Tag Archives: Baul music

Multifaceted Indian Musician Babu Kishan Releases 32 Albums on GooglePlay

GooglePlay has just released 32 albums from acclaimed award-winning music composer of Baul, Bollywood, folk, Indian Classical and world music Babu Kishan, also known as Krishnendu Das.

The recordings include 50 years’ worth of music composed and now re-released including world music, folk, Bengali, Baul, Indian spiritual kirtan, bhajans to top Bollywood acts, including Kumar Shanu, Udit Narayan, Anuradha Paudwal, Kavita Krishnamurty, Shaan, Sadhna Sargam, Poornima and many more.

Babu Kishan is a multi-instrumentalist, who plays 15 instruments, has produced 60 albums, composed 150 musical scores for Indian Cinema, and has released more than a thousand albums working for India’s top music companies including manager A&R/ Consultant at India’s popular music & film companies like CBS, Tips music, Gramophone Company, Time, ABCL.

He is the eldest son of the legendary Purna Das Baul who introduced Baul to India and the world more than 70 years ago. Babu been preserving his mystical tradition of Baul from Bengal for 45 years. Others follow him and his lineage, they do not follow anybody. He recorded and composed the music for most of his father’s Baul music and has performed since the early 1970s traveling around the world with his father.

Raised by his grandfather, the legendary Nabani Das Khyapa Baul, who was Rabindranath Tagore’s Baul Guru, what the Bauls are singing today is the music of his renowned family.

Born an oral Sanskritist and musician, he speaks many languages and has composed music in 12 languages, traveling to more than 100 countries and collaborating with Bob Dylan and The Band whom he toured the United States of America 40 concerts in the mid 1980’s. He has jammed with The Rolling Stones, Third World, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, George Harrison of the Beatles and many more. He has toured with Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan, Sultan Khan, and Zakir Hussain.

Babu Kishan is a prolific poet and has written thousands of songs and composed music for most of India’s top legends. The 32 albums released on GooglePlay are focus on some of his compositions.
Babu Kishan’s new book on his world of music be released later this year, Baul to Bollywood to the World, historical Baul, who made a Greatest platform and preserved so can be much easier for new Bauls and the world.

He has a master in Indian Music from Calcutta University and has been a Indian Cultural Ambassador and world music pioneer since the 1970s. Babu Kishan was awarded the youngest Music Composer in Bengal in the 1970s at just 11 years of age. Bollywood lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

More at www.BabuKishan.org


Artist Profiles: Purna Das Baul

Purna Das Baul

Purna Das Baul, whose real name is Baul Samrat Shri Purna Ch. Das, was born March 18, 1933, in the village Ekchakka in the Birbhum District. He comes from a long lineage of Bauls, a sect of wandering minstrels from Bengal who sing traditional and spiritual folk music. His father is the late Shri Nabani Das Khepa Baul, a celebrated baul singer and a friend and inspiration for philosopher Rabindranath Tagore. His mother is the late Smt. Brajobala Das.

The Bauls are a nomadic sect whose religious philosophy goes back over 1000 years. One of the main tenets of Baul cult is love for humanity irrespective of their caste and creed, faith and religion, color and custom. The Bauls speak about the universal mysteries of life in simple words to touch the heart of common man.

Bauls seek their own person throughout their song. Their sadhana is singing spiritual songs. According to Baul philosophy, the soul or the Maner Manush is nothing but the god within oneself who has to be perceived and realized through inner enlightenment. A Baul is he who searches for god in man.

The Bauls sing in a style both dynamic and sensual, and use very simple instruments (including the ektara , whose single string symbolizes the unity with God), which manage to create peculiar textures and remarkably varied rhythms.

Purna Das Baul is a real folk hero in his country, where he is referred to as “the King of Bauls”. He represents the seventh generation in a dynasty of prestigious musicians. He used to spend most of his time with his father Nabani Das, who used to teach Purna Das the most fabulous Baul songs.

Purna Das, at the age of four, got a job as a singer in an opera part, earning only five rupees per night. There, he contacted laureate Tarashankar Bandhopadhyay. Their association inspired Tarashankar to write novels like Raikamal.

At the age of nine Purna Das went with his father to Rajasthan to a convention, where he earned a thunderous applause and a gold medal from Acharya Binoba Bhave. In 1942 he joined Akashbani (All India Radio) Calcutta as a Class A guest artist on invitation from the Station Director, without any audition.

Since 1960 he has attended nearly 200 national radio conferences covering most of the radio stations through out India.

From 1964 to 1980 he was sponsored by the field publicity department of the Ministry of Broadcasting. Purna Das was invited to perform as a guest artist of the government of India in various locations throughout India.

