Top Indian Pop Bands & Singers that Ruled Our Hearts Forever

Author: Biswadeep Ghosh Hazra

Colonial Cousins

Genre: Pop, Rock
Fusing Indian and Western music.

Colonial Cousins was formed by the legendary duo – Hariharan, the lead singer and Leslie Lewis, the composer.

They started collaborating in 1992 by fusing Indian and Western music. Ever since the two came together, they have done jingles, albums, live shows and playback singing and are now into film music composing.

This twosome is often cited as an example of fusion done right — where Hariharan’s deep and free-flowing vocals and Leslie’s innovative jazz arrangements create varied emotions in listeners’ hearts.

Lucky Ali

Genre: Indi-Pop, Bollywood, Folk
Once ruled the pop charts

Lucky Ali is a man who needs no introduction. The singer, is widely known for his songs O Sanam, Tere Mere Saath, Jaane Kya Dhoondta Hai, and Mausam, among many others.

His songs speak a unique language, they’re invigorating, soul-stirring and paired with his husky voice, the guy can truly teleport you to a different dimension. It was this distinctive music style and untrained voice he became known for – elements that helped him emerge as a leading figure in Indipop during the period.

Alisha Chinai

Genre: Indian Pop
The “Indian Madonna”

Alisha Chinai was a leading pop singer, who can be given the credit for bringing the trend of pop music to India.

Alisha’s initial foray into the music industry was through her album, Jadoo, the music for which was composed by Anu Malik. She also had another album titled “Babydoll”.

She had many disco hits within many films in the 1980s including “Tarzan”, Dance Dance, Commando, Guru, Love Love Love etc, and by the 1990s she had become known as the ‘Queen of Indipop’.


Genre: Hindi Rock
A favourite of millions

A favourite of millions, this band’s music is quirky and quite awesome to be frank. Dr. Palash Sen, the band’s front man has definitely come a long way since the its formation in the country’s capital, Delhi in 1988.

The favorite sound tracks from this band are Mehfuz (Re Dhoom), Maaeri (Re Dhoom), Aana Meri Gully (2003) and Dhoom Pichuk (1998).

This band has mastered the tempo in its own way which captivates their audiences.

Sonu Nigam

Genre: Indi-Pop, Classical, Playback, Semi-classical

Perhaps there is not even a single person born in the 80’s and 90’s who did not hear Sonu Nigam’s mellifluous voice and even now we continue to hear his songs.

A gifted child, Nigam started singing by the tender age of 4 and started recording for films by 19.

Some of his famous songs are Sandese Aate Hai (Film: Border 1997), Sau Dard and Mere Haath Mein (Fanaa 2006) and Love is a Waste of Time (Pk 2014). My personal favorite Sonu song is Aajnabi Seher Mein (Jaan-e-Mann 2006) as it is very soul stirring

Indian Ocean

Genre: Fusion, Rock, Folk
Considered as one of the greatest bands in India

Indian Ocean is considered as one of the greatest bands in India and the pioneers of fusion rock in the country.

Formed at New Delhi in 1990, this band has reached its pinnacle a few years back with hit songs like Bandeh (Film: Black Friday, 2004).

Their celebrated bassist Rahul Ram lent his voice to many films like Gulaal and D-Day. Some of the songs worth mentioning are Sone ki Nagri (16/330 Khajoor Road, 2011), Kandisa (Kandisa, 2000) and many others.

Usha Uthup

Genre: Pop
Her deep voice coupled with music earned her many accolades

Born in Bombay in a Tamil Brahmin family, Usha actually hails from Chennai.

She pioneered the Indian pop in her own unique style which very few musicians have been able to achieve. Her deep voice coupled with music earned her many accolades; she sang at night bars previously and now does playback singing for many films including Don2, Disco Dancer, 7 Khoon Maaf and many others.

Silk Route

Genre: Folk Rock, Blues
acclaimed for adding a distinct touch to their music

They have always been acclaimed for adding a distinct touch to their music by using acoustic guitars, talking drums and harmonica and primarily by the use of Recorder, a 17th-century European folk musical instrument played by Kem Trivedi.

Citing Simon and Garfunkel and Dire Straits as their influences, Silk Route have bagged several major awards like Best Debut’, ‘Best Music Video’ and ‘Best Indian Group’ which helped them solidify their names and achieve notable mainstream success

Bombay Vikings

Genre: Pop, Rock, Filmi
Uunusual style of blending of classical Bollywood and European music genres.

The band caused quite a sensation in India with their unusual style of blending of classical Bollywood and European music genres. In no time, they got immensely popular and it helped them surge the popularity chart in India and abroad.

One of the major reasons for their popularity was that they were the first musical group from India to produce songs in the youth’s language; Hinglish.


Genre: Progressive Rock, World Carnatic Music
Taken the world music scenario by storm.

A relatively recent one in the Indian music scenario, this band has taken the world music scenario by storm.

Formed in Kochi in 1996 their infusion of rock and Indian carnatic music is mind blowing.

If you have not heard them before just give them a try. Songs worth mentioning are Disillusioned (2001), Fields of Sound , Broken, and Maktub (Maktub 2008). Music transcends our soul; you’ll definitely get this feeling after hearing Motherjane.

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