Hard Kaur's unprecedented rise to the top of the celebrity tree in Bollywoods tinsel town has been one of the biggest successes that any solo British Asian entertainer has seen this decade. From Birmingham to Bombay, she actively launched a colossal scale hip hop attack on Asian and introduced to the continent a new concept. The reward?...Indian media hailed her as the saviour of the music scene with her sound being the biggest new musical concept since Bappi Lahiri's introduction to Disco. The enfant terrible took her unique blend of British bubble gum hip hop, and brought to the forefront a sound that would launch her as a national hero in India. Having caused a furore in the run up to the finals in India's version of 'Dancing With The Stars', Jhalak Dikhlaja, to having recently anchored the hit 'IPL Rockstar' series nationally, Hard Kaur has become an national onscreen darling. Her success story in India began as she co-wrote a hit single for the Indian gangster underworld flick 'Johnny Gadar' alongside the Indian equivalent of triple Grammy award winners Shankar, Ehsaan & Loy. The record was the most downloaded musical single that year and propelled her into the limelight. With continued hits including India's top selling singles from her debut album 'Supawoman', 'Glassy', Look 4 Me' and' Bombay Deewana', she went on to become one of the most sought after performers for music in Bollywood blockbusters. Today her discography over the last 2 years includes over 20 smash hit records as part of movies including 'Singh Is King' to 'Bachna Ae Haseeno', 'Chance Pe Dance' to 'Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi' with a number slated for release this year.
Today, Hard Kaur has become one of India's leading musicians and celebrity with fans across the nation. The face of Hip Hop in India, Hard Kaur has introduced the musical genre and taken it to greater heights by giving it a pop sensibility. The genre has quickly been absorbed by India and given its own unique twist and been used in the biggest Bollywood blockbusters. Culturally also, hip hop is something that is now known about by Rickshawallas through to housewives, young children through to business executives. Her 'real' voice and no holds barred opinions have garnered her public support and access to the masses in India.
However this success has not come without real struggle. Born Taran Kaur Dhillon this tri-lingual songstress' musical journey began in her birth place of India but, it was her arrival in Birmingham with not much except what her mother could carry in 1991 that became the door to another world where her dreams could actually become a reality. Having lost her father in the horrendous Indian riots of '84, she moved to the UK with her mother and younger brother. Having no English language skills in her vocabulary, she immersed herself in a different type of universal language that she instantly connected with, music and went on to meet her first love...Hip Hop.
"I fell in love with Hip-Hop music because it was so real. You could say and be how ever you want and I'd finally found my voice. I also learnt a lot of English through it." she explains. Her career has always been independently funded and her struggle to the top has been fuelled by her passion for the art. "I was bullied by the Indian kids when I was in school and college because I was a 'freshie' and bullied by the other kids because I spoke English with a funny accent". "When I overcame that, the reality of being a female in a male dominated industry was becoming clear. I would walk into studios to be dealt sexist comments and was often offered a chance at the 'Big Time' if I were to befriend certain individuals". In retaliation, Hard Kaur changed her appearance and shaved her head. "It shocked so many people but I feel that more people started either to take me more seriously or just think I was nuts!"
Those weren't her only troubled times though. Her mother struggled with launching a business to support her two children but was the victim of a violently abusive partner at whose hands she'd suffered for years. "It was heartbreaking when I was very young because there was nothing I could do". At the age of 15 though, she decided to change the course. My friends had made me into a stronger person and I was encouraged by them to perform and rap at mc battles and it completely gave me confidence in speaking out about what I thought. I came home one evening to find my mother caught in another attack and with injuries. Her cheek had been battered with a tava, an Indian flat pan which we make chapattis on. I don't know where I plucked up the courage from but I launched at him and distracted him and he ran to the police station". They never saw him again. Hard Kaur's mother now has a thriving beauty business that she set up initially from a tiny room in her home. The salon was the first of its kind on the infamous Soho Road, Birmingham and Hard Kaur dedicated her debut album 'Supawoman' to her real live Super Woman, her mother.
"She has definitely got super powers. She story is extraordinary and a reflection of tales of our people moving to the UK and becoming successful. After the death of my father in the 1984 riots, she has gone through so much struggle bringing up my little brother and me as a single parent".
For the next leg in her journey, Hard Kaur is working on her second, as yet unnamed album due for release early next year. In the interim she is set to release her new single 'Desi Dance' featuring Eminems band D12. She also made her acting debut alongside an all star cast featuring Akshay Kumar, Anushka Sharma, Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia for the movie Patiala House. The film released early this year and Hard Kaur had two leading records on the soundtrack. She also gave the biggest hit of the year "Char Baaj Gaye" which is till topping the charts all over.
With the Midas touch in full effect, there is nothing that this British performer can't touch that doesn't turn to gold.