Mumbai-Based Singer Banat to Embark on New Zealand Tour

Singer-songwriter and Punjabi folk artist Banat is set for a multi-city debut tour of New Zealand in July 2023. The upcoming tour follows Mumbai-based Banat’s recent streak of live gigs in Denmark and performances in Europe and the UK. In Aotearoa, the musician will link up with folk music aficionados The Norwesters from Christchurch.

Punjabi folk artist Banat Bagga, who goes by her first name Banat, is set to perform a series of shows in New Zealand commencing July 13, 2023. Narrating captivating folk stories through her music, the tour will see Banat perform in the cities of Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland. In addition to her solo gigs, Banat will also perform at the Fendalton Community Centre as part of the Samaa evening on July 18, showcasing Qawwali musicians and Sufi music from India and Pakistan.

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Performing ‘Kirtan’ (devotional music) and learning the harmonium from the age of five paved the way for Banat’s calling in music. As a singer-songwriter, she released her EP ‘Flish’ in 2020, which earned a spot on the Top 10 releases of 2020 by Rolling Stone India. Reverting back to her roots and rediscovering her art form, the musician and composer is on the threshold of releasing her debut Punjabi folk single ‘Daachi Waaleya,’ which, she says, “has been instrumental in reigniting my love for Punjabi folk music.”

Ahead of the tour, Banat mentioned, “This tour in New Zealand represents a significant milestone for me as I aim to connect with new audiences and expand my listener base. I am eager to share my vision and the stories behind the music, which are rooted in my cultural heritage and personal experiences. Through my performances, I hope to have opened up certain barriers that exist between cultures through relatable experiences.”

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We reached out to Banat to find out more about the tour, her thoughts on performing in Europe and the UK, and get a few hints about her impending debut Punjabi folk single, ‘Daachi Waaleya.’

Speaking about the New Zealand tour, Banat shared, “The idea came about when I met Chris from New Zealand-based folk band The Norwesters. He was certain that Punjabi folk music would do really well in New Zealand because of the huge South Asian diaspora there.” The singer-songwriter added, “They started making some inquiries with programmers and the response was overwhelmingly positive. That’s when we decided that the New Zealand Tour must happen.”

When quizzed about her experiences taking the sounds of Punjabi folk music to different countries over the years, Banat expressed, “Performing around Europe and UK has been great. The audience is always so receptive and they’re genuinely there to listen. I feel lucky to have been able to experience this, it’s helped me grow tremendously as an artist.”

We also asked about performing tales shared through Punjabi folk music to first-time listeners, to which the singer-songwriter remarked, “I hope for them to be able to relate and bridge the gap between languages! Folk music is simple, the idea is for everyone to be able to participate as a community, and that’s why it’s so powerful.”

Banat – Daachi Waaleya
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To conclude, we asked for a few hints about her upcoming single and working with renowned producer KJ Singh. Describing the process as “comfortable” but initially “intimidating,” the artist said, “He’s (KJ Singh) backed by decades of experience and that was intimidating for me at first but I’ve never felt like I couldn’t articulate what I wanted from the song. He has a great way of extracting that from an artist and his suggestions are very subtle yet effective. Honestly, it’s been fantastic!”

“‘Daachi Waaleya’ is a song about a woman who misses her lover. He travels with his female camel (daachi – a very old Punjabi word that I learned about after this song). It’s a beautiful melancholic song about longing,” said Banat about the forthcoming single.

Find Banat on: InstagramSpotify | Soundcloud

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