Baul Singer Rathin Kisku

Rathin Kisku is a singer of Baul, a traditional type of Bengali and Santali folk music. In West Bengal he has become known through appearances at festivals and in concerts; he has also performed on radio and television.

First artistic successes
His first commercially-produced CDs were issued at the Max Müller Bhavan (Goethe Institute) in Kolkata. Since then several CDs have appeared in the shops, and he has also received many prizes for his work. A video clip on Youtube shows him and his band performing at one of their many concerts.

In Europe he appeared in a 2005 Arte programme about India. In that year and again in 2008 he travelled through Europe, accompanied by Martin Kämpchen, visiting several towns and cities in Germany and Austria and entertaining his enthusiastic audiences with Baul and Santali songs.

The stony path to success
Rathin Kisku was born in 1984 in a Santal village near Ghosaldanga and Bishnubati. Since leaving school he has worked together on the village projects and is in close contact with all the project workers. He has cooperated in nearly all cultural programmes which the village associations have staged in the villages and elsewhere.

Rathin Kisku's path to becoming a recognized Baul singer (see pdf in Englisch) was not smooth. He dropped out of school early and thus found himself with no qualifications and, at first, with no perspectives for the future. Martin Kämpchen, however, recognized his musical talent and supported his singing training. Thanks to a grant provided by a German patroness he was able to take up his schooling again and finish it. At present he lives with his wife Doli and their two sons Rahul and Ratul in Bolpur.