City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Building a Brighter Billings

An interview with Harvey Singh

Harvey Singh landed in Billings in the wake of the 2010 twister that tore the roof off the Rimrock Auto Arena. National news outlets referred to the storm as the “Father’s Day Tornado,” and fatherhood loomed on Harvey’s horizon as he rode into town to repair the hail damage. Within the next three years, he would become the parent of his own contracting company and welcome his son, Taj, into the world. Since then, Harvey has been recognized as Businessperson of the Year by the Billings Chamber of Commerce, in addition to receiving a profile in the Gazette’s “40 Under 40” series as a standout business leader. Taj, meanwhile, has enjoyed early stardom, refining his acting chops in Singh Contracting commercials and featuring as an extra in the Pixar movie, Soul. Today, Harvey and Taj are Billings celebrities—friendly, recognizable faces that symbolize our community’s exciting future.

What’s the secret to the duo’s success? Harvey explains, “We’re constantly doing our own thing. I don’t have a competitive bone in my body; it’s all about creating. When someone does something and it works really well, I see a bunch of people will go and do the same thing. And I’m like, ‘No! Don’t do that! You go do something creative, and I’ll go do something creative, and together we’ll grow.’ That’s where creativity beats competition. You can have a competitive mind and get what’s already there, or you can have a creative mind and add value to a place.”

For Harvey and Taj, adding value to Billings is a full-time job. Between construction work, restaurant ventures, sponsorship, and community service, the father and son work hard to improve their community every day. “It comes from a place of gratitude,” Harvey says. “Knowing we’re lucky to have what we have and pouring it over to other people.” Taj gets the opportunity to tag along on all Harvey’s adventures, manning cash registers, depositing checks, and even hitting the gym at six in the morning. This teamwork is essential to Harvey’s parenting philosophy. He remarks, “I see too many parents who are just raising kids but not really investing in them. I always tell my kid what I’m doing; I don’t sideline him. He’s very inquisitive. But I always get excited for the opportunity to tell him my take, and also to tell him, ‘You’re your own person; you have to decide what you think is right.’”

Running several businesses in addition to driving Taj from homeschool to CrossFit to Jiu-Jitsu to the skate park may sound incredibly draining, but Harvey views every trial as an opportunity. By centering his days around creating a better world for his son, he maintains a strong enthusiasm for all aspects of his work. Before Taj’s birth, he admits he was “going through the motions. No identity, no passion or purpose.” He credits his son with forming him into a better person, adding, “People spend so much time trying to work on themselves, but so little time working on their children. You could take all the work you feel you need to do on yourself and share that with your child, and you’ll both benefit. Take your kid with you. Don’t just stick him in school and not ask what’s going on.”

Harvey hopes his own willingness to improve will extend to others concerned with Billings’ future. “There are two types of people,” he says. “People who are looking for progress, and people who do not want the place to change and don’t want people to come here. In all reality, it’s inevitable. You don’t have to worry about people coming to your town if you’re doing something with your town. If you’re not doing anything to make it better and someone else comes in and doubles your work ethic, you can’t get mad at them. I want to invest in the place my son is from. Billings is an open canvas. It hasn’t been decided. There’s no place I know of that you can make such a big impact.”

Amazingly, it’s been twelve years since the Father’s Day Tornado touched down in the Heights. Since then, Harvey Singh has not only helped Billings rebuild—he and Taj have proven its potential for greater growth. With teams like this father-and-son duo leading the charge, our community’s future looks brighter than ever.