I'M BACK!... and extremely exhausted. It's been a crazy and tiring but fun and memorable weekend. As most of you know I hosted the Khalsa Concert at Glen Cove Gurudwara in Glen Cove, New York this past weekend. It was definitely a long trip as I had to take 3 trains to get there, but it was totally worth it. The concert featured artists
. The concert marked the last day of the 2 week Khalsa Camp held at the gurudwara which also had a special guest, my homie
of American Idol!
When I got there on Friday the first thing I saw was adorable little kids EVERYWHERE. If you guys don't know this already I'm totally obsessed with kids. During the course of the day I met a bunch of new people and saw a bunch of familiar faces from past events. Big thanks to Davinder for picking me up from the train station and also to my girl Ravnit for keeping me company! Anyways, the kids were following their daily schedule for the camp and then they had a little program for all of the children to show the parents what they had learned over the past two weeks. It was amazing to see all of these children come together and take more interest in their religion. After the children had done their shabads with their groups, Gurpreet, Raginder, Hoodini and Baagi shared some words with the kids and parents. Not only did they send the message that the children should be proud of who they are, embrace their Sikhi and not let anything hold them back from following their dreams, but they also mentioned to the parents that their child doesn't necessarily have to be a doctor, lawyer or engineer to be successful. If their child wants to pursue a career in the arts or has hobbies that they're passionate about, they should support them. I honestly wish that I had attended these camps while I was younger and I really feel like I missed out as a child. It would have been great to have the role models like these kids do today. One thing that I've always wanted to do is help children understand the value of their culture and traditions so I'm honored that I could be a part of this event.
I definitely want to thank the Sodhi family for being such gracious hosts.
who had organized the event honestly put her heart and soul into this event, which I rarely see anymore in our community. It was amazing to see how much time and effort she put into this event to inspire the kids of the gurudwara without even asking for anything in return. Now a days events are all about making money, organizers rarely plan events that will benefit the community so it was truly great to see her do this. Friday night, everyone was totally exhausted but excited for the concert the next day.
Before we headed to the Sodhi house I met a girl who I was formally introduced to a few months ago at an event, but never got the time to really speak to her. I'm usually the type of person who gets along with everyone, and I'm very friendly and outgoing, but this time it was different. Her and I started on somewhat of an awkward note speaking of mutual friends and what not, and literally an hour later I felt as though I had known her for years. At the age of 16, Japneet Sodhi (aka Bani) made me feel as though I was spending time with someone my age, as if we had been best friends our entire lives. Back at the house, we stayed up talking and watching Youtube videos along with Raginder who was also staying there. I don't even remember what time Bani and I went to bed just because we talked SO much. I came to a gig just to do my job, but I left with an amazing little sister <3.
The next morning we slept in, but of course because of all of the girl talk we were super sleepy, but pumped for the awesome day ahead. I'd have to say the worst part of the day was the heat, but that's not even a big deal because the day was just so much fun that I almost forgot about how hot it was outside. When it was time to get ready, all of the girls I met were super friendly and helpful and I honestly felt as though I was hanging out with a bunch of little sisters or cousins. Without them, specially Bani, I would have been in panic mode. The event was supposed to start at 4, but we started at 5:30 because of the crowd showing up kind of late ( of course) and the heat. The concert was extremely well organized, unlike a lot of other events that I've been to. There were free refreshments for everyone attending which I was super happy about ( free donuts and lassi, woohoo!)
We started off by a Shabad by the children of the Khalsa Camp, followed by Bhangra performances by the same children, divided into different age groups, and then we started with the guest performances. Nisha Sembhi started painting her picture on the stage as all of the performances were going on. (girl powerrr!) then I introduced Hoodini and Baagi, who the children absolutely LOVED. These two definitely inspired a bunch of the kids at the camp. One kid who happened to be Davinder's younger brother actually wrote some stuff that he wanted to share on stage after meeting Hoodini and Baagi. Like I said on stage, no disrespect to any of the artists but that was definitely my favorite performance of the night. Following them was Mandeep Sethi who totally rocked the crowd and even had the aunties jamming to the music. Last but not least was Raginder aka Violinder. Accompanied by someone on the tabla (I'm sorry, I never got his name), he absolutely KILLED it. All of the kids, uncles and aunties kept cheering for an encore. At the end of the show was a collaboration by Mandeep, Hoodini, Baagi and Raginder which was super sick as well. Overall the show was truly a great experience and I'm honored that I could be a part of it. All of the artists were super friendly and I didn't even feel as though I was speaking to celebrities. One day I hope to be at a point in my career where I can inspire the youth just as they do.
I got some interviews recorded so keep it locked on to Radio Asia or check out my facebook page facebook.com/bhangrabeatsonradioasia to find out when those will be airing! I also already have a bunch of pictures up on instagram and facebook if you guys want to check them out. :) OH and I did some interviews for Get Punjabi so if you have that channel keep a lookout for them :)