Father: Ustad Rana Khan
Some lesser known facts about Mame Khan
- Mame Khan is a Rajasthani folk singer known for her Sufi and folk music performances. His first Bollywood break was Bawre, after which his fame increased further. He is also known for his famous Rajasthani song Kesaria Balam.
- He started singing at an early age and joined his tribe, performing at childbirth, weddings and other related ceremonies. He used to sing at the annual festivals in his school since childhood and received awards for singing the national anthem and the patriotic song Ae Mere Watan Ke Logan.
- Khan was originally a dholak player who belongs to the Manganiyar community who have been following the singing tradition for 14 generations. They follow a unique style of singing called Jhagra which includes instruments like Khartal and Kamaicha.
- Both his father and uncle were great musicians and he learned singing by listening to him and practicing it under his guidance. His father also taught him to cook which Mam still loves to do.
- He was about 10 or 11 years old when he gave a musical performance with his clan for former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on Independence Day.
- In 1999, he went on a world tour to Belgium and forgot his dholak there. After returning, he could not perform without it for a week. After this his dholak was returned. After this incident, his maternal uncle’s father advised him to take up singing as a profession.
- In 2006, Mame worked as a vocalist in a band called Manganiyar Seduction, which was produced by Roystein Abel. In this band he performed more than 100 shows around the world.
- He used to give singing performances at events and once Ila went to sing at Arun’s daughter’s wedding. Someone noticed him and recommended his name to Shankar Mahadevan who is a famous musician. He signed her to sing a song in the film Luck By Chance in 2009. The song was Baawre and Hrithik Roshan sang this song in the film.
- He soon became a well-known singer and gave his first performance outside the country in Central Park, New York. In his career, he has sung songs with his tribe in more than 60 countries.
- In October 2015, Khan released his crowd-funded debut album Mame Khan’s Desert Sessions. In the same year, he also sang the national anthem for the 2015 Pro Kabaddi League season of Star Sports and Hotstar.
- She has also sung songs like Aitbaar and Chakora for films like Nobody Killed Jessica (2011) and Mirzya (2016).
- In 2016, his album Summer Nights on the Dunes was released under the Living Media label. In December 2016, he released a single, Sanu Ik Pal Chain Na Aawe, in which he combined Rajasthani and Punjabi folk music styles. In 2017, he released another album No. 1 Yaari Jam under the label of Salim-Sulaiman.
- As per Manganiyar traditions, singers are not expected to sing alone, but Mame became famous in the industry with her solo performances. He said that folk singers do not get their due credit in the film industry and it is really difficult for Manganiyar singers to earn recognition and fame. He also spoke about what music means to his community and said,
For us music is like mathematics. We keep these calculations in mind while performing.’
- Apart from his traditional Manganiyar style, he is also known for his Sufi style of singing. He is an admirer of Sufi poets like Meera Bai, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, Baba Ghulam Farid, Kabir and Bulleh Shah and loves to render songs in his touch.
- He became the first folk singer from India to walk the Cannes 2022 red carpet. He also sang a song during the opening ceremony of the Indian Pavilion at the 75th Cannes Film Festival on 18 May. During this program he sang a Rajasthani folk song on which Tamannaah, Urvashi Rautela, Deepika Padukone and Pooja Hegde dance together.
- He has been a part of My Country, My Music which was a folk music project by Shankar Mahadevan. He has also performed at popular Indian festivals such as Repertwahar Festival, NH7 Weekender, Mood Indigo, Sahitya Aaj Tak and Rajasthan Partnership Summit.