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It’s the power of lyrics at this YSPN event!
The Young Sikh Professionals Network (YSPN) has been inspiring budding entrepreneurs and professionals with their carefully planned marquee events for quite some time now. Their most recent function featured not one but two well-known professional Sikh youth, this time from the field of entertainment, Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa and Sukhdeep Singh aka L-FRESH The LION.
Kick starting the event with a song she composed, the young Sukhjit’s great sense of humour and unbounded energy was evident from the word go. Her passion for performing arts and story-telling talents come from her family history, and oh yes, from “cultural confusions”. Growing up in Perth as a contemporary woman of the tradition-bound Sikh diaspora, she credits her upbringing for her writing inspirations. Having written her first script at the tender age of six, Sukhjit enjoyed writing pieces and performing them for her family. Best known for her spoken word and slam poetry pieces, Sukhjit’s YouTube channel Contemporary Kaur and her recent Australia’s Got Talent stint are just some gems on her crown of success.
“Stepping into the mainstream arts scene was never easy,” she shared. “You have to be the cream of the crop to get noticed.”
Life has not been without its unfair share of discriminations and imperfections for this curly haired young lady. In fact, the dusky 22-year-old insists she is grateful to all those who bullied her in high school or sent provocative messages to dampen her spirits!
Her life’s mantra? “Get out of the passenger seat and take control of your own life as the driver.”
Judging from the good cheer she spread in the room, it was quite clear that Sukhjit has a great ability to communicate. Indeed, her story has just begun!
L-FRESH The LION is well known not only for his hiphop music, but also for his community activism.
One look at L-FRESH The LION and it’s instantly obvious from his traditional beard and turban that he’s here to strike an awareness message.
While it’s tempting for Sikh youth today to give up wearing their turbans, L-FRESH advocates that to be his core identity.
“I have always faced racism and security threats because of that, always been a victim of random checks in airports,” he shared.
Sikhi is a major force in L-FRESH’s life. He claims that his religion’s core messages of social equality and of social service have been great inspirations in all his endeavours.
His music of course, thrives side by side with his religion. Having started at 14, he claims he’s hardly had a day off since, with concerts and tours taking up his time now. He admits it’s shocking for people to believe he’s made music his profession and life. At 27, he is never exempt from the typical question every Indian faces at this age, “Isn’t it time to have a steady job and settle down?”
While he’s an unusually shy speaker and admitted he’s not a social person, L-FRESH has used his music to express himself and convey his message.
It’s quite clear that his music elevates him. “As an artist, when we perform on stage, my troupe and I aim to be the show highlights. There’s so much positive vibe, there’s no room for doubt or negativity,” L-FRESH revealed.
Oh, in case you wondered about the name L-FRESH, it stands for ‘Forever Rising, Exceeding Sudden Hardships’. And LION? Singh, of course!
Both L-FRESH and Sukhjit seem to have joined hands on a mission to prove that racism and discrimination have no place in their dictionary; instead, they are empowered by their immense self-belief, and much pride in their heritage.
It will be interesting to see the rise of these two young Sikhs in Australia’s cultural space in the coming years. Along the way, there’s no doubt that they will go on to inspire a whole generation of young New Australians.