12 Indian Classical Musicians Whose Covers of Bollywood & Pop Songs Are Amazing

In case you’re tired of your personal playlist which, unfortunately, has no new music because there are no new films, we have a solution for you. Cover artists. Musicians who perform their own rendition of our favourite songs. Except, these are no ordinary cover artists who stand in front of a mic and sing popular songs. These are instrumentalists of classical music who have used their classical instruments — veena/sitar/tabla/flute/violin — to recreate iconic pop songs and Bollywood tracks. Check these out, and thank us later:

1. Antara Bhattacharya’s Sitar Cover of Laal Ishq+Agar Tum Saath Ho

In this remarkable Valentine’s special, sitarist Antara Bhattacharya has used her skills to cover two of the most beautiful songs with her sitar. The classical instrument only makes it sound more gorgeous, and I could play this song all day, on repeat. More power to you, girl!

2. Krutarth Shitut’s Tabla Cover of Dil Diya Gallan

Krutarth is obviously talented, and his tabla adds a folksy feel to this otherwise pop-Bollywood song. The vibe of the song changes, and this cover is perfect to listen to on a chill Sunday afternoon, with a nice cuppa chai obviously. Follow Krutarth for more great tabla songs.

3. Divyansh Shrivastava’s Flute Cover of Kabir Singh’s Songs

We absolutely love, love this mashup cover. Divyansh’s music makes us feel like we’re in paradise and everywhere around us is just music and beautiful trees and a waterfall nearby…okay, I kinda got lost in his flute’s melody. Hit play, close your eyes, and I guarantee that you’ll lose yourself in the music.

4. Veena Srivani’s Veena Cover of Ghoomar

Veena Srivani needs no introduction; she’s a well renowned musician who has been playing the Veena since she was seven years old. She’s popular for both, her carnatic melodies and covers of pop and Bollywood hits. We love this cover of Ghoomar, but you should definitely also check out her cover mashup of Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You+Urvasi by AR Rahman!

5. Kushmita KC’s Cover of Tujhe Kitna Chahane

They say that the violin is one of the toughest instruments to play, but Kushmita KC is seen playing it with such ease and such grace, that this video will make you feel like picking up a violin and playing it immediately. We love her covers, and this one of Tujhe Kitna Chahane is one of our faves, hands down.

6. Wageshan’s Veena cover of Love Me Like You Do

The point of covering songs is to take a popular song, turn it around while retaining its natural melody, and make it your own. Which is exactly what Wagheshan does with Ellie Goulding’s Love Me Like You Do. His Veena cover is so fresh and fun to listen to that it feels like an original, almost. We love!

7. Aayansh Rajotia’s Tabla cover of Khairiyat

Aayansh Rajotia’s cover of Khairiyat is so fun, full of life, and simply stunning to the ear. It gives the otherwise slow song a nice kick, filling it with a nice, classical energy that can only be induced by the gorgeous, sharp beats that the Tabla makes. Follow Aayansh for more such cool covers.

8. Sumit Singh Padam’s Sitar Cover of Tere Liye

Sumit Singh Padam is a professional sitarist who hails from a family of musicians. However, he teaches us how music is eternal; how even a classical instrument can imbue a popular film song with renewed life. This sitar cover of Tere Liye from Veer-Zara will always remain one of my favourites. The music is enchanting and creates a soothing effect within the listener. Listen to this song at the start of your day, and it will pakka be a great one.

9. Binesh Babu’s Violin Cover of Zara Zara

Get a handkerchief because you WILL tear up while listening to Binesh Babu’s rendition of Zara Zara. I mean, it’s already such a beautiful song but Babu’s violin dances its way through the tune. Melodious would be an understatement; this cover is smooth as silk and just ear candy for the listener. Like, follow and subscribe to Binesh Babu because it’s not everyday that we come across such incredible artists.

10. Shobhit Banwait’s Tabla Cover of Lamberghini

I bet you never expected an electro-pop Punjabi dance number like Lamberghini to be granted a classical cover. Well, that’s not the only surprising thing about Shobhit Banwait’s Tabla version — the other surprising thing is how talented the young artist is! The taal is super upbeat and fun and the entire cover is a great song to listen to. Check him out and tell us what you think.

11. Dr Jayanthi Kumaresh’s Veena Cover of the Game of Thrones Title

Dr Jayanthi Kumaresh is one of India’s foremost Veena players who has performed all over the world, has won 20 awards (both nationally and internationally) and holds a doctorate degree for her work on “styles and playing techniques of the Saraswati veena” and conducts workshops and lecture demonstrations around the world. But you realise just how cool she is when you watch her ‘Cup o Carnatic Fun Series’ on YouTube, where she covers music from popular culture with her incredible Veena-playing skills. We’re lucky to witness a maestro in our generation, and even luckier that Dr Jayanthi is easily accessible on the internet.

12. Nur Amira Syahira’s Drums Cover of Mere Khwabon Me Jo Aaye

Okay, I know she’s not Indian and doesn’t play a classical instrument, but this cover was just way too lit to not be included on this list. Nur Amira Syahira is a 17 year old drummer from Malaysia whose drums cover of this DDLJ hit number is just too badass. Her performance is full of life, energy, and musical skill that is way above her years. Thank God for the internet, where we can listen to amazing young artists recreate our favourite songs with such unexpected twists.

Have we missed out any of your favourite artists? Tell us on
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