Rasiya songs are sung in the regional Hindi dialect of Brajbhasha, and are performed in a variety of styles, ranging from unpretentious women's songs to group performances by semi-professional akharas (clubs) of men, who sing in a more elaborate style with sophisticated and varied poetic meters and texts on a wide range of topics. Folk-pop rasiyas have also been widely marketed on cassettes since the 1980s, and on mp3 discs since then. While a wide range of melodies are used, a core set of familiar tunes recurs, and serves as a primary feature distinguishing the genre. Rasiya texts are typically amatory, often portraying the bashful country girl being teased by a man (the rasiya - often implicitly Krishna, the playful cowherd). Rasiya texts, however, can also be devotional paeans to Krishna Gopal, or, in the case of cassette rasiyas, they may be downright smutty and are accordingly controversial.
Notable Rasiya singers
- Manuel, Peter (1993). "Cassette Culture: Popular Music and Technology in North India." Chicago: University of Chicago Press. See chapter 9.