Aabha Hanjura is a name that is well known when it comes folk songs. She is a live performer, singer, composer and also the lead vocalist of a band called Sufistication which is known for its eclectic folk songs. Since appearing on Indian Idol 2, Aabha has garnered quite a fan-following for herself.
Growing up in the picturesque town of Jammu, Aabha’s voice was discovered at the age of seven by her mother. She adds, “My mother has always been a good singer. When she found me singing in my sleep, she decided to start me on formal training while teaching me Lata Mangeshkar songs at home.”
Her first tryst with formal training was with Pt Shivkumar Sharma who would teach her the advanced ragas, sargams and taans that she would practise while returning home. Her enthusiasm started to fade when her guru passed away. But, on the insistence and push from her family, Aabha auditioned for Indian Idol 2. “Before I knew it, I was already in the finals, and with it came a lot of fame and success at the age 18. Some good and bad experiences later, I realised commercial singing is not my cup of tea. Therefore I went on to build a corporate career,” this Bengaluru-based artiste adds.
But, her tryst with music was not done, she explains, “Music made its way back into my life by accident. I then went on to form Sufistication and started
performing extensively across the country.” On her inspirations, Aabha grew up listening to the works of Jagjit Singh sahab, who she feels re-invented ghazals in manner that was accessible to his fans.
On her band Sufistications she adds, “In 2014, I collaborated with some of my musician friends who really believed in the project and felt that music, which can be catergorised in to eclectic folk pop, to be very unique.”
Recently, Aabha released a single, Hukus Bukus, which is from her upcoming album Aabha Hanjura & The Sound of Kashmir. She adds, “This song is very close to my heart as my grandmother used to sing it to me as a kid. The song went viral and got about 1.5 million views. It is the first track in this language to have gone viral. This, I feel, proves that music really transcends beyond border and language.”
Aabha has also just finished a mega concert in Srinagar where over 3,000 people rocked to her tunes. Talking about the music scene there, this winner of the Best Folk Artist Award at the 6th Annual Artist Aloud Awards adds, “It was my first public gig in Srinagar and it has people from various communities singing, dancing and jiving which is something that has never happened in that valley.”
Aside from her upcoming concerts, she adds, “I am finishing up my album and prepping for the release of my next single which is quite different from Hukus Bukus.” Keeping her busy schedule in mind, Aabha finds herself busy with work most of the time. When she is free, she enjoys travelling, movies and spending time with family.