In 1967 he was awarded the title Baul Samrat (The King of Baul) by the President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, in the year 1967.

Purna Das has also been involved with movie and theater productions, since 1958, as an important playback singer and actor in a number of Bengali films and theater plays.

In the 1960s, Purna Das Baul’s free-spirited nature and amazing vocal abilities found him in the company of prominent Westerners such as Bob Dylan, poet Allen Ginsburg and Mick Jagger. Today he is known as the most popular of all Baul performers, and has many international recordings to his credit. He is passing on his original songs and traditional Baul melodies to his three sons, with whom he actively performs on a regular basis.


Spiritual Songs of India (Chhanda Dhara)
The Bauls of Bengal (CramWorld, 1994)
Bengali Folk Songs (Saregama, 1995)
Songs of Love & Ecstasy (Womad Select, 1996)
Songs of the Madmen (Kali Mandir)
Ancient Mother: Kali Puja (White Swan, 2004)


Artist Profiles: Paban Das Baul

Paban Das Baul

Paban Das Baul is a Westernized baul who speaks several languages, including Bengali, Hindi, English and French. He is also an accomplished painter.

As well as a singer, Paban is a virtuoso of the dubki, a small but loud tambourine. He also plays the dotara – a small, fretless lute; the ektara, a one-string instrument; a high-frequency bell; and a pitch-shifting drum called the khomuk.


Real Sugar (Real World, 1997)
Inner Knowledge (Womad Select, 1997)
State of Bengal vs. Paban Das Baul (Real World, 2004)
Tana Tani – Push & Pull (Real World, 2004)
Music Of The Honey Gatherers (Riverboat Records)


Artist Profiles: Nabani Das Baul

Nabani Das Baul was a great Yogi who composed music for Rabindranath Tagore’s poems and wrote many songs. It is through him that Tagore became so deeply interested in the Baul movement.

In popularizing the music of the Baul, Nabani das Baul opened the doors for his people to the world. He brought them from the huts where they resided in rural Bengal to the spotlight where their wonderful talents and beautiful songs gained the notoriety and recognition they deserved.


The Baul


The Baul are mystic minstrels, traditional poets, singers, and storytellers, from Bengal (eastern India and Bangladesh). With their flowing saffron robes, long jet black hair, rolling eyes and swaying hips, they sing in their high keening voices to the frenzied accompaniment of their traditional instruments.

The Baul movement, at its peak in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, has now regained popularity among the rural population of Bangladesh. Their music and way of life have influenced a large segment of Bengali culture, and particularly the compositions of Nobel Prize laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

Bauls live either near a village or travel from place to place and earn their living from singing to the accompaniment of the ektara, the lute dotara, a simple one-stringed instrument, and a drum called dubki. Bauls belong to an unorthodox devotional tradition, influenced by Hinduism, Buddhism, Bengali, Vasinavism and Sufi Islam, yet distinctly different from them.

Bauls neither identify with any organized religion nor with the caste system, special deities, temples or sacred places. Their emphasis lies on the importance of a person’s physical body as the place where God resides. Bauls are admired for this freedom from convention as well as their music and poetry. Baul poetry, music, song and dance are devoted to finding humankind’s relationship to God, and to achieving spiritual liberation. Their devotional songs can be traced back to the fifteenth century when they first appeared in Bengali literature.

Baul music represents a particular type of folk song, carrying influences of Hindu bhakti movements as well as the shuphi, a form of Sufi song. Songs are also used by the spiritual leader to instruct disciples in Baul philosophy, and are transmitted orally. The language of the songs is continuously modernized thus endowing it with contemporary relevance.

The preservation of the Baul songs and the general context in which they are performed depend mainly on the social and economic situation of their practitioners, the Bauls, who have always been a relatively marginalized group. Moreover, their situation has worsened in recent decades due to the general impoverishment of rural Bangladesh.

Sources: Babukishan and UNESCO


Artist profiles: Akkas Fakir

Akkas Fakir is also an extremely popular Fakiri singer and Khol player from Nadia district of West Bengal. Akkas primarily sings the songs of Lalan Shah Fakir, a true propagator of Baul philosophy from Kushtia district, Bangladesh. Typically, his songs express sentiments of love and universal brotherhood.


Introducing Sufi Fakirs Of Bengal (Introducing, INTRO117DD, 2012)


Artist Profiles: Babu Fakir

Babu Fakir specializes in Qawwali and Baul/Fakiri songs and is an extremely powerful singer in Fakiri music. Through Qawwali repertoire, he maitains a hundred year old oral tradition that praises both Allah and Lord Krishna. As a Dotara player, he is also renowned for his Kirtan repertoires.


Introducing Sufi Fakirs Of Bengal (Introducing, INTRO117DD, 2012)