Harpz Kaur Podcast Transcript

Harpz Kaur Podcast TranscriptListen to episode here

Harpz Kaur: [00:00:00] I just about scraped it and got a tutu. I don't even think I've said that to anyone before. I didn't have a proper job for six years. On the outside, it all looks glam, but those six years for me was depression therapy, breaking things in my room. I wanted to give up. There were times where I didn't like it.

Harpz Kaur: There were times where I wanted to walk away and go, right, I can't. I can't. I've waited so long for something to happen and that call just changed everything. Okay. So, um, would you like to be the Sunday morning breakfast presenter, anything? And I promise you. Anything is possible. Sunday morning, breakfast to weekend, breakfast to weekday breakfast, and to have amazing career in working out now is just, to me it sometimes feels like it wasn't real.

Harpz Kaur: It didn't happen, but it did.

Amardeep Parmar: Welcome to The BAE HQ where we inspire connecting, guide the next generation of British Asians. Smash that subscribe button if you're watching on YouTube, and leave us a five star review if you're watching on Apple or Spotify. Today we have with us Harpz Kaur who's a TV and radio presenter [00:01:00] and also a DJ.

Amardeep Parmar: How are you doing today? 

Harpz Kaur: I   am very well, thank you. And can I just say, I really like this setup. Thank you. 

Amardeep Parmar: Don't steal it, please. 

Harpz Kaur:No, well I was thinking about it, but I won't. Don't worry. 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. 

Harpz Kaur: It's nice, it's cozy in here. 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah, so we're just laughing at a bit. 'cause obviously when I do the introduction you're used to that as well.

Harpz Kaur: Yeah.

Amardeep Parmar: And it's always a funny bit at the beginning and now we can be more relaxed and natural. 

Harpz Kaur: Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar:So you obviously grew up up north and you're now, you've been to the bbc, you've done all these different stuff. When you were growing up, did you ever think like, one day, that's what I'm gonna do? 

Harpz Kaur: You know, it's really weird when people ask me this question because I feel like my friends can probably vouch for this, and even some family members, when I was younger, and I'm talking really young, like maybe about 12, 13, 14, around that age, I used to run around saying silly things like, oh, one day I wanna be on the TV.

Harpz Kaur: One day I wanna be, you know, I want my name to be in lights and talk like that. Never took it seriously though. Then I got to High school, believe it or not, I was quite shy in high school. I don't really think my personality came out of my shell around that time for many reasons. Got to college and I kind of like, I feel like I started to kind of realize who I was and what I [00:02:00] was about.

Harpz Kaur: So, Then my chats would change a little bit with my friends. Oh, you know what? One day I wanna be, I wanna be on tv, man. Like, this is what I wanna do and I'd just talk about it. But I never did anything about it, is what I'm trying to say. Yeah. So did I know I was gonna go into this? Not a hundred percent.

Harpz Kaur: It was a dream, but I think only when I got to uni is when I realized actually, You were born to do this hubs, and 

Amardeep Parmar: What was it about tv? Like if you had never done anything about it, why did you think you were gonna enjoy it? Or what was it that attracted you to it? 

Harpz Kaur: I realized very quickly throughout my education, even though education is very important, guys, so I'm not saying, you know, don't concentrate in school 'cause you really need to.

Harpz Kaur: But I wasn't the brightest in school. I unfortunately wasn't. The person who would get the highest grades. I never came first. I never came top of the class. I really used to struggle to concentrate a lot. My mind would get distracted very easily. Exams and coursework was just like absolute hell for me. Um, and certain things never made sense.

Harpz Kaur: I reset my maths three times for G C S E, so I [00:03:00] was that student and I remember it being really tough like, because all my friends around me would be doing so well, and we'd talk about high grades and you'd go home and your parents would be so happy. And I'm just there like, I didn't do that great. It it, it was difficult growing up because that made me feel, I didn't know where I was gonna end up in life.

Harpz Kaur: I didn't know where I was gonna go. What am I gonna do? What kind of things am I good at? So I think education taught me a lot. Actually. It taught me the opposite. What I realized as I got on like, you know, from school to high school, to college to uni, I realized not everyone shines in the same way. We all do have that shining moment.

Harpz Kaur: You've just gotta find it. And I felt like, I realized very quickly that anything that was practical, anything that had to, any sort of involvement with talking or being on the stage or being in front of a camera, you know, presentations. Funnily enough, I was top. So I'd be first at those kind of things and everyone would be shocked, like she fails everything else.

Harpz Kaur: But when she's doing this, how the hell does she [00:04:00] like me to do it? So what I mean by that is you don't understand that straight away. You don't realize why that's happening straight away. But I think in hindsight with a lot of things, Things make sense after a while, and it, and it did for me, after a bit, I realized it's all right not to be an A star student.

Harpz Kaur: It's all right. You know, not to be with my friends, being the, being the one that comes boast about my grades, but actually I shine somewhere else where maybe they can't. So it's not a competition, it is just, you might be brighter in a corner, whereas I might be brighter in this corner over here and everybody has that shining moment.

