Sunday, May 26, 2024

“Kumaoni Folk Sensation: Kamla Devi Invited to Coke Studio Global TV programme at 50”


Kamla Devi, a 50-year-old folk singer, hails from the village of Lakhni in the Bageshwar district Uttarakhand. She has been invited to participate in the second season of Coke Studio India. She is the first folk artist from Uttarakhand to be invited to this show.

Passion for culture

Living in a simple mud house, Kamla Devi depends on performances in nearby villages and her husband’s daily wage labor for livelihood. Despite being recognized as an ‘A-grade artist’ by the Cultural Department of Uttarakhand, she shared the challenges she faces. While emphasizing her dedication to preserving Kumaoni culture through traditional folk songs, Devi said, “I learned folk singing from my father, Bir Ram, who used to sing traditional songs during ‘jagar’ ceremonies. Watching him sing ignited a passion in me to become an artist despite the challenges.”

Kamla Devi’s Journey

She mentioned receiving 5-6 local shows and approximately two shows per year from the State Cultural Department. “I usually earn between Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 3,000 from local shows. I performed in two shows for the State Cultural Department last year, but I haven’t been paid yet. My husband, Gopal Ram, helps fulfill our household needs. Despite these financial difficulties, I have never stopped singing. It is my passion to keep folk art in its original form by using traditional tunes.”

Invitation from Coke Studio

Upon receiving an invitation from Coke Studio, she expressed happiness and gratitude, stating that the platform gave her an opportunity to showcase her hard work. “After seeing me sing on my YouTube channel ‘Kamla Devi Lok Gayika,’ they contacted me. They asked me to record two songs in a studio in Haldwani and extended me the final invitation. I will probably go to their studio in Mumbai after February,” Devi said.

Her husband, Gopal Ram, who was accompanying her to Mumbai, remarked, “Now that she will be featured on a TV show, people will become aware of our culture on a global level.”

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