PHUMMAṆ SIṄGH, BHĀĪ, famous as a rāgī or musician reciting Sikh hymns, was born in a Jaṭṭ Sikh family of Daudhar in present-day Mogā district of the Punjab in the sixties of the nineteenth century. He learnt to read Scripture and recite kīrtan at the Derā or seminary established at Daudhar in 1859 by Sant Suddh Siṅgh. Having acquired notable proficiency in vocal as well as in instrumental music, he went to Amritsar where, accompanied at the tablā or pair of drums by Bhāī Harsā Siṅgh of Saṭhiālā village in Amritsar district, he performed Won at Srī Darbār Sāhib (the Golden Temple) for some time. After short stints in the courts of the rulers of Paṭiālā and Nābhā, Phummaṇ Siṅgh went in 1885 to Hyderābād where he served as a musician at the Nizām's court but, having been nurtured in the Sikh religious tradition, he did not feel at home in that environment and soon moved to Nāndeḍ where he first joined the jathā or choir of Rāgī Gulāb Siṅgh who performed kīrtan at Takht Sachkhaṇḍ Srī Hazūr Sāhib, and then himself became the head musician. Bhāī Harsā Siṅgh, who had joined him at Amritsar, continued to be his companion at tablā. Bhāī Phummaṇ Siṅgh was well versed in several instruments, especially tāūs, dilrubā, kānūn, sitar and harmonium. He was skilled in many rāgas or classical measures of Indian music, but his favourites were Darbārī, Kānaṛā and Mālkāuṅs. Nizām 'Usmān 'Alī of Hyderābād was his great admirer and, whenever he passed through Nāndeḍ, he would halt at the railway station to listen to his kīrtan.
Bhāī Phummaṇ Siṅgh was married sometime after his arrival at Nāndeḍ, but he died issueless in 1928.
Nirvair Siṅgh Arshī