Ruby Singh’s Power of 10

As we gear up for the 10th anniversary of Indian Summer Festival, we’ve invited 10 ISF alumni to name 10 artists that inspire them. 

Anyone who has experienced ISF has likely felt the sonic magic that Ruby Singh creates. Over the years, ISF has been fortunate to have him as a constant force of creativity, and has been proud to present his musical conversations with artists from all over Turtle Island and around the world. Here is Ruby Singh sharing ten South Asian artists who have influenced and inspired his music. Check it out! 

Pandit Ravi Shankar

Without a doubt, opened the West’s ears to Classical Hindustani Music.

Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Brought Qawwali music to the international stage with his incredible voice and collaborations with the likes of Peter Gabriel.

Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia

One of the artists I listen to the most in the world – the breath of the gods descend through this man and makes its way out into the world through stunning melodies. 


“Pull up the people, pull up the poor” need I say more? Ok, I will. Fierce Tamil MC hailing from London working the likes of Diplo to create grooves that shake dancefloors the world over.

SD Burman

One of the most influential Bollywood film music composers, his compositions have been sung by Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, Kishore KumarAsha Bhosle and many other legends. I literally listen to his work every day in one way or another. 

AR Rahman

A prolific music composer and producer, Rahman’s work blends Indian Classical with Electronic and traditional orchestral arrangements.

Gurdas Maan

One of the greatest Punjabi singers and songwriters of our age. When you have multiple generations singing along to your songs, you know you’ve made an undeniable impact on the world.

Lata Mangeshkar

Thought of as the “Nightingale of India”, she is one of the most recorded artists of all time, singing in over a thousand Bollywood films throughout her illustrious career.

Asha Bhosle

Bhosle’s career started in 1943 and has spanned over six decades, much like her sister Lata Mangeshkar. She has sung over 12,000 songs – she is the most recorded artist in history!

Ustad Zakir Hussain

I’ve seen him perform over the last 3 decades and have been completely blown away every single time. His collaborations and his masters of percussion tours are some of the most dynamic and breathtaking performances I’ve ever seen.

Honourable mentions

Bobby Friction: BBC Host

This man has been bringing cutting edge South Asian sounds to the world for decades through his work at BBC.

Panjabi MC

When you work with one of the biggest names in music the world over, Jay Z, and combine that with one of the most popular 80’s theme songs, you are bound to make hits that play in clubs and weddings for decades on end. 

Anoushka Shankar

Continuing her father’s legacy of excellence, she is incredible to see live and her collaborations have been out of this world!

Listen to a playlist with Ruby Singh’s Power of 10 on Spotify


About Ruby Singh

Ruby Singh is an interdisciplinary artist and facilitator currently residing on unceded Coast Salish Territories, Vancouver BC. Ruby’s work meets at the intersection of social justice and the arts, and for the past 14 years he has been growing his understanding of anti-oppression and empowerment work. He has created and led hundreds of programs and trainings with youth and adults. Ruby brings a focused presence, strong leadership skills and a contagious enthusiasm, which effectively engages, inspires and guides participants.

Watch his performance at #ISF2019 with PiQSIQ