For my final show of 2015, I was joined by two musical sensations – one a British Asian Bollywood Artist and the other an international Punjabi star. What a way to bow out of the year!

In the first half of the show, I was joined by Kishan Amin, a British-born singer of Bollywood songs as well as some of his own, original compositions. He began his journey at the very young age of 5 years old, when his parents sent him to Hindustani classical music classes. At the time, he did not understand what he was learning and the significance of it. But later in his life, he realised that this is what he really loved.

So at the age of 18, Kishan began performing for small shows and loved gauging people’s reactions. Singing Bollywood, he explained, is fine because you know people will enjoy it, but singing your own music is nerve-wracking.

Q. So how do you overcome that fear and the fear of being on stage in front of people in general?

A. You will always get nervous and have nerves no matter what and no matter how large your audience or the level that you’re at in your career or classroom. So have faith in what you are doing, prepare well, and hope it all goes well when you’re up on stage!

I thought that was some great advice even for young people who may have to do a presentation in the classroom and may be feeling nervous – preparation is key. As long as you know what you are talking about, or have prepared well, you will be able to overcome your nerves!

Kishan has collaborated with many people including Priti Menom, Rax Timyr, and Ambika Jois with whom he was signed to the record label Sa Re Ga Ma. After creating some songs with the label, they wanted to know if Kishan had any other, more upbeat songs. He had just finished his beautiful song ‘Ma – Vande Mataram’ with singer Ambika Jois which was a testament to British Asian artists around the world who feel an affiliation and patriotic towards India. We were very lucky that Kishan sang some of this on the show! I also used this song on one of my YouTube videos so it was great to see it being sung in person!

He also sang many other songs by his inspirations such as Mohammad Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar and a very cool remix of the Bollywood song ‘Tum Hi Ho’ remixed with Justin Timberlake’s ‘My Love’! It was a musical show to say the least and I was definitely singing along in my seat.

Many of the artists that come on the show say that they have been to India even though they originate from the UK. I asked Kishan whether this was necessary. He explained that India is another platform and a very big one because there is so much going on there, particularly in Mumbai. However, the UK also has a lot to offer with its cultural events and shows.

Kishan’s advice to our viewers was that parents should encourage their children to enter such industries and at least attend classes. Also, people from older generations with a passion for singing and dancing and the musical industry should never feel it is too late – even if it means attending a class to fulfil your success in that field.

“It is never too late. When you say there is no time, you will grow older and you will regret it.” So guys, it’s never too late – so log on to the internet and sign up to a class and fulfil your passion!

Miss Pooja

In the second half of the show, I was joined in the studio by International Punjabi superstar Miss Pooja. I listen to her songs when I am in the mood to dance, I dance to her songs at weddings, and when I cannot sleep and need some assistance, listen to her religious shabad. So I was an absolute delight to have Miss Pooja in the studio and her gracing us with some of her biggest hits as well as earliest boliyan!

But before all of that, I firstly wanted to know where the name ‘Miss Pooja’ came from! She explained that her full name is Gurinder Kainth but pet name is Pooja, and they just put Miss in front of it! Simple!

It is quite fitting that Miss is put at the beginning of her name seeing as she was a teacher. Miss Pooja studied music from the age of three as her father always wanted one of his children to go into the industry. She studied in Punjab and then began teaching music and always loved singing. Her students appreciated her voice and always told her to go on TV!

Of course they would appreciate such a unique and fantastic voice, as we all do! Although Miss Pooja has been inspired by many greats including Gurdas Maan and Lata Mangeshkar, she found her own unique and special style through learning and studying music and developing her own style from her teachers.

Something that Miss Pooja has also learnt over time is her stage presence. I have seen her live and she is awesome! Attributing this awesomeness to being Punjabi, and Punjabis naturally loving music and having it in their bones, she did say that she has picked up a few moves along the way. But generally, she just has a pure love for music, singing and dancing.

Miss Pooja has had many hits such as Punjabi song ‘Seeti’, collaborative song with Punjabi By Nature (PBN) ‘Aashique’, Bollywood number ‘Second Hand Jawani’ and religious hymns such as ‘Ek Onkar’ – all of which, bar ‘Ek Onkar’, she sang on the show. She also sang ‘Giddha Pao’ which she worked on with DJ Vix. She sang and I clapped – as you can imagine it was a fun-filled show full of singing and me dancing in my seat!

Miss Pooja is evidently lucky to have had supportive and encouraging parents who took her to classes and pushed her to fulfil her passion. She explained that times are now changing and that parents are being more and more supportive of their children, particularly girls, entering such industries. In Punjab, there are many competitions to find new talents and there is a lot of upcoming talent.

She gave the following advice for anyone wanting to break into the industry:

  1. Gain knowledge and get training in your field;
  2. Focus on the field you want to go into;
  3. Enjoy what you are doing and do not view it as punishment;
  4. Know what you want to do and do it.

What a fun show! I can say that throughout it, I was singing and dancing along to classics, Bollywood super-hits and bhangra beats! I started presenting Zee Companion in March 2015 and this was my final show of 2015 – I can say I left it on an absolute high! And I was certainly watching this episode back throughout my new year, reminiscing over the great songs and vibes in the studio.

It has been a fantastic year on Zee Companion, and I thank everyone for their support and joining me on my shows by watching and calling in! I look forward to many more inspiring and fun times in 2016! Happy New Year everyone xx