Bhawaiya is a genre of North Bengal folk songs sung primarily in the Rajbanshi dialect of Bengali. The subjects are closely interwoven with the Rajbonshi community’s rural life. The songs reflect their joy, sorrow and the experience of living in harmony with nature.

Bhawaiya Artists

Nazrul Islam

Najrul Islam is an accomplished Bhawaiya artist and composer as well. Singing from a very young age, he trained under veterans like Subhash Chandra Das, Kumar Manabendra Narayan and Alauddin Sarkar. In 2002, Najrul won the state-level Bhawaiya championship for Chatka and Dariya. He also stood first in Bhawaiya at a state-level folk music competition in 2001. Nazrul has many music albums including Bhaber Bhawaiya, Bhabnadir Bhawaiya and Moner Ayna. In 2016 he worked as a playback singer in a Rajbanshi film.

Bijon Roy

Bijon Kumar Roy is a highly revered traditional Bhawaiya artist and son of legendary Bhawaiya singer Biren Roy alias Kana Biren. Playing the Dotara (a traditional string music instrument) since he was barely seven, Bijon continued to pursue music with utmost dedication even in the face of great economic hardship. His repertoire includes songs written by his father on the natural features and social dynamics of North Bengal. He along with his wife Kaushalya are a popular duo of Bhawaiya music.

Himadri Dewri

A young and promising Bhawaiya singer from Tufangunj in Coochbehar, Himadri has performed all over West Bengal and several other states of India. He stood first in West Bengal’s state-level Bhawaiya competition thrice — in 1994, 1997 and 1999. Himadri is a regular radio and TV artist. He was invited to perform in the United States by The Bangladeshi Community of New York in 2007. Himadri has music album including Bhaber Bhawaiya and Bhabnadir Bhawaiya.

Pradyut Roy

Pradyut Roy is an accomplished Bhawaiya artist who trained under renowned exponents like Dhiren Roy, Harinath Roy, Nirmal Barman and Anil Majumdar. Singing since he was a teenager, Pradyut bagged many awards in his early years and went on to stand first in Folk category of Chhatra-Yuva Utsav 2016-2017, organized by the West Bengal Government. His songs are part of two critically acclaimed albums ‘Sonar Nao’ and ‘Bhaber Bhawaiya’. Pradyot regularly performs at events across West Bengal.