Harpz Kaur: And I, and I strongly believe that now because I'm the perfect example of someone who's got Cs , Ds, Es. I even got a U what's in something. I can't remember what it was. Awful. But, um, 

Amardeep Parmar: might be why. 

Harpz Kaur: Yeah, might be why, but my point point. But my point is it that, that didn't matter because you know, there might have been people in my life that made me feel sometimes you're not gonna become something or you're not gonna, you're not gonna achieve what you wanna do because school and grades weren't great.

Harpz Kaur: But [00:05:00] actually I feel like I've done the opposite now and proven to people that it doesn't matter if you're not top of the class, you could still be someone. And I'v,. I've done that and I'm proud of it. 

Amardeep Parmar: You still went to uni anyway, right? Despite not being academic and not really wanted to do that.

Amardeep Parmar: What made you go to uni anyway?  

Harpz Kaur: So college, when you are about to finish and you know, when you have to look up at those uni, that list of subjects that happen at uni and what you wanna do. I remember looking at it again and again and again thinking, where do I fit? Like what? What would I do? I'm not gonna do anything in accounting.

Harpz Kaur: I can't do maths, I don't wanna do anything in science 'cause I just can't concentrate and you probably wouldn't wanna come to me for any sort of medicine. So what? Where would I fit? So I'm looking down this list and I came across media studies. And obviously underneath it said radio, TV and, you know, broadcast journalism.

Harpz Kaur: And I thought that is the only thing that's really gripped me. Like, I'd looked, I'd look at it and go, yeah, like that was my, that was my reaction. But I knew nothing about it. I hadn't studied anything previous before that, so I went with it. And I [00:06:00] remember even family at the time going, are you sure? Like what's your job gonna be?

Harpz Kaur: And I didn't know what my job was gonna be. And I said that. I was like, I don't, I don't know. I won't know until I just give it a go, but I wanna try. So I did it. I absolutely fell in love with it. Yes, the theory side of stuff I did struggle with a little bit, but. It was still something that my mind, body, and focus still wanted to do, which was the difference.

Harpz Kaur: And I felt very different studying media than I did anything else throughout my education. So when I got to uni, I got the hands-on experience. I really studied my craft. I know the ins and outs of broadcasting and it was a really good feeling, man. But, and I went on to do my broadcast journalism postgrad as well.

Harpz Kaur: So I did a master's. And even that, you know, when I think back to it now, like how on earth did I do a postgrad when I'm the person telling everyone I was failing at my, those things. I do think whatever kind of energy universe or God is up there, something really was looking out for me along the way.

Harpz Kaur: Something I do believe that, because I dunno how I got from [00:07:00] college to uni and you know, even getting into the uni, sorry, um, for starters and then getting onto a course I wanted to do almost scraping every single exam and even my even by degree, like I just about scraped it and got a tutu. I don't even think I've said that to anyone before.

Harpz Kaur: This is probably the first place I've said it. I've scraped it to graduate and I never forget that feeling. Sitting in my, you know, my mentor's office. I used to sit outside and go, I wanna quit. I can't do it. It's too much. Like, and he, he just looked at me and went, you need to remember. Where you are shining.

Harpz Kaur: He was like, you need to remember where you are getting the highest points. And that's when you are doing the practical stuff. You are in front of everybody else when I've told you to get on the stage or when I've told you to talk and you know, produce something. So why are you not focusing on that? You just keep focusing on the exams.

Harpz Kaur: And I'm like, yeah, but if I'm failing at the exams and I'm doing this, does it really make sense? And he was like, but it does make sense 'cause you know it all up here, you just struggled to put it down on paper, I guess, and with a lot of push, a lot of pushing. I stuck to [00:08:00] it. 'cause if I'm honest, I probably was very close five, six times to just drop out and I didn't.

Harpz Kaur: I held on and somehow, somehow graduated, somehow got that degree picture on the fireplace at home. Somehow managed to make my parents proud and somehow managed to do a postgrad and somehow bite a job on a career so it can happen. 

Amardeep Parmar: I think it's one of those things as well, like people think they like, They might think they're stupid or they're done with, but it's like, it's just if you work on something you're really interested in and you see of anything.

Amardeep Parmar: Right? Like if you're really interested something you put the work in. Yeah. And it makes a huge difference, right? It's like sometimes people, like they're criticizing themselves . But something they're just not interested in. And obviously at school you have to do that because it's this system, whatever like that.

Amardeep Parmar: When you're an adult, that's great thing is you get the choice. Like now, like for example, nobody taught me how to podcast. Right. I just like did loads of stuff, looked up online, writing, all this kind of skills. Then now you have the power to just learn whatever you're interested in. And once you like left university, then obviously you started like as a radio host and things like that.

Amardeep Parmar: How was that transition? Because again, like you [00:09:00] didn't know what you wanted to do off University and then was it like this is the right place? Was it like, what am I doing? Like how 

Harpz Kaur: confident were you?

