Surrey-raised singer Kirti Arneja is working with songwriter/producer Mika Singh, a star in India. (submitted photo)

Bollywood star gives Surrey singer a career boost

Kirti Arneja, 20, works with Mika Singh on ‘Jogi’ and other songs

SURREY — A big star in India is helping a Surrey singer make it to the top of the music world.

Vocalist Kirti Arneja, 20, is getting a career boost by working with Mika Singh, a popular Bollywood singer, songwriter and producer.

Arneja has twice flown to India over the past several months, first to meet with Singh and then again to make a music video for “Jogi,” a song she recorded with Singh. A video for the track has been viewed more than two million times since it was posted to Youtube on May 3.

A few weeks ago, Arneja toured with Singh during a 10-concert trip around the United States.

“It’s pretty exciting right now,” she told the Now-Leader.

“I’ve been working toward this kind of thing for a long time.”

Arneja first met Singh in Vancouver in October of 2015, when she sang during the intermission of his concert at The Orpheum Theatre.

From then on, the two slowly created a working relationship, Arneja said.

“He said I should come to India when it’s time, and then I did about a year at Kwantlen (university), a bachelor of music there, after that,” explained the Elgin Park Secondary grad. “I decided to try going over to see what the experience is like for training, with no idea of getting in touch with Mika. That was an option, but it’s a long shot thinking about going with someone that big. So we texted him when we arrived and told him how long we were going to be there, and he basically called us over to his house (in Delhi) and said he wanted to talk to us. It went from there.”

Arneja admits to being a bit of a shy girl growing up in South Surrey, but all that has changed. Confidently, she sings in Punjabi, Hindi and English.

This week, she’s eager to return to India to work on some new songs with Singh and his collaborators, after she catches up with family and friends here in Surrey.

Later this summer or early fall, she’s hoping to perform a concert in Vancouver, hopefully with Singh.

“People are starting to recognize me over there, when I’m out performing, so it’s pretty fun, a good experience for me,” Arneja said.

tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com