In July Kirtan for Causes, the charity to which I donate all my record sales, hosted its annual community lunch. At this mixer we invite all the students and families we support via our educational funding and pastoral work in rural Punjab. I travelled to the party with my husband and young son. It was a gift to see my son playing and interacting with the other children, connecting to their homeland and their stories with no pretext or expectation. We run the event as an open house. Discussion is encouraged and conversation flows as freely as the tea. Many of the children we currently support in junior and secondary education came forward wanting to explore their options for further schooling, whether that be university, apprenticeship or workplace training. For the older children who are on the cusp of making that step we have created a Facebook group. A simple enough idea, but a now valued platform for sharing internship opportunities and career advice, a place to raise concerns and herald successes. I have spoken before in my blogs about Gurpreet Kaur. We began to support Gurpreet’s schooling some 10 years ago. At a young age she lost her mother to cancer and her father subsequently disowned her. Despite these hurdles, Gurpreet is a bright and poised young woman determined to succeed professionally as a journalist. In pursuit of this goal Gurpreet has enrolled at Chandigarh University in the capital city of Punjab. Gurpreet has already studied Engineering to a higher level and completed industry internships. She is also restarting English lessons this summer to finesse her translation and writing skills ready for an international career. Evidently, her story is an inspiration. Gurpreet attended the lunch and was on hand to share her experiences with her peers. The event is also a wonderful moment to celebrate the work Kirtan for Causes is facilitating in rural Punjab. We are supporting more children than ever, expanding the reach of our work to include constructing homes, and are building a community anchored in love and guidance – the most vital ingredients to any child’s success world over. This month I also returned to London, a city that always sparks great creative energy in me. Here we held the photoshoot for my new album promo shots. Dressed elaborately in vintage Punjabi brocade and embroidery, I struck my best poses in front of acid-bright contemporary graffiti. This clash embodying the approach of my next collection; old meets new, kirtan expanded as never before. Check below for an exclusive ‘making-of’ video of the photoshoot.