Harpz Kaur:  It was, yeah, it was really hard because I just, I just remember. Getting all this work experience throughout uni. That's what really changed it for me though, when they said, look, you need to go out now and grab any sort of work experience you can do, whether that's radio, tv, whatever you wanna do. And I remember looking up radio stations and Leeds, that's where I studied, and I came across the station called Fever, which I really wanna big up.

Harpz Kaur: Heavily, by the way. 'cause it's where I started, where I began. And without them I wouldn't be here. I, I found Fever, didn't at the time really listen to them much. If I'm honest. I wasn't really aware of them 'cause they were just a community station. Um, and I'm obviously from Huddersfield, so the reach wasn't really like, oh yeah, I know about it.

Harpz Kaur: So I thought, oh, well this sounds interesting. Let's just give it a go. I went there. They gave me six weeks experience. I think if I can't remember, and you know, as every other person, I'm sure starts in work experience. You're the coffee girl, you're the tea girl. You're just watching from afar, you're shadowing.

Harpz Kaur: But even if I was doing that, I was still, my eyes were still on the studio. My ears were still listening to any sort of [00:10:00] output that was going out. My drive was just, that excites me. So even if I wasn't so active in being on the desk or learning the desk, I was just watching and learning. Believe it or not, I feel like I learned a lot just by stood there watching what people are doing and what, how are they doing that, and dah, dah, dah.

Harpz Kaur: Then I got the chance to go on air and I remember being the most excited person on the planet going, oh my God, like I'm talking on the radio. And then towards the end they offered me a slot still at uni. This is just off the back of the work experience. And they were like, look, would you want your own show?

Harpz Kaur: And I went, what? Like it was like the biggest thing for me at the time. Yeah. I want my own show. This would be amazing. And obviously it's voluntary, you know, it's not paid work or anything, but the fact that it excited me so much and going, yeah, I want my own show. I took it, um, I got a Saturday night slot, which turned into a very big bhangra show at the time on that, on that station.

Harpz Kaur: And I realized very quickly then, I know I'm good at this and I'm gonna start giving myself credit for knowing what I'm good at. But I didn't know where it would progress to beyond those [00:11:00] doors. So even though I was there for six years at Fever, I l loved every single minute of it and, you know, progressed so much, learnt my craft, like properly learnt my craft so much.

Harpz Kaur: I, I kind of loved the fact that I used it as a playground. That's how you learn. But I, I remember being scared as well, knowing I love this so much, but where am I gonna go with it? Like, How do I get there? What? How do I get there? And my story of how I got there is actually quite strange. And I know a lot of people probably think I applied for things.

Harpz Kaur: I've never applied for a job at B B C in my life, just so you know, ever. Yeah, I did. It didn't even cross my mind at the time because I felt I was too much of a small fish in a big pond. So why would I apply at the B B C? So I never even applied for jobs like that. I actually got headhunted and. And I feel timing is key and everything for me happened at the right time.

Amardeep Parmar: So, you know, those years where you were at, um, Fever, like if you was a voluntary show, how are you making ends meet? Was there any, any stress about that? Like, am I doing the right thing? Should I be doing something else? Like how do I..

Harpz Kaur: Yeah, I graduated 2011 still at Fever  and I think I'd done [00:12:00] about three years at Fever at that point.

Harpz Kaur: And I thought, okay, I'm gonna do a post-grad. The only reason I did a post-grad is 'cause everyone told me it's a guaranteed job at the end of it. So I thought, oh great, I really don't wanna study for another year, but if it's definite job at the end, I'll do it. I did it. I didn't have a proper job for six years after that, six whole years.

Harpz Kaur: And that is a very long time for someone to come out of uni and spend so many years, you know, banging your head against the wall, especially people like me who was trying to get somewhere and learn something and then go. I didn't get anything at the end of that. So what did I do it for? The frustration killed me and I remember, you know, applying for, for broadcast jobs, so, you know, in news reporting especially 'cause my degree in broadcast journalism as well.

Harpz Kaur: So obviously news was just naturally first, but it wasn't natural to me. I mean, could anybody imagine me telling you the news now? Absolutely not. It's funny, right? So even then I was like, I can't do this. I don't enjoy it. It's actually quite depressing. It's very intense doing news, you know, and I rate anyone that works in that field, I've got amazing friends that do it and I, I dunno how you do it, but at the time I was trying to apply up and down across the country trying to [00:13:00] get some freelancing shifts as a news reporter, which I did for a lot of radio stations at Capital, at Metro at T F M.

Harpz Kaur: I've been, I've been up and down everywhere, but it wasn't making me happy. It wasn't exciting me. I was doing it. I needed to make money. I was doing it because I needed to put something on my CV. I was doing it so I could learn more stuff, you know, visit new places, um, and obviously, you know, gain the experience.

