Women musicians from the state of Jammu and Kashmir

With melody in their voice, these singers are making the state proud

The crown of India, the state of Jammu and Kashmir, besides its picturesque mountainous range, mesmerizing natural water bodies, and beauty has an immense hidden talent. As delicious the Kashmiri cuisine and as attractive the Kashmiri embroidery, the melody of Kashmir is beyond one’s imagination. The musical instruments producing melodious music unique to the state describing the beauty of its virgin lands and mountains. At the same time, the state of Jammu and Kashmir has produced some amazingly talented female singers whose voice doesn’t fail to captivate people across borders. So here is presenting a list of female musicians from Jammu and Kashmir.

VibhaSaraf
This young entrant is a singer-songwriter and a Bollywood playback singer who over the years has performed melodious songs for various Bollywood films. Saraf also performs folk songs, writes music, and performs music for soundtracks but primarily Kashmiri folk-inspired songs. She has sung for the films Raazi that went to win Best Film in the 64th Filmfare Awards, and Gully Boy. Her beautiful voice also won her joint nomination along with Harshdeep Kaur for Best Female Playback Singer at the 65th Filmfare Awards and Best Female Playback Singer at the 20th International Indian Film Academy Awards for the song Dilbaro.

Raj Begum
She is one of theprominent and leading 20th-century Kashmiri folk singers from the state of Jammu and Kashmir started singing at a time when womenfolk in Kashmir didn’t dare to be part of any art forms. Her voice had magic woven every time she uttered a verse, so much so that she came to be known as the Melody Queen of Kashmir. Begum was honored with SangeetNatakAkademi Award and also India’s fourth highest civilian award the Padma Shri in 2002. Begum is known to be instrumental in popularizing folk music in the Muslim majority region of Jammu and Kashmir.

Malika Pukhraj
An immensely popular Ghazal and folk singer of Pakistan, Pukhraj was born in HamirpurSidhar into a family of professional musicians. She began to receive her traditional musical training from Ustad Ali BakshKasuri. At just the age of nine, she performed at the coronation ceremony of Maharaja Hari Singh, who impressed by her voice appointed her as a court singer in his Durbar. Her voice is most heard singing ‘folk songs of the hills’ (Pahari Songs).

Shameema Dev Azad
Wifeof former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir GulamNabi Azad, Dev Azad is known for her melodious voice across the state. She is the recipient of India’s fourth-highest civilian award the Padma Shri and also received Kalpana Chawla Excellence Award.

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