An interview with Amrit Kaur Lohia

Interviews

Amrit Kaur Lohia, is a singer-songwriter, Sarangi player and vocalist in genres of Punjabi folk, R&B and soul. Born into a Sikh family in Tottenham, her music weaves the stories between migration, identity and empowerment. Her current musical project #EternallyDisplaced has garnered wide acclaim and will continue to be released in 2019. As a beneficiary of grassroots youth organisations herself, Amrit has become an experienced youth worker, mentoring youth offenders, children in foster care and refugee children. She is currently a Global Youth Ambassador for ‘A World at School‘ and is the founder of ‘humanised.org’, a social enterprise dedicated to humanising history and social issues through the Arts with workshops taking place across USA, Europe and India. Her notable performances include Glastonbury Festival, UN General Assembly for Unicef, MTV, Somerset House Summer Series and Jaipur Literature Festival in India. Amrit’s music has been played on BBC6 Music by Cerys Matthews and BBC Asian Network.

What are you passionate about? What motivates and inspires you?
I am passionate about humanising experiences from around the world. I am passionate about telling stories. Realising how universal our experiences are brings us closer together. Music is powerful, it can move people without them speaking the same language. Every culture has musical traditions that began as a communal experience. It can bring people from all walks of life under a roof, it’s a meditation. Music and art is a meditation that can heal the world, if we allow it.

Motivated people motivate and inspire me! There are so many compassionate people doing extraordinary things in the world and making a difference. Can you imagine if all the scientists of the world just decided to give up one day? Can you imagine if they did that before modern medicine was invented or the telescope or electricity? And now? If they gave up on finding a cure for cancer? Yo, if scientists can’t be lazy, I am certainly not going to sit around expecting everyone else to do their bit!

What is your greatest professional (and/or personal) accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment is never giving up, the fact that I am still here, fighting for what I believe in, standing by my values and my art. And I hope that will be my greatest accomplishment for a long time. Everything else – awards, playing Glastonbury, producing my own world tours, being praised by my heroes, are all a product of not giving up. And not giving up is HARD. Especially when there are routes that have a clear path. But why would you want to go down a path with no surprises? Create your adventure! Run your own race!

Who has been your biggest influence?
Spiritually, my mother. Musically, powerful female vocalists that sing from their soul, that move me. But everything, even their voices, comes down to the connection with something much larger than us. Our collective higher selves. Creating music for change has to come from that place. That’s what I tap into and go back to when I feel lost. 

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given and who gave it?
There is a famous line in Sikh scripture by Guru Nanak: “The one who conquers the mind, conquers the world.” It all starts with your mind. It is your biggest obstacle, no-one, or nothing else. I come back to that line all the time to centre myself.

What moved you to get involved with Creative Conscience?
I knew there are artists around the world using their creative energy to make a difference, but seeing them all in one place, concentrated – is a mind-blowing and emotional experience. You can’t not get involved, when you have believed in the power of art for change your whole life and then you come across hundreds of people, a community around the world that not only believe the same thing, but are doing something about it!

Instagram: @ms.amritkaur
Twitter: @AmritKLohia
Facebook page: /amritklohia