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Posts Tagged ‘India’

After Padmaavat, 102 Not Out, Preetisheel Singh wants aliens for Bollywood

Preetisheel Singh at work in her studio Da Makeup Lab. - Pic 1.

The list of achievements for National Award-winning makeup and prosthetics designer Preetisheel Singh haven’t stopped from the day she set foot in the world of make-believe.

Preetisheel Singh at work in her studio Da Makeup Lab. - Pic 2.

“They say, Bollywood is a place where dreams are made. So what better than a profession which helps makes those dreams a reality,” quips Preetisheel, who has designed the looks of actors for some of the topmost movies in Bollywood like Umesh Shukla’s 102 Not Out and Sajid Nadiadwala’s Housefull 3, along with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat.

Preetisheel Singh at work with prosthetics.

Her work for the pre-Mughal epic Nanak Shah Fakir directed by Sartaj Singh Pannu bagged her the coveted National Film Award for Best Makeup, while her talent will soon be showcased again in Anubhav Sinha’s Mulk, where Rishi Kapoor will appear in the look of a devout Muslim. Then there is the Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer Thackeray — the biopic on Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray, presented by Sanjay Raut and directed by Abhijit Panse.

Preetisheel Singh working on makeup of a ghost on the sets of The House Next Door.

So what does it take to create different looks? “Prosthetic has a lot of parts involved in it. You first take the life cast of the actor in 3D measurement after which you sculpt and make moulds, running silicon pieces in it,” explains Preetisheel.

Preetisheel Singh - Pic 6

“The silicon pieces are then applied on the actor and are merged with the actor’s skin so that it doesn’t look artificial. So tomorrow if a filmmaker comes up and has the requirement for an alien creature, we can do it. In fact, it will be good fun and I’d love to create aliens for Bollywood.”

Preetisheel Singh gets the Power Brands Award.

Is the whole process very time-consuming? “When we look at characters with prosthetics on screen, we do not realize how much time and effort goes behind the scenes. The whole process involves a lot of visualization, planning, detailing, art and finally time. But the end result is worth the energy spent,” she concludes with a smile.

Preetisheel Singh collage 4

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Ashok Chaudhary CRUSHES Kangana Ranaut’s nepotism debate with The Music In My Blood

Bollywood has been raging with the debate on nepotism ever since Kangana Ranaut struck uneasy chords about it in her confrontation with Karan Johar. Talking about how the Indian film industry has a bias towards talent born into industry families, she begun a discussion which refuses to die. But amidst all the mud-slinging on the topic, one never imagined it would be portrayed in the form of a story.

Karan Johar, Kangana Ranaut, Ashok Chaudhary - Collage 1

But that’s what theatre and film actor Ashok Chaudhary’s character in the American Off-Broadway play The Music In My Blood is all about. The play has the Indian-American playing a character of Vikram; an aspiring singer who does not belong to any affluent musical family, but dreams of becoming a famous singer like the yesteryear greats Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar.

 

“Vikram goes through the journey of a careless student hailing from a lower strata of society, persevering to learn Hindustani classical music and finally transforming himself into a great musician,” informs Ashok.

 

“His character redefines the play’s title The Music in My Blood and proves that one does not have to be born in an artistic family to be a great performer. With sheer talent and dedication, the character proves that nepotism can be crushed,” he adds.

Ashok Chaudhary in the play The Music In My Blood. Pic 1.

Interestingly, the play’s narration is creatively moved forward in the form of a ghost of Walter Kaufmann, a Jewish refugee to India during the Second World War, who gave India the iconic All India Radio signature tune and fell in love with the music of the land.

Ashok Chaudhary after the play The Music In My Blood. Pic 4.

Ashok is touched by the audience response. “After the play, viewers come up to me in a very emotional state, some even with moist eyes. They identify with the character which seems to rake up their pent up emotions and unfulfilled dreams. Such a soul-stirring response is heart-warming and heartbreaking at the same time,” remarks Ashok.

 

He will next be seen playing a spy in Eshwar Gunturu’s Bollywood film Code Name Abdul which stars Tanishaa Mukerji in the lead.

Ashok Chaudhary after the play The Music In My Blood. Pic 3.

 

Indian-American singer Kabir manages to win hearts with Got Me Hooked

 When Indian-American singer Kabir released his debut single Got Me Hooked, he was anxious how well it will be accepted. The Brown Debonair as he has been nicknamed by the US media, Kabir has a very unique silvery voice compared to traditional Indian singers abroad.

 Singer Kabir. Pic 8.

A fortnight after his release, he is a happy man. Got me Hooked has not only been well-received, but has earned rave reviews in the American, Canadian as well as British media. Winning hearts of the huge Asian community as well as on the mainstream music circuit, its fast emerging a hot favourite with many radio stations playing it several times a day.