Harpz Kaur: But in the back of my head, it was always, I can't believe I've studied so hard, done what I've done, and I'm just sat here now knocking on people's doors. So those news shifts would come in. But obviously if you are a freelancer, you know, that's not sometimes the best way because you could get a shift next week.

Harpz Kaur: But then your next one might not come for six months. Is that really a good way of making income? Probably not. You know, and I wasn't earning anything at Fever, but I didn't wanna let go of it. And I remember people sometimes saying, look, why don't you just leave it now? You've done it, now you are not making anything.

Harpz Kaur: Go get a proper job. And I'm like, I. I can still do a job as well as this though. And that's what no one could [00:14:00] understand about me. Like, why is she just not leaving that place? And I like, but I, I enjoy it. It was only like two hour slot that let me be me. And I really got to, you know, understand what I wanna do, how I wanna be, so I couldn't let go of it.

Harpz Kaur: But those six years went by in a horrible, horrible way. And this is something I'm open to talk about now, and I do a lot because I think it's important for people to understand your journey fully, because on the outside it all looks glam. But those six years for me was depression therapy, breaking things in my room, giving up on life, not wanting to wake up the next day because every email said no, or you know, the doors were closing and I felt like a waste of space.

Harpz Kaur: I felt like I should have listened to my dad, who was constantly saying, you know, it's hard for Asian females in media. You might not have a guaranteed job, so maybe you should have gone down the business route like I told you to, you, you should just come back into the family business. And I'm like, that's one thing

Harpz Kaur: I don't wanna, I just didn't wanna do it. It didn't excite me. So, um, those questions would be in my head all the time. Should I have listened? Should I have done what dad said? Should I have, you know, why [00:15:00] did I do this? You self. You, you doubt yourself so much. That confidence completely goes out the window.

Harpz Kaur: I had zero self-esteem and no confidence in anything. I, I, I actually felt like I've just wasted my entire life. I've wasted so much time. I don't know what happens from here. So it was, it, it wasn't nice. It was, it was a horrible way of, trying to figure out things. But I've now realized, again, like I said, you realize things later that had to happen to me.

Harpz Kaur: Now I know why, how important it was that that happened to me, because one, I was definitely not strong enough for this industry. And I've realized that now because what I have gone through and what I, what my amazing career, you know, touch wood has, has been like for the past few years. It's not, it's not cut out for everyone.

Harpz Kaur: I've, I've been in it and come out the other end now as well to talk about all sorts of things, but that's why I'm saying now looking back at it, I was definitely not strong enough to deal with half the stuff you have to deal with in this industry. I don't think my mindset would've been in the right place.

Harpz Kaur: I think I would've broken down very quickly in this game if I got it at that age. Maybe I was too young, you know, to [00:16:00] step through those kind of doors. So even though I was questioning it so much at 22, 23, 24, why am I not getting anywhere? Actually, It was meant to happen for me at 26, and for a lot of people that's very late in life.

Harpz Kaur: Like you're making money now, should be making money ages ago. But I now appreciate what that feels like to have zero in your bank balance and literally go from there to then. I. Getting an incredible career from the age of 26 and working god damn hard at it to earn money that you couldn't probably never have dreamt of at that time.

Harpz Kaur: So what I mean is things can change for you, but things happen at the right time as well. And now I know that timing is key and I just had to go through a rough patch before I, before I hit the, the, the, the cruel world. that's how I'm gonna put it. It's amazing. But it's cool. 

Amardeep Parmar: It's interesting you said, because I think sometimes people do feel like things have gotta happen now.

Amardeep Parmar: And if you give yourself a bit of time and space when Okay, I'm working towards something. And I, what I say to a lot of people's always, it's feeling like the skills you're learning as well. [00:17:00] 

Harpz Kaur: Absolutely.

Amardeep Parmar: Because you're building up the skillset and that skillset makes you more valuable in the future.

Amardeep Parmar: Even if it's not right now. And like some of the stuff I do is like I do stuff for free now, right? Like for example, this, this is all like not-for-profit. I'm not making any money off this, but these skills I've learned. 

Harpz Kaur: But this will pay off. 

Amardeep Parmar: It'll pay off some, I dunno how it's  gonna pay off.

Harpz Kaur: Yeah. And you might not build that now 

Amardeep Parmar: I'm enjoying it. Like it's all these different things that are involved. Right? And I guess what I was gonna say as wise, For people listening right now who maybe in that position you were like when you were in your like early 20s and do feel like they're giving up and they're just not sure what to do with themselves, what kind of coping mechanisms did you use or what advice you'd give them?

Amardeep Parmar: Because it's one thing about not giving up, it's also like how do you, how do you keep that mindset like so strong?

Harpz Kaur: I'm not gonna lie and say that, you know, it's is easy and whatever I say, you have to change your mind to it tomorrow. It doesn't work like that. Life doesn't work like that. But I will say you really, really have

Harpz Kaur: to ask yourself, is this what I really want? Is this something I really wanna do? Does it really excite me and can I see the future in this? Um, the reason I'm saying those kind of questions are important. 'cause sometimes it is very [00:18:00] easy to focus on something, but then you realize it's not for me. And that's fine too, which is not a problem.

