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Punjabi-Australian singer Parvyn Kaur Singh releases debut solo

'What You See' is a homage to her Punjabi culture


Parvyn Kaur Singh, a Punjabi Australian singer and dancer, independently released her debut solo, What You See, in July 2021. The song is a collaboration with Melbourne producer Joelistics and director Bina Bhattacharya.

 

Best known as the vocalist in the psychedelic band The Bombay Royale, Parvyn is influenced by electronica and jazz, her background in Sikh devotional music, and her training in Indian classical music and dance. 


What You See is a homage to her Punjabi culture that still exists in migrant communities and represents the contemporary direction Parvyn has decided to take with her art.


Dilpreet speaks with Parvyn on why she makes music, her journey so far, and her dreams for the future.


Dilpreet: Congratulations on your debut as a solo artist, Parvyn. How did your identity as a Punjabi-Australian play into making the video for What You See?


Parvyn: Thank you, it's been a long time coming, and it's great to get it out into the world finally. I approached making the video for What You See as an opportunity to display my Punjabi heritage and culture visually. I am so proud of my identity, and I wanted to share that with everyone as my first visual release going into this new project. It was important to me to showcase the colour, beauty, images, fashion and aesthetic of Punjab and incorporate a flip side (B&W), representing some of the more complex elements of my personal experience as a Punjabi woman growing up in Australia. I hope I have added to the visual representation of women's voices from immigrant communities being more seen and heard in this country positively. 


Dilpreet: It was interesting to see women dancing and singing throughout the video while the only man was behind a mask. Is there a story behind this portrayal?


Parvyn: The faceless man was an idea that I always had in the back of my mind for this video. I think the violin part is a great feature in the actual song, so I wanted to highlight it, but I also didn't want it to invade the space of the strong, brown woman focus in the rest of the video. I acknowledge all the men who have helped me get to this point and am grateful for their support, but this is a time that I want to be surrounded by my sisters and celebrate our feminine beauty and joy.

 


Dilpreet: Your album Sa is releasing later this year! Tell us what to expect from other songs, and do they make a full circle with What You See?


Parvyn: What You See is just a tiny taste of what to expect on the album. Sa is a culmination of my artistic work up to this point in my life. I have had elements of many different influences artistically, from classical Indian Raag to electronic music and jazz. I worked closely with my producers on each track with intense loving care, and I am so proud of every track on the album. There are many unique flavours, and I am interested to see what people attach to the best. There is also a lot of work that didn't make it onto the album that I am looking forward to working on over future releases. 


Dilpreet: How do you think representation for South Asian artists in Australia is changing?


Parvyn: I think there is more and more diversity within the representation of South Asian arts in Australia. A growing community of artists connects us, and together, we are spreading our voices further within the general Australian society. The complexity of the overarching term "South Asian" is becoming more apparent and celebrated. It feels like a very supportive community of artists to be a part of, encouraging and inspiring each other to express ourselves authentically and openly without fear of judgement.


Dilpreet: How do you want people to feel after consuming your art - is there something in particular you seek?


Parvyn: When I am entirely consumed in making my art, I get lost in it. I forget myself and experience the moment, the beauty, the feeling, the love. When I focus my energy on creating those moments, the freedom I get is a driving force in my continued effort to make my artistic practice my full-time life's work. I would like for people to come on that journey with me. 


Parvyn plays her first public live band show at Monash Uni on Aug 5th.

About the author

Dilpreet is the founder of South Asian Today. More about her can be found here.

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