Barkat Khan is 60, when one hears his powerful, resonating voice it makes them feel the serenity in his music. Simple, and hardworking, Barkat Khan’s songs are deep rooted in the Rajasthani folk music. According to Barkat Khan, classical music is derived from folk music but the ‘riyaaz’ is more flexible and there can be many variations to it. Barkat Khan has been singing since the age of 11 and like most of the Manganiyaars, music is imbibed and transferred from one generation to the other in his family. Even though Barkat Khan is not educated, as he says that there were hardly any schools in this region of Jaisalmer when he was a kid, his knowledge about music is unmeasurable and unconquered. Themes for his songs are mostly devotional bhajans dedicated to Gods like Shiva and Lord Krishna, and he uses a variety of Raagas in his songs, like Bilawal and Shubh. All the group members are well trained in instruments like Dholak, Khartaal, which are the main percussion instruments and Harmonium for melody.
Barkhat Khan has performed all over India and has also spent a considerable time abroad. He lived in Moscow for 3 months at a circus, and has also lived for 4 years in Europe. He has also travelled to US and says that the payments are good enough to sustain a living. When asked about the current situation of folk music, he says that folk music is endangered these days due to the influx of popular Bollywood songs. Barkhat Khan adds that folk music requires a lot of energy to sing, as the complex raagas like Khamaj, Bhairavi, Sorath require powerful vocals, and which should be produced straight from one’s heart and breath. Barkhat Khan’s father was a poet and a story teller, who has composed many poems with themes like various stages in the life of a man.
Themes for this groups’s songs are mostly devotional bhajans dedicated to Gods like Shiva and Lord Krishna, and he uses a variety of Raagas in his songs, like Bilawal and Shubh. All the group members are well trained in instruments like Dholak, Khartaal, which are the main percussion instruments and Harmonium for melody. The group is an energetic bunch of musicians who live for music. While the themes in their songs are mostly devotional, but the traditions associated with the songs are very old, and are capable of evoking a huge range of human emotions. They believe in conserving and imparting this folk music to the future generations and is really passionate about preserving this folk music in its pure form. They are concerned about the future of this folk music and believes that they need good people and patrons for promoting this art, they say that the Government should help them for their upliftment. They want the future generations to revive this art.