Harpz Kaur: Everybody goes through things like that. But if you've got the passion and the drive and the dedication and the excitement of that one thing, you really wanna do anything. And I promise you. Anything is possible. I have just explained how my whole education life was very difficult as a student because I wasn't the brightest or I wasn't the most intelligent, and I wasn't an A star student.

Harpz Kaur: And then for everybody else around you to make you feel like you're probably not gonna get anywhere because school wasn't great. It's not. It doesn't mean you're never gonna become someone or something. So I think your focus is number is is key. It's number one, get your focus right? Ask yourself if this is what you want, then it doesn't matter.

Harpz Kaur: If it takes a year, it takes five years or six years, God forbid it doesn't take six for you. But even if it does take six years for you, it can pay off in ways you can't even imagine. And I am, I always tell this to people, and you know when I wanna talk about my story because sometimes I can't believe it.

Harpz Kaur: I think that's why when I look back at it, I still sometimes have to [00:19:00] pinch myself and go, I went through such a horrible time, emotionally, mentally, and physically, but I've come out with such an incredible career that I can now tell people about, and I would never have dreamt of that. I would never have dreamt of me getting to the heights of, you know, I've, I've reached, or the achievements that I've, I've managed to get under my belt, or opportunities, should I say, that have come my way.

Harpz Kaur: They wouldn't have happened if my focus moved. So my point is, during those six years where I was like, no, but I'm still gonna try anything I can to do it. Whereas everybody else around me was going, I think you should change now. Like, this isn't right. It's probably not gonna work. Go somewhere else. The fact that my mind kept going, no, this is what I wanna do and I'll do anything I can to get there, that's what got me there.

Harpz Kaur: So it's so easy to fall into, you know, that mental trap of going, I feel sad, I feel depressed, you know, everything's over, it's, it's not gonna happen for me. I've been there so many times. Even in my past seven year career, like I'm not even those six year gap, I'm talking about the seven year amazing career I had.

Harpz Kaur: Even then, I had moments where I [00:20:00] wanted to give up. There were times where I didn't like it. There were times where I wanted to walk away and go, right, I can't. I can't. Everybody's gonna have those moments. But if you've, if you've really got your focus on something and that dream is something you really wanna become, you know what you wanna make reality.

Harpz Kaur: Only you can make it happen. There is, I promise you, I know people say, you know, you need to reach out for other people and get help. Of course you can get help. No one's gonna make that dream happen unless you are not the focal point. You've gotta really, really ask yourself if you want it, and I promise you, you can do it, but please, I know it sounds cliche, don't give up because if I gave up, let's say after that six year point I finally gave up, would, would I be sat here right now?

Harpz Kaur: Probably not. 

Amardeep Parmar: One thing I  just wanna highlight as well. You also mentioned how you got like therapy at the time as well, so if anybody is listening, it does feel like in the depressive state or something like that. Like do seek help for the mental side of things. And one thing want you to tell us about now on the flip side, is when you got that call from  BBC, once you got your first show.

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. How did that feel? Because you've talked about the hard times. Then obviously you did have those massive highs as well. Tell us about that. 

Harpz Kaur: Yeah, definitely reach out for therapy guys if you, if you [00:21:00] do need it and sometimes it's not a need. I think everybody should have it anyway. It's just good for you.

Harpz Kaur: So you don't have anyone else to turn and reach to or talk to. That's probably the best way to deal with it. Just putting that out there. It's important. Look after your mental health first, but that call for me, yeah. I don't think I'll ever forget in my life. It is probably one of the biggest turning points for me.

Harpz Kaur: In fact, I remember I was in Morocco on a family holiday when I got the call, but before the call, there was a lot that happened before that. So I'm just gonna backtrack a little bit to give a bit of context. So I was probably around 24, 25 at this time and someone reached out to me on Facebook saying, I think you should apply for the Asian Media Awards.

Harpz Kaur: And I looked at it going, sorry. Why would I, a random girl from Hoods field on the local radio station, go for the Asian Media Awards. So I was really confused and I, and I looked it up and I thought, there is no way I'm going to this like there were huge broadcasters and people there, so I didn't understand why this person said that.

Harpz Kaur: So I asked them and I was like, I can't see myself being there. Thank you very much. But like, I'm, [00:22:00] I'm just a random radio presenter in needs, and, and he was like, no, we've got a new category called Outstanding Young Journalist of the Year Award. And obviously we've seen you've, you're, you're a journalist, you're a qualified journalist, you've, you know, you've, You've done that and you should put your work through.

Harpz Kaur: And I was like, Hmm, yeah, I'll have to think about it. Remember telling my friends, Tom, I, Tom my other half, like, you know, I got this message and I really don't think I should do it. It sounds a bit weird. And they just pushed me like, they were like, you are so stupid for not doing it. Like how do you know what's gonna happen from it?

