keerat Kaur, Japjit Kaur and Jasleen Kaur. It has Gurbani Shabads sung in Wonderful Classical style that any person can enjoy.

  20. Nihaal_Singh says:

    thank you very much Manbir Singh but i cant find this cd anywhere.
    Thank you Anyway

  21. Manbir Singh says:

    Dear Nihal Singh

    I hope you got the 1st tract of the CD Tere Kavan Kavan Gun sent to you by ‘Yousend’. This CD can be obtained from Music Shops dealing in Tseries Products. The Other CDs are available with dealers of Texla Products. They also deal through their web site.

    http://sarabsanjhigurbani.com/
    http://sarabsanjhigurbani.com/showproduct.asp?titleid=SSG-1694

  22. Inderpal_singh says:

    Waheguru Ji ka Khalsa!
    Waheguru ji ki Fateh!

    My name is Inder pal singh, want to know about my
    religion very deeply, if someone can tell me so…..

  23. fateh to all..

    i wish i had the chance to see kaur singh perform
    but i am too late but i manage to locate this article here

    Remembering Singh Kaur
    http://www.mrsikhnet.com/2005/08/remembering-singh-kaur.html

    one of those amazing soothing voices that will never fade…in the world of kirtan.

  24. Manbir Singh says:

    Waheguru Ji ka Khalsa!
    Waheguru ji ki Fateh!

    If you like to listen to some nice Gurbani Keertan by young Sikh Women, you just have to Click
    http://in.youtube.com/manbironline

    Must leave a comment 

  25. Manbir Singh says:

    Hello,
    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
    Waheguru Ji Ke Fateh
    Welcome to Kirtan by Young Sikh Women Musicians of Gurmat Gian Group.have
    Here is a Melodious Shabad Video by Gurmat Gian Group. Enjoy it !!
    http://gurmatgiangroup.wordpress.com/2009/02/23/tu-mera-karta-haun-sevak-tera-you-are-my-creator-and-i-am-your-servant/

    For many more Shabads by this Group visit
    http://gurmatgiangroup.wordpress.com/
    http://gurmatgiangroup.blogspot.com/
    http://www.youtube.com/manbironline

  26. Gupt singhni says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fFLOSrc3EA&feature=channel
    I believe this is Bibi Dileep kaur doing simran!
    ~*WAHEGURU*~

  27. Must See this Shabad Video

    Baras Ghana Mera Pir Ghar Aya – Raga Malhar

    http://gurmatgiangroup.blogspot.com/2009/06/baras-ghana-mera-pir-ghar-aya-malhar.html

  28. Another Shabad Video by gurmat Gian Group

    Mohay Machalee Tum Neer

    http://gurmatgiangroup.wordpress.com/2009/07/11/mohay-machalee-tum-neer/

  29. Har Prabh Ratay Loeina

    One’s eyes are anointed by the Lord God, when the Guru bestows the ointment of spiritual wisdom.

    http://gurmatgiangroup.wordpress.com/2009/07/26/har-prabh-ratay-loeina/

  30. Here is beautiful Shabad Video

    Oha Prem Piri

    sung by Gurmat GIan Group. Must See it !

    http://gurmatgiangroup.blogspot.com/2009/08/oha-prem-piri.html

  31. sardul singh sidana says:

    Its wonderful kirtan with grace of waheguru ji chardi kala bakhish karan ji

    Gurbani is for singing not only for reading. Reading with vichaar is to understand thorougly and singing give us Naam Rus, it comes from the heart and waheguru only accepts ARDAS FROM HEARTS , so all the gurbani is in Raagas And was sung by guru jis(Ist,2nd,3rd,forth,fifth and nineth guru ji all in RAAGS)
    All simram comes from heart and only singing can give that Power of rememebering waheguru/his jus from by singing.

    That’s why gurbani says: GAVO GAVO REE DULANNIYA. BANI TAA(N) GAVO GURU KERI BANIYAN SIR BANI(NANAD SAHIB -SGAMAR DASS JI)

    wgjk khalsa wgjkfateh

  32. See this Shabad Video

    Mu Lalan Sio Preet Banee … ਮੂ ਲਾਲਨ ਸਿਉ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਬਨੀ

    http://gurmatgiangroup.wordpress.com/2009/09/17/mu-lalan-saeo-preet-bane/

  33. Amarjeet Kaur says:

    m also in a music field n working as a music teacher in an Army school of special children since 2000.. i love to sing shabad as i m a sikh girl n wanna sing along with a jatha so that i can move forward.. moreover wanna have a ragi shabad teacher to teach me…

  34. Amarjeet Kaur says:

    m in search of a shabad gurbani ragi to promote me to sing with him as many people say that god has given a gud voice quality n i wanna utilise my voice in this only..

  35. Manbir Singh says:

    New Album of 6 CDs, a compilation of Shabads in 31 Raags of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

    'Raag Ratan' ~ 31 Sudh Raags of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji http://gurmatgiangroup.wordpress.com/2010/11/24/r