Born on 3 January 1928 in Kalimpong in Darjeeling district of West Bengal, Shri Sonam Tshering
Lepcha learnt music and dance at a young age.
He was the first to sing Lepcha songs on All India Radio in 1960, and has been a successful public performer over the past four decades. He has also composed and compiled Lepcha songs, researched on Lepcha musical instruments, and presented dance-dramas based on Lepcha folklore which are popular all over Sikkim. He has also published Vom Jat Ling Chhyo, a book of Lepcha folk songs in 2011.
Shri Lepcha has been honoured by the people and institutions of the region for his dedicated work in preserving and promoting Lepcha culture. He is a recipient of the Nur Mayel Kohom, and the Nur Mayel award given by the Indigenous Lepcha Tribal Association in 1973. He was honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1995. The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri in 2007.
Shri Sonam Tshering Lepcha is elected Tagore Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi for his contribution to Indian music.