Harpz Kaur: Just do it. Me being me, I didn't do anything about it until the last day. And it was about, I remember it was about nine, 9:30 PM and the deadline was at midnight. My other half had brought it up again and he was like, have you, have you applied? And I went, no. And he went, are you, why are you not doing it?

Harpz Kaur: There's three hours left. Just do it. And I was like, yeah, but this is long. And I was in that mind frame going, oh, I just can't bothered and like, what's it gonna do for me talking negative? And anyway, I ended up applying, well, not applying. I had to submit like 10 pieces of work that I'd done, surprisingly got shortlisted that, that was exciting.

Harpz Kaur: I was like, oh wow, okay. Like [00:23:00] something's come from it and it was a really nice email. You know, you're down to the last four out of thousands and hundreds or whatever. How many people applied for it? We'd love for you to come to the ceremony. And I was like, oh. My God. It was just an exciting thing that happened in my life and I thought, yeah, I'm gonna take my whole family with me.

Harpz Kaur: So I took my mom, dad, brother, sister, all five of us went, got there and I was so starstruck. It's unreal being in a room filled with people that you've just watched your whole life or listened to your whole life and admired your whole life and just sat on the tables next to you and you are there.

Harpz Kaur: Doesn't make sense. But it did at the same time, and I thought, I don't even care about this award anymore. I was like, I'm just, I'm just happy to be here. So I didn't win the award, but that night I won everything I could have dreamt of, and that was, I was already kind of in Nihal mind at the point. Who some of you might be familiar with.

Harpz Kaur: incredible broadcaster, one of my absolute faves. But he came to know about my work around that time and he came over to my table, grabbed me by the wrist and went, I need to introduce you to someone. So he's taken me across the other side of the room and I remember that feeling. My heart was in my stomach 'cause I had [00:24:00] no idea where I'm going, who I'm about to speak to.

Harpz Kaur: I've never really been in those places before in spaces. So I'm, I'm there now. I'm speaking to this guy and I still dunno who he is, and he's just like, oh, Nihal talks really highly of you. He talks. About you all the time. And I was like, really? That's really nice. Like, thank you. He was just saying, yeah, you know that you've started DJ and now you know you're doing a lot of radio stuff.

Harpz Kaur: It's great. I was like, thanks. Like yeah, I'm trying. Um, had a really positive chat, gave me his card and he went, no, I'll be in touch. So I walked off, put it in my bag and I didn't even look at it at this point. I was just like, oh, okay. That was nic chat. Got in the car and I remember my dad saying like, oh, you know, so who was it?

Harpz Kaur: And I just stopped and went, I dunno. Actually know who I was to, but I've got his card. So I quickly took the card out and it said, head of programs at BBC Asian Network, and I was like, oh my God. And the only thing that went through my head was, if only I knew I would've said this, I would've said that. I would've said this.

Harpz Kaur: Like we all do. You know, I should have impressed him more and I didn't. I was just kind of like, yeah, you know those Yes, No really short answers. And I was really kicking myself. I was like, oh, how did I not know [00:25:00] this? So then mixed emotions. I'm, I'm annoyed that I didn't say certain stuff, but I'm excited because wow, that just happened.

Harpz Kaur: And then I was like, what happens next? 'Cause he gave me his guard. So it was like, you know, when someone kind of, it wasn't selling you a dream, but it's almost like he's a stepping stone to get there. It was that feeling, but it's not promised. 'cause I don't know what that, what was gonna come from that.

Harpz Kaur: Anyway, six and a half months went by. I hadn't, I hadn't heard from him and I was screwing and I was went back into that lower place going to my mom and dad. I bet he says this to everyone. Like, I bet he gives his card out to everyone. He is not even like, got in touch. Anyway, six and a half months later, I got an email, come down for a chat hop.

Harpz Kaur: So I was like, okay. So I'm there, went down to London, saw the studios for the first time, and I remember being a kid in a candy shop, like, oh my God, there's so many lights, buttons, faders. Like, it was the most exciting thing for me. My adrenaline was sky high and I wasn't even on the on air. I was just looking at them, positive chat went really well.

Harpz Kaur: Called me again and he said, calm down. You know, let's do a little demo. Let's, let's just see. So he never really kind of said, we're gonna give you something. It was just come down and play around and do this. And so I did that. [00:26:00] Fast forward to Morocco, now I'm on a family holiday and I'm just there going, oh, but I still haven't heard from this guy.

Harpz Kaur: Like, I did this show and what if it's not gonna happen? And I remember the feeling of not sadness. It was kind of like someone just teased me and went, this could possibly happen. But it might not, and that might not, you know, when you focus on the might not, it's like, oh, my heart is like shattered into pieces.

Harpz Kaur: And I was like, why did you do that? Like, it was that feeling. So I got the call and I saw his name on my phone and I was like, oh no. Like this is gonna be probably one of the most important calls on my life. It's gonna go one way or the other. And I knew that call was gonna be the answer, like it's gonna be a yes or a no.

