Kiran Ahluwalia. (Dorian Drislane/kiranmusic.com photo)

Singer and songwriter Kiran Ahluwalia has announced her West Coast winter tour to promote her critically acclaimed new album “7 Billion,” out now on Six Degrees Records. The New York City-based Indian American artist will tour all major cities on the West Coast, including Los Angeles and her former hometown of Berkeley.

Ahluwalia is a modern exponent of the vocal traditions of India and Pakistan. Her compositions embody her Indian heritage, while embracing influences as diverse as West African Blues and Jazz. Ahluwalia started learning music as a child in India. When her family immigrated to Canada from her native India, she continued learning Indian music as an extra-curricular activity all the way from grade school to an MBA in finance.

She quit her management job in Canada and went back to India to immerse herself in music. She then returned to Toronto, turned her back on the corporate world and focused on her passion – music. She soon had a flourishing recording career, according to a press release.

Among the many awards she has garnered for her recordings are two JUNO Awards (Canada’s Grammys), two Canadian Folk Music Awards, and a Songlines Award from the UK.

On tour, Ahluwalia brings alive her boundary-breaking songs exploring the human condition, with a style that’s uniquely her own, noted the release. Accompanying her on her upcoming tour is a 5-piece group helmed by renowned DownBeat poll-winning guitarist and composer Rez Abbasi, along with Grammy Award winning keyboardist Sam Barsh (whose credits include Kendrick Lamar, Norah Jones), Marito Marques on drums and Nitin Mitta on tabla.

“7 Billion’s” diverse and entrancing soundscapes are a melding of blues, rock and jazz.

“Lyrically my songs reflect my own struggles as an immigrant and a female artist and also speak about wider world issues namely cultural intolerance and the rise of fundamentalism. I realize most people don’t understand my lyrics and that’s why I feel it’s incumbent on me to compose in a musically universal way that will directly connect to the audience,” she commented.

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