Joi Barua: An Underrated Assamese Singer Who Created His Own Genre

Despite being underrated in Assam, Joi Barua has proven himself internationally. Let’s explore his musical journey, which brings us closer to his aesthetic genre.

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Joi Barua, a not-so-familiar name among the youth and millennials in Assam, still made it to Bollywood and has proven himself internationally with a unique taste in music.

An artist who is deeply passionate about his work and considers music as his only true love. The people of Assam are proud to have produced an artist who, while representing Assam in all its forms, constantly chooses to remain closer to his roots. Joi Barua has contributed his voice to numerous Bollywood songs and has worked as a composer and vocalist. He is a successful name overseas as well.

Celebrated fusion artist Joi Baruah is a proud native of Digboi, Assam. Many upcoming musicians have been inspired by the pioneer of modern rock and soul in the Assamese music industry, with his lively and distinctive blend of melodies. He is an honest artist that strives to always elevate his roots, a passionate person who is totally devoted to his profession.

The beginning

Like most of the artists, Joi explored his musical journey, starting with classical. When he picked up his violin at the age of 4 and gradually started participating in school competitions only to bring the trophy home, a spark was ignited that further ablazed his musical spirit.
Sister Mabilia, his school principal, recognized his passion and always motivated him to pursue his ambition. He considers her his first guru.
Although introduced to music through classical, Joi found his interest inclined towards western. He started listening to jazz, rock, and blues, and legendary bands like The Beatles, Eagles, Iron Maiden, and U2 inspired him a lot. His personal style reflects the huge influence of jazz, soul, and rock.

Joi lived in music and never considered making music his career. A real artist who lives and breathes what he does. He first relocated to Delhi, but the mayhem there was too much for his free spirit, so in order to support himself, he traveled to Mumbai, where he was mentored by Zubeen and first exposed to the world of recording studios—which was in and of itself a dream come true for him.

Jingles all the way

It’s quite interesting how advertising jingles paved the way for his musical journey and introduced him to the world of playback singing. He started his career by singing jingles for Vodafone, Club Mahindra, Reliance, LG, Nescafe, etc., gradually setting his foot on background singing for several Bollywood movies. Munna Bhai MBBS, Dev D, Zindagi na milegi dobara, Udaan, and several others helped to showcase his playback singing skills.

Quite recently he was able to charm everyone with his tracks from the movie Laila Majnu with its famous title track O’Meri Laila.

Joi started the ‘Pride’ project on his own initiative, releasing multiple tunes that celebrated the glory and cultural legacy of Assam. People all throughout the world adore his song “Rabha,” which is based on Bishnu Rabha.

Joi Barua and The band

Joi and his four other band members started the band Joi and launched the album titled Joi: Looking Out of the Window, consisting of eight tracks. He received the Best Debut award for the album at Big Music Awards, Guwahati. Aikon Baikhon gained a lot of popularity with its music video as well.

The influential Assamese track Tejimola brought a wave of modern rock to Assamese music, and the heavy vocabs of Joi Barua’s songs have always been the talk of the town. He never misses the opportunity to surprise his listeners with rich and deeply meaningful songs.

The band has performed several songs for the documentary Riders of the Mist, among which Pitol Soku is quite popular.

His Personal insights and outlook

Joi Barua never saw himself as a musician trying to make a living or push himself. He always considered it a means of expressing himself. A space to flow without any barriers. For Joi, music is a path, a voyage. He claims that an artist returns to his roots more deeply the larger the artist becomes. He has always concentrated on producing upbeat Assamese music and fusing folk with amazing jazz and rock fusions.

Joi Barua has a special relationship with Assamese emerging artists and pays them the invaluable attention they need to support them throughout their careers. Renowned vocalist Shankuraj is among his close associates.

International projects

A dreamer and a maverick. Joi Baruah has always been an unstoppable wave of authenticity and passion. He stepped into the world of music with his own unique identity and never looked back.

He has received numerous recognitions for his collaborative projects overseas. Joi has worked with American and Australian musicians and co-composed original songs for the album initiated by Dr. Susan Lim. He has even received the award for Best Composer in the 9th Edition of the Chicago Indie Film Awards for the music video for ‘New World Order’.


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