Harpz Kaur: And I remember just going to a pick it up. I didn't even wanna pick it up, so I just dreading to hear the words and I was like, um, please don't like shatter my dreams. It’s like Hello? And it was so quick and like informal. It was like straight to the point that I was there expecting like some buildup or something, but it was just, Hey abs, you all right?

Harpz Kaur: I was like, yeah, yeah, I'm just on holiday. Oh, cool. [00:27:00] Yeah, you're in Morocco. Nice. Okay, so, um, would you like to be the Sunday morning breakfast presenter? And I just froze and even now it gets me, like I, I've, I haven't got any hands because that feeling was just, I've waited so long for something to happen and that call just changed everything.

Harpz Kaur: And I remember being silent for quite a while. 'cause I didn't, I didn't know, I didn't even know how to say a thank you. It was just, yeah, like I'd love to do that. And that was it. So I think from that point onwards, Sunday morning breakfast to weekend breakfast to weekday breakfast and to having an amazing career and working out now is just even, you know, to me it sometimes feels like it wasn't real.It didn't happen. But it did. 

Amardeep Parmar: It's like, it's amazing to see like how that story came about and obviously all your hard work paying off, but then obviously you were at the BBC for quite a long time. And that's where most people know you're from. You've like household name across like lot's, the British, Asian community.

Amardeep Parmar: Then off that, you've now gone your own way and you're doing your own thing. What are you working on at the moment or what's the dream that you are doing? 

Harpz Kaur:Yeah,  I think because. Breakfast was quite tough in terms of 4:00 AM starts every day. I'm exhausted. I've needed the [00:28:00] time to recharge and recover as well.

Harpz Kaur: I think that's really important. It wasn't so much let's get out of it and get into something straight away. I couldn't do that. My body's just not ready for that. Um, but my focus, focus being keyword, it's still there. I still want to do more TV stuff. I still wanna do maybe more radio. I'm not sure. Let's.

Harpz Kaur: see if the, if the right opportunity comes, maybe I still just wanna be at the forefront of what I do best. And if those kind of opportunities come, I'll take them. But right now, I'm an open book, I'd say. So I haven't, I can't really say I want to, I'm gonna go do this and I wanna do that. I've kind of let my brain just go, look, we've, we've, we're at an awesome place right now and I'd like to try new things.

Harpz Kaur: So I think right now I'm experimenting. It's, it's kind of nice to try different things now and go, I like this, or maybe not that. And I love this, so I'm, I'm just trying to. Find my next love. I guess that's the answer, best answer I can give you. 

Amardeep Parmar: What's something you're enjoying at the moment? Like what's some of the stuff you've tried out like, oh, this is actually really fun. That maybe..

Harpz Kaur: yeah. Well, I've gone back into DJ now. I obviously started as a DJ before I was a presenter when I was about 18. So falling back in love with [00:29:00] DJ has been incredible. I'm back in the clubs, you know, I'm doing private events and stuff like that. Corporate shows, it's great because my love for music, as most of you'll know, will, will always be there.

Harpz Kaur: So anything that's involved with music and sound and dance, and I just wanna be there. So, yeah, DJ right now is something I'm focused on a lot, mainly because I just wanna get out there and enjoy interacting with people again, and dance. Everybody knows I'm a bit of a dancer as well. So, yeah, I, I do it more for my, for my mental health side.

Harpz Kaur: It's more of an escape for me. It's more of. Meantime getting back in the gym. I'm doing stuff like that. To be honest, I'm just trying to enjoy my life, giving myself a bit more of a break, taking more holidays, which I never got the time to do when I was so busy. So yeah, those kind of things for now. 

Amardeep Parmar: So it's great to hear all of that. We've got to go onto quick fire questions now.

Harpz Kaur: Okay. 

Amardeep Parmar: So first one  is who are three British stations that you'd love to shout out that you think people should be paying attention to? 

Harpz Kaur: Okay. Well, firstly I would like to shout out a very good friend of mine and someone that's really, really helped me in my career in a [00:30:00] different way.

Harpz Kaur: And he goes by the name of Prash. He. Is the founder and the man behind all Desi Beatz events across the uk, which are the biggest Desi nights. And the reason I want you to pay attention to him is because I feel not only is he a hardworking person and achieved so much in his own field, but I've learn so much from him as well as a person and those kind of people.

Harpz Kaur: You need to keep kind of close. And I feel he's really pushed me and led me into. Some of the most amazing directions. So not being biased 'cause he's a very close friend, but he's definitely one to to watch. So yeah, big up to Prash. This is gonna be hard, isn't it? Because everyone's gonna be like, why not me?

Harpz Kaur: Why not me? I'm also gonna go with a very, very dear friend, but someone I rate as a professional, and that is a friend called Govind Sharma who is a dancer and me being such a dance fanatic, a lot of my dance training comes from him. So a lot of you might not know this, but I, I train a lot with him to learn new styles and you know how to progress.

