Folk Luminary KC Runremsangi: A Trailblazer of Mizoram's Musical Heritage

KC Runremsangi

KC Runremsangi, a remarkable folk singer, stands as the sole female musician from Mizoram, North-East India, to secure the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2017 and the Padma Shri in 2023 within the folk music category.

Runremsangi embarked on her musical journey as a child, discovering her talent for singing and dancing at a tender age. Born in 1964 in Keitum village, Serchhip district, she serenaded her community with her melodic voice while her father, a pasaltha or warrior, and fellow villagers celebrated their hunting feats. Encouraged by her village elders and later trained by professional folk singers, Runremsangi's prowess grew, leading her to perform Mizo songs at various occasions. Her relocation to Aizawl in 1986 marked a pivotal moment as she joined All India Radio as an empanelled artist, propelling her career forward.

"My father used to make me sing even if I was crying. He was so proud of me. My father was a pasaltha. He used to hunt and when they would celebrate and be merry with drinking and dancing, I used to sing for them. So I was made familiar with folk songs from a young age and they have stayed with me till today,”- KC Runremsangi

With over 50 recorded Mizo songs spanning diverse genres, she earned accolades like the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2017. Most notably, she recently received the prestigious Padma Shri, a testament to her unwavering commitment to promoting her state's folk songs and dance forms. Runremsangi's passion for her craft is evident, as she seeks to ignite a renewed appreciation for indigenous arts among the youth, ensuring the rich cultural heritage endures through generations. Her journey is truly inspiring, and her dedication to preserving traditional art forms is commendable.