Click here to expand and collapse the player

Bhi Bhiman

Rate It! Avg: 5.0 (2 ratings)
  • Years Active: 2000s


Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

All Music Guide:

The son of Sri Lankan immigrants, one-of-a-kind folksinger and songwriter Bhi Bhiman (he was named after a character in the Mahabharata) spent his childhood in St. Louis, Missouri, and began playing guitar when he was nine years old. As a teen he fell under the influence of bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains, but as he began to write his own songs, full of joyous wordplay and sharp humor, he began to sound more like Bob Dylan or Woody Guthrie, and he developed an utterly unique, Americana-fueled style that turned on his remarkable, Nina Simone-like voice. Relocating to the Bay Area, Bhiman began to establish himself on the local circuit, and released an album, Cookbook, in 2007. His songwriting style, which ranged from political to personal, continued to evolve, and his second album, simply called Bhiman and released early in 2012, marked the arrival of an artist fully formed and drew comparison to songwriters like Randy Newman, Dylan, John Prine, and Phil Ochs, although his sharp observations, puns, characters, and approach were wonderfully his own.


Bhi Bhiman is a first-generation Sri Lankan-American folk-rock recording artist whose voice and songwriting have been favorably compared to Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen. His first album, Cookbook, came out in 2008. His second album, Bhiman, was released in January 2012.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Early life[edit]

Bhi Ramesvara Bhiman was born and raised in St. Louis, MO. Bhiman has an older brother, Arj Ramesvara Arjunan. In the Hindu epic Mahabarata, Bhima and Arjuna are two of the Pandava brothers, known for their strength and unmatched warrior skills.

Bhiman had an all-American childhood that he has referred to as "a sort of Brown Norman Rockwell existence with lots of running around in creeks and playing baseball". He played in the city's most competitive leagues from ages 7–17, often traveling for tournaments including trips to The Dominican Republic, Hawaii, and Australia.

When Bhiman was 13, an injury during a tournament in Paducah, KY, kept him off the field for six months. He passed the time playing his brother's guitar and discovered a strong musical sensibility. As a teenager, Bhiman played electric guitar, and fell in love with hard rock bands like ACDC and Black Sabbath as well as Seattle's grunge scene. He has cited Soundgarden's Kim Thayil (who is Indian-American) as a particularly important musical influence.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).


It was not until Bhiman's time at the University of California Santa Cruz that he began to explore singing and writing songs. He formed the band Hippie Grenade in 2002 and eventually moved to San Francisco with the band to pursue music more seriously.

In 2008, Bhiman left Hippie Grenade to focus on his solo career. In 2011, he began work on what would be his first nationally distributed album. The bulk of the record was tracked at Tiny Telephone Studios in San Francisco. Following those sessions, Bhiman finished the album with producer Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter, Langhorn Slim) at the Great North Sound Society in Parsonsfield, Maine. Bhiman was released in 2012 and earned rave reviews from publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and esteemed rock critic Robert Christgau of NPR's All Things Considered.

Bhiman is currently working on a covers EP that will be released in early 2013.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

eMusic Features


New This Week: Cloud Nothings, Craig Finn and More

By J. Edward Keyes, Editor-in-Chief

The first HUGE new release day of 2012, so strap in and get ready for a pretty comprehensive rundown! Dave Sumner's got your jazz picks, and I've got the rest. Here we go! Cloud Nothings, Attack on Memory: ALBUM OF THE DAY. Dylan Baldi grows up in a nanosecond, making a snarling rock record that hurtles forward with the speed and fury of a meteor. The sonic touchstones here are '90s emo greats like Jawbreaker, the… more »