Harpz Kaur: But his work ethic and his [00:31:00] energy, I admire. And if you love music and dance, please go follow him on socials and stuff and you'll might recognize him from some of my videos. But love that guy. So definitely go watch him. And thirdly, oh God, this is tough. Thirdly, I'm gonna go with, I'm gonna big up Anila Dhami, because Anila is someone I just, I keep using the word admire, but I really, really do admire that woman.

Harpz Kaur: She is, she is a powerful lady in her own right, but she will never allow you to kind of. Feel that way around her. Now, I dunno if that makes sense, but you know, if someone really has a successful career and they're absolutely like just killing it in their position, she'll never boast about it. She'll never kind of be like, Hey, hey, hey, everybody, like dah, dah, dah.

Harpz Kaur: But I want you to do that for her. So even if you don't like this, I'm gonna tell people to do that because she deserves it. That girl works so hard at what she does and I, I still feel she deserves way more credit than she gets. So Anila, I just, I just. Yeah. Love. I love that girl. 

Amardeep Parmar: It's a great shout.  Also, like who did that as well?

Amardeep Parmar: [00:32:00] Ccause some people, sometimes the most successful people are also the most humble and people don't actually realize that. And those are the people that I love to get shouted out because they're the ones who won't do it themselves. Right. Other people promote themselves. 

Harpz Kaur: Yeah, exactly. 

Amardeep Parmar: Some of the people need that promotion 

Harpz Kaur: And they need it. So like, don't hide away from that kind of stuff. These guys are great that I've just mentioned, so please, yeah, go check out what they do. 

Amardeep Parmar: Uh, next one  is, people are looking for help right now with guidance. What could they reach out to you about? 

Harpz Kaur: Definitely the mental health side of things. I think, um, you know, as most of you might know, I'm a mental health advocate as well.

Harpz Kaur: Uh, Um, and, and I'm an ambassador as well for Calm, which is a charity, which is a campaign against, um, living miserably. And I not only have I, you know, gone through my own personal experiences, whether that be work professionally, personally, in my, in my own private life, but I just feel it's so important for us to talk about it more.

Harpz Kaur: To discuss it more and to really allow us to, to reach out for those tools that we need, rather than shy away from it. Because I think, especially from our culture and our community, we're very, we're very wired into thinking, oh, it'll be all right. Everybody's stressed, everybody has troubles. We'll get over it.

Harpz Kaur: [00:33:00] But it's not like that all the time. Sometimes you do need someone to listen. You do want people to hear you and you do want people you know, you know to be that, that shoulder for you to cry on. So I'm not saying everybody come to me and cry to me. Of course you can if you need to, but I'm saying find those, uh, those points that are bugging you.

Harpz Kaur: Write them down and if you need advice on that, I'm definitely here to help you do that. But obviously anything professionally, I think people want advice on, maybe like a career in radio or tv, I'll try my very best, I guess to give you as many tips and things as I can. So yeah, I think. Mental health, I'm here and yeah, advice on anything in the broadcast world.

Harpz Kaur: I'll try my very best. 

Amardeep Parmar: And then on the other side is you think you need help with right now? Maybe somebody listening could help you with?

Harpz Kaur: That's a very good question. I feel like I need help with a lot of things. You know what? I need help on how to cook. I can't cook. So if anybody out there wants to teach me, How to make the basics without burning the kitchen down.

Harpz Kaur: Please. I'll let you go 

Amardeep Parmar: and then it's so great to have you on today. Thank you. Have you got you any final words?

Harpz Kaur: Yeah. My final [00:34:00] words would be if you are ever at a position and you think I'm stuck or I dunno how to get out of this situation, whatever it may be, whatever that situation is, and I'm only talking from experience.

Harpz Kaur: If you feel trapped and you feel like it's time for change, You're too scared to take it. I'm telling you now. I promise you that leap of faith that people talk about is so important to take sometimes because if you don't take it, you will never know and. I've done that many times in my career, in my, in my life, and every single time my intuition and my gut has been right.

Harpz Kaur: So please just believe in yourself a little bit more if those moments come. It's so easy to talk about the good things and stuff, but really I think we should be given advice and stuff about the bad, not bad things, but things that we struggle with. So when you get to that point, please never feel too scared of going, no, I'll just stay comfortable, because sometimes bigger and better things come outside of your comfort zone.

Harpz Kaur: So if you need to take that jump, Take it. I promise you'll remember this or go a long way.

Amardeep Parmar: Hello. Hello [00:35:00] everyone. Thank you so much for listening. It makes a huge amount to us and we don't think you realize how important you are because if you subscribe to our YouTube channel, if you leave us a five star review, it makes a world of difference. And if you believe in what we're trying to do here, to inspire, connect, and guide the next generation of British Asians.

Amardeep Parmar: If you do those things, you can help us achieve that mission and you can help us make a bigger impact. And by doing that it means we can get bigger guests, we can host more events, we can do more for the community. So you can play a huge part. So thank you so much for supporting us.