Kids Corner

The two B & W images below: courtesy, Amar Khoday.


Kiran Ahluwalia:
Punjabi Diva


Expressing her muse through ghazals and Punjabi folk songs, Kiran Ahluwalia explores the language of the heart with beauty and intensity.

Born in India, raised in Canada, and now living in New York City, her enchanting and seductive music has garnered glowing praise from critics around the world.

Hers is "a voice destined to enchant more than one generation" and she possesses "a deep spirituality and tranquility that borders on the mystic."

But most of all, Kiran is a unique and inspired performer and composer, whose legion of fans continues to grow with every captivating performance and each new recording.

Kiran has long been on a path to mastery in singing and composing ghazals - the sensual and highly literary poetry about unrequited love and passion of all kinds.

"When I was growing up in India, very few people had recordings of any kind," she recalls. "There were state-sponsored concerts that people from all over would crowd into. These concerts were not primarily for children. They featured a repertoire, language and content that was both demanding and beyond the experience of a child. I was, however, entranced by the sound and feel of the music from an early age."

Seeing the strong connection Kiran had to the music, her father purchased a reel-to-reel tape machine for her on a visit to Hong Kong.

"My father would play tapes of Indian music for me on the reel-to-reel and we would also listen to Bollywood on the radio. So when a song came on the radio that I wanted to learn, I would try and memorize the melody and my mother would quickly write down the lyrics for me. Some were quite erotic and my mother got embarrassed about the words."

At the same time, Kiran was singing Sikh hymns in the gurdwara every Friday.

Kiran studied classical Indian music and the ghazal from the time she was seven. She also spent a decade of intense deep study with her teacher, Vithal Rao, in the 1990s and finally in 2000 she recorded her first commercial CD, Kashish - "Attraction."

This was followed by Beyond Boundaries in 2003 and then a self-titled compilation that was released worldwide on the Triloka label in 2005.

Her latest CD, Wanderlust (Time Square/World Connection) was released in North America in 2007, in Europe in 2008, and will be released in India in 2009 (on the prestigious Saragama label).

All of her albums have been nominated for JUNO Awards - the highest musical honour in her adopted homeland, Canada - and Beyond Boundaries also took home the coveted prize the year after it was released.

In Europe, Wanderlust was named one of the Top 10 Albums of 2008 by Songlines Magazine. The excitement around the release in Europe continues to build and at this year¹s WOMEX Conference (the largest gathering of World Music professionals and artists in the world), Kiran will be officially presented with the Songlines/WOMAD "Best Newcomer of the Year" Award that she just won this month.

Last Vaisakhi (April 14, 2009), she was showcased in the annual Vaisakhi Gala hosted by The Centennial Foundation at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada, and was also a recipient of the 2009 Seva Award that night.

A musical innovator, Kiran¹s compositions and arrangements are often filled with the magic of unexpected collaborations and sublime cross-cultural pollinations.

On Wanderlust and her previous albums, she has drawn on everything from Portuguese fado and sub-Saharan blues, to Spanish flamenco, contemporary jazz, Celtic, and so on - demonstrating her continual quest to bring her unique style into a modern and global context.

Though Kiran Ahluwalia may sing about unfulfilled desires, her music reveals a compelling harmony that unites diverse inspirations into a truly unique and satisfying whole.

Not surprisingly, she is already hailed at her young age as one of the leading Punjabi songsters in the world today.


Kiran's website

You can also view her video at

And, to purchase a CD:


May 12, 2009

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