Kamaljit Neeru is one of the most successful female singers of Punjabi Music Industry. Its been over 35 years since she entered the music scene but still is as relevant as before in the industry. She was one of the first most educated Punjabi female singers who joined this profession at a time when it was a taboo for girls from good backgrounds to even think about such a career.
Background & Family
I was born in Khanna, Punjab. My father was an officer serving in the Indian Military. I have three sisters and one brother. My husband Sukhbir Singh is a retired pilot and my son is a police officer in Canadian Police Department.
I used to study at Lyallpur Khalsa College, Jalandhar and had opted for (pre medical) medical stream. I was equally active in sports and art activities in college but could not continue with my medical studies, as I got married and soon moved to England. Though I continued with my studies in England as well but by that time, my inclination towards singing was more.
In those days many Punjabi musical groups had started mushrooming on the land of England. During one of the social gatherings, Baldev Mastana Ji (music director) listened to my voice and asked me to join his musical group. In fact, I have never been formally trained in singing, I only took it up as a hobby. Gradually, as time passed, my craft also got more polished.
My first album came out in 1982 under HMV, and it was a big thing to have your debut album under HMV.
You do know that much before me and after me, or even today, for a girl, things are still difficult when it comes to her career choice. That mindset is changing now. There are families who want to support their daughter's career choices, but people around them, the relatives or their circle, discourage them. In this case, I was lucky that I got full support from my family. Even though initially I was not comfortable about singing live in front of the public but it changed after a few performances.
I am associated with Sanjha Vehra Women's Association (Surrey) which raises funds for women breast cancer research and also helps in children education in India. My Bhua Ji, Late Basant Kaur was the key member of this association which I and my sister are now associated with.
Also, my musical team is like a family, I have even helped their kids in their education.
(Not many are aware of her acting career!)
It was after I became a known singer, that I was approached for this film called Suneha in 1987-88. It was a love triangle with Shashi Puri, Rama Vij & Me in the lead. We completed the film, but it could not release due to some reasons, so my acting career came to an end even before it could start. I decided to concentrate more on singing.
But much later in 1997, I did a movie called Sardari with Guggu Gill, Pankaj Dhir & Preeti Sapru, in which I had a special appearance.
So is she open to more acting offers?
Actually, I am not supposed to disclose it, but I am already doing a film. It might release this year and I have an important role in it. I am open to more film offers, but they must be be good.
(An artist often likes to remain in limelight and in circulation, but Kamaljeet Neeru would release albums and songs after little, or long gaps, and still remained popular.)
After the birth of my son, I had family responsibilities but yes even before that I would come after short gaps. After my debut album in 1982, my next one came in 1987, then for the next few years, I came out with an album every year. In between, I also recorded for collaboration albums with other artists or singles for musical programs like Rooda Mandi Jaawe for Jalandhar Doordarshan. In those gaps, I was actively doing cultural stage shows in many countries.
Lakk Hilda came out in 1997, Seeti Te Seeti in 2000 and Jugni in 2003. This time I took a long break and came out with singles in 2017, a religious song on chote sahibzaade and jagon wali raat in 2018.
I don't consider myself as a business person at all. Yes, I am into jewellery designing but I am not involved in it in a big way. I even did not take any course for jewellery designing. In fact, be it singing, acting or this, I never took any training, it is all by god's grace.
Difference in the Music scene- Then and Now
Big difference - Zameen Aasman Da Fark!
I did Jugni in 2003, and Jago Wali Raat came recently, I could see a lot of difference in terms of technology. Now all the artists are there on social platforms. Back then, people used to have a curiosity to see artists live but now there is this thing called going live on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms. We never had to promote ourselves earlier, it was the music company's job but now there is a lot of self promotion.
Current Favorite in Punjabi Music
Whoever is doing good songs and music, I like them all. Among the new girls, I like Nimrat Khaira. She is doing a very good job and I like her singing style.
Competition, Clashes and More - Then and Now
I had no rivalry, cold war or competition at all with my contemporaries. In fact, we used to encourage and praise each other for our work. I learnt a lot from (Late) Parminder Sandhu didi. We used to be very fond of each other. I address Amar Noori ji as Noori bhabi and have done Teeyan Da Mela shows with her and Satwinder Bitti many times. I have also done stage shows with Punjabi film actresses Daljit Kaur ji and Manjit Kular. We would get excited and overjoyed in each other's company. We used to perform together, so there was no insecurity or competition at all.
In my life, I never planned things. If I would find something interesting, I would just do it. I shuffle between Canada & India due to my work commitments and have recently completed a reality tv show. As I mentioned earlier, I am also doing a Punjabi movie and will come up with my next song if I find something good to sing.
Message For Fans
Whatever I could achieve in my life, it’s all thanks to them. I feel so humble to receive all the affection from my fans in all these years. I will just say that listen to good songs and now as everyone is on social media, do share and praise good efforts of artists.