The Fully Sikh spoken word poet set to wow Aussie audiences in 2019
Photo credit: Valley People Studios
She was brought into the spotlight after her powerful appearance on Australia’s Got Talent received a standing ovation from the four judges and resonated with thousands around the world.
But, it’s not the only performance Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa wants to be known for.
Today, the spoken word artist is working on a different style of performance.
Photo credit: Brendan Bonsack
Sticking with her attention-grabbing poetic style, Sukhjit is currently collaborating with a team of musicians and artists to write and perform in her first debut theatre show, titled Fully Sikh.
“Spoken word poetry is a very vulnerable and direct way to connect me and my audience, and it’s a very intimate relationship that I have fallen in love with because I can’t hide behind any back up dancers or music; it’s just me and the microphone,” she explained.
I’ve had people come up to me after a performance sharing how confronting it can be to experience spoken word poetry for the first time.
“The audience is vulnerable to receiving because they are forced to interact with what I’m saying because there’s nothing else distracting them.
“But, now after touring around and performing poetry in many spaces, I’m starting to feel a little isolated in being alone on stage, so I really like the idea of working with other artists.”
Photo credit: Emerging Writer’s Festival
Exploring her personal story growing up as a young Sikh girl in the suburbs of Perth, Fully Sikh is being written and performed with the Barking Gecko Theatre Company and Black Swan Theatre Company in Western Australia for their 2019 season.
Although Fully Sikh is about Sukhjit’s authentic and specific experience, Sukhjit hopes it will become a universally relatable message for many who have experienced similar journeys.
I think there’s a lot of power in focusing on the specificity of someone’s life, family, and experiences, and it can actually resonate in the universal.
“It’s an exciting opportunity to delve deeper into the complexities of third culture kids and the lack of outlets for how we are feeling when we find ourselves putting on multiple masks for the world,” she said.
Photo credit: Em Jensen Photography
Although unconfirmed, Sukhjit hopes to also bring Fully Sikh to the East Coast of Australia, specifically to Melbourne, the city that holds a special place in her heart.
“I think that’s where my identity, attitudes and expression really grew and marinated as I was exposed to so much,” she said.
“I miss it, but it’s good to be back in Perth and call myself an artist in my hometown because I never really thought of myself as that until I moved to Melbourne.”
However, it’s not all bells and whistles for the young poet, who, despite having found her passion, still feels lost.
Right now, I’m going through a bit of a crisis because I don’t know who I am outside of my poetry, politics, and work, and I just don’t know what I do for fun and I don’t know what I do as a hobby, because I’ve made my hobby my career.
“I feel like I’ve always had to be this ambassador and voice of the Sikh-Australian community, when really, I can’t represent a whole community because I’m just one normal individual who’s just learning and growing and evolving every day,” Sukhjit said.
Photo credit: Anisha Senaratne
Follow Sukhjit’s journey on Facebook HERE to stay up-to-date on her upcoming play Fully Sikh, and many other of her exciting projects.