Special British talent Amrit Kaur speaks about her unique music, inspirations and the art of performing live

Universal human experiences. I have played my music around the world....

The UK has an increasing number of newly discovered treasures who are shining brightly and rewarding those lucky enough to find them in the music world.

One of these priceless artists is British singer, songwriter and sarangi player Amrit Kaur, who has entertained audiences with her multi-dimensional talent. With her natural gift for music, she makes an otherworldly connection with her listeners. The accomplished London-based artist has cleverly combined Punjabi folk, r’n’b and soul in songs, which she has performed at major festivals.

Also an educator and social entrepreneur, she has a wealth of interesting music on the way and someone you will be hearing a lot more from.

Eastern Eye caught up with Amrit to speak about music, live performance, future hopes and inspirations.

What first got you connected to music?

I will never know how to answer that. All I know is, I wanted a voice and a way to express myself. I used to pray for it, I still do. And here I am...

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How much does performing live mean to you and what has been your most memorable one?

The stage is where I come alive. I am my highest and truest self. There is nothing to hide behind. Performing at a UN General Assembly event in New York as a Global Youth Ambassador was amazing. I sang Sam Cooke’s Change Is Gonna Come and a wave of sound hit me as the whole theatre started singing with me. I love audiences who sing along. It’s all about the music.

How much does being such a great live performer inform your composing side?

I definitely write songs and music that would be perfect for a live audience. I envision it all while I’m writing and composing. I know exactly how I want the audience to feel...

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As a great sarangi player, what do you think is the future of classical music, is it to mix up with other commercial genres?

I think the keyword is accessibility. There is still a stigma around classical music of all types – that it is costly, elitist, boring and your future is to be a soloist or join an orchestra of sorts. We are surrounded by classical music all the time; the movie scores we hear, soundtracks on Netflix series we binge, or the Indian classical that you hear on ‘ambient’ yoga playlists on Spotify.

There are great teachers out there who make classical music fun. Indian classical music has deep spiritual roots. If this is to continue, we must make it accessible. Instead of the sacred arts fading and being replaced, we can use these sounds to enhance, enrich and diversify the music we make.

If you could master another instrument, which one would it be?

I would really love to master the kora. What an extraordinary instrument.

What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?

‘The one who conquers the mind, conquers the world’, said Guru Nanak. It’s all about managing your ego, thoughts and the lens with which you see the world. Winning is a mindset. We have already won.

What inspires you as an artist?

Universal human experiences. I have played my music around the world. Many times I have sung to audiences who did not speak the same language as me or understand the language I was singing in. But the tears would come. The hugs would be tighter and blessings would be uttered. This connection we all have, the suffering we are all able to feel, the happiness we can all share – inspire me.

Why do you love music?

My sixth grade teacher, who was also a jazz musician, signed my t-shirt on the last day of primary school: ‘Music is the language of the soul. Never give up.’ Music is more than just pleasure or an audio healing ritual for me. It is my walking stick on an extraordinary journey of understanding something much bigger than myself. It supports me, keeps me grounded and it moves me forward.

Visit www.amrit-kaur.com for more

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