By Jasrinder Kaur | MALAYSIA |
A Penang-based singer Kamal Chopra became the first Malaysian to land an award at the UK Bhangra Awards 2019.
The lawyer-turned-professional singer caught the attention of the UK award team with her mixed performances of Hindi, Punjabi, English, Malay, Tamil and Chinese songs.
She was crowned ‘Best International Artist’ at the event in Birmingham, United Kingdom, on 30 Nov 2019.
“The organisers looked at my one-year’s work. They also wanted to see what the person has done for the community, what kind of performances the person has been doing,” she told Asia Samachar.
Kamal also performed live at the Birmingham event along with Inderjit London, Subaig Singh and Jin & Seetal.
“It was a joy to perform before the audience,” she said.
The others who performed were K Mohito, Gurdeep Kainth, Khadija Dilnawaz, Pally Matharu, Vinay Bangar, Haripa Dancers, Bhangra Smash Up, Beat Asylum, Dance Bhangra, 4All2 Envy Entertainment and Birmingham Crew DJ’s.
Inspired by the award and spurred by her fans, she now plans to work with a UK-based producer to produce her original bhangra number.
“I’ve been doing covers all the while. It’s about time I come up with some original numbers. Fans have also requested for them,” she said.
Born in Petaling Jaya, Kamal had always enjoyed singing. But her legal profession and commitment to the family meant that she could not devote much attention to it.
“Everything changed about seven years ago, when my husband gave me the push to start singing again,” she said.
Kamal is married to Dr Sunil Chopra, a consultant radiologist and nuclear medicine physician practicing in a private hospital in Penang. The couple has three children aged 17 to 22.
She undertook training was under the Rockschool International Music & Performance Arts.
Kamal sings professionally at corporate events, public shows, charity events and weddings. She has also made pro-bono appearances at fundraising and charity events for the Sikh gurdwaras, the Penang Sikh Association and the Penang Gujarati Association.
In 2014, she performed in a charity musical called Viva La Pinang in aid of Penang Family Health Development Association, directed by Joe Sidek.
Her first experience in singing with a live band came when she became the lead singer for Kasajam, a family based band in Penang made up of a group of doctors, lawyers and other professionals.
She is currently the lead singer of a six-piece rock band in Penang called Vintage Rising, also made up of a group of professionals.
She has also made several song covers and mash-ups on YouTube such as Bulleya/Skyfall (which is a mash up of a Hindi and English song), Tum Hi Ho/Galliyan (a mash up of two Hindi songs) and One Call Away/Neeyum Naanum (which is a mash up of an English and Tamil song). Her latest entry is a cover single of a popular 1980’s Hindi song called Yeh Wada Raha.