The evocative man on stage with the guitar in the turbans of many colors has universal appeal in a stage that is mostly coated with domestic and social blah. Gupreet brought the cultural shadow stage to life before he even began to sing and in The “Sudden Death Round” “Idol” judges told him he sang his last serenade. Offbeat his Sikh unique energy will be missed in a surprise vote down. What was American Idol thinking?
Gupreet grew up in Atlanta, Georgia for sixteen years and music has always been a part of his life. We were raised performing shabad kirtan or traditional Sikh music. His grandmother introduced him to Indian classical music and trained her grandchildren in Southern Asian instruments. Just two short years ago he began playing guitar in a Potbelly Sandwich store near his home in Maryland and the rest is history.
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“I almost feel guilty right now living out my dreams. I’m loving the experience,” he said in an interview with The Daily Beast. “It’s beautiful to meet and interact with the passionate singing community. Having this experience is humbling and something I will always cherish.”
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“I like to wear bright turbans to reflect my personality, the different styles and patterns that I have. Sikhs wear turbans as a sign of commitment to their values of justice, integrity and love. It signifies to people that I have a certain set of principles, and I will stand for them”
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“I expected some backlash like that although I was surprised when I first saw the tweets. I’m being judged for my voice, talent and passion not for my appearance. For me it doesn’t matter where you are from or what language you speak, but I realize some people are intolerant. That’s the beauty of music, it overcomes stereotypes and negativity and brings people together in unison.”
And your Idols?
Singing past his sterotypes. “Growing up and being from Georgia Ray Charles was one of my favorites because he was bind and he never let it become and obstacle. He was able to turn it into an advantage and did some really beautiful things.” In the meantime being on stage and the music is enough to justify Gupreet’s unique existence.
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