Pempo Khan and his clique of musicians and singers come from the Manganiyar community of the Pokhran region in Jaisalmer. Pokhran region is quite popular for its history of being a testing site for nuclear weapons in India. This clearly means that life is not very easy in this region especially due to the extreme climate in the region. These artists come from humble backgrounds within the region and have formed a group that performs at various venues and occasions.
They have the support of Royal families of Rajasthan as well such as the Rathore family of Senawaran near Pokhran. This relationship of the Manganiyar group and their patrons represents a long history of deep connections between the Rajputs and the Manganiyars. Manganiyars always play music at every auspicious occasion for the Rajputs such as wedding ceremonies and festivals.
Pempo Khan himself is deeply knowledgable about classical music and its components such as the ragas. He has gained this knowledge with the help of his father and passes it on to his children as their guru. He loves to sing the ‘Bhairavi’ raga, which can be sung at any time of the day. His talents and abilities show the true meaning of brilliance and dexterity. Using these abilities and a display of various emotions through his music, Pempo Khan wants to make an impact on to the Manganiyar community’s presence in the world of music. The group also likes to work with different instruments and styles of music. They have played and composed a few songs along with western instruments such as guitar.
All of these artists, despite receiving the support of the royal Rajput families that reside in the region have to work in different professions during the offseason to get the financial support needed to feed their families. Through their musical talents, they wish to pursue a career in music and promote the Manganiyar culture across the world and create a sustainable environment wherein these musicians can work with their art forms and prosper.