Written and produced by Damen Heyward and Juan ‘Majik’ Peters, the number has a set of hypnotic rhythms with the video having a very chilled-out feel. This has also managed to win Kabir a strong female fan-following.

 Singer Kabir. Pic 9.

“I should admit I was a bit nervous before the release, but the response from radio stations and social media has been heartening,” quips Kabir. Moreover, his video has steadily been growing in popularity on YouTube with consistent organic views and lots of positive comments, which has brought more cheer.

The singer narrates an incident when he recently visited an Indie club in Brooklyn and the DJ immediately recognized him. “The club managed to get hold of the number from YouTube and began playing it, announcing my presence. It was a touching and overwhelming moment for me. They made me feel like a rockstar,” recalls the debutant.

 Singer Kabir. Pic 11.

Not many are aware that Kabir actually belongs to the family of Partap Brothers with a rich musical heritage. Music runs in his blood, with some of his family members being veterans of traditional spiritual music and ambassadors of the Sikh community in North America. This makes it all the more interesting to see how Kabir will steer his musical journey from here.

Singer Kabir. Pic 10.

Elnaaz Norouzi to feature in Guru Randhawa’s Made In India

Elnaaz Norouzi. Pic 5.

When chart-topping Punjabi singer-composer Guru Randhawa first met actress Elnaaz Norouzi on the sets of his new music video, he began praising her “stunning looks” to a unit member in Punjabi. Elnaaz being an Iranian by birth, Guru obviously thought she wouldn’t understand Hindi or Punjabi. But Elnaaz, who actually speaks seven languages including fluent Hindi, stunned Guru when she pitched in, thanking him in Punjabi.

Elnaaz Norouzi. Pic 1.

The couple’s onscreen chemistry would be on display this week, as T-Series releases Guru’s latest Punjabi single Made In India. Crazily famous among his legion of diehard fans, Guru will be seen wooing Elnaaz in the video, which has been shot in Milan and Lake Como in Italy. The lyrics have him praising his girl for her out-of-this-world beauty and describing how she looks as if she is made in India.

Written, composed and sung by Guru himself, Made In India’s teaser is already out. Going by the sound of it, the number seems to be yet another potential blockbuster, just like his last smashing hit single Raat Kamaal Hai. Catchy, happy, racy and peppy.

Elnaaz Norouzi and Guru Randhawa on the sets of Made In India. Pic 3.

Elnaaz who is going to be seen for the first time in a music video, is quite excited. “Guru is as chilled-out as his hairdo,” she quips with a wink. “I was wondering how my experience would be, but I must say, he made shooting a lot of fun.”

Elnaaz Norouzi. Pic 3.

The actress has earlier worked with megastar Salman Khan in a popular cola commercial and even on the Being Human ad campaign, apart from doing two prominent commercials with megastar Shah Rukh Khan. She’s also played the lead in a Punjabi film Khido Khundi.

Next month, Elnaaz will be seen in the role of a film actress in the upcoming Netflix series Sacred Games; the streaming giant’s first Indian original show with Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte.

Elnaaz Norouzi. Pic 4.

 

Making the PR industry feel proud

Keshav Rai

Keshav Rai

Two Bollywood PRs have their birthdays today — Keshav Rai, who has earlier ruled television PR for more than a decade. One of the most good-natured and friendly PRs the Indian PR industry has ever witnessed. I salute him.

Baabush Sharma

Baabush Sharma

And secondly, the super-caring, amicable and efficient contemporary PR Baabush Sharma… who I caught up with a week ago after a really long long time. A very happy birthday to both of you. Its guys like you who make the PR industry proud. Rock on 🙂 🙂

Susheel Sharma

Susheel Sharma

Psst: And a very special mention for my close friend Susheel Sharma who celebrated his birthday yesterday. Susheel has earlier handled the PR for some of the biggest Bollywood blockbusters, with an extremely successful innings in the profession for almost two decades.

India successfully test-fires Agni-V missile

BREAKING NEWS: India successfully test-fires Agni-V missile for the sixth time. The missile launch has been conducted from the APJ Kalam Island, off the coast of Odisha. The nuclear-capable Agni-V is an intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of over 5,000 km.

India's Agni-V missile (Image courtesy - Internet) For representation purpose only.

India’s Agni-V missile. Image for representation purpose only. (Image courtesy – Internet)

Indian-American singer Kabir releases debut single Got Me Hooked

Singer Kabir - Single Cover Pic

Indian-American Brooklyn boy Kabir worked as a financial analyst in New York for the multi-billion-dollar company Bloomberg LP. But when it came to his dreams, he was man enough to quit his high-flying job to pursue his passion for singing. Released this week, his debut single Got Me Hooked, is sure managing to catch attention.

Singer Kabir. Pic 2.

Written and produced by Damen Heyward and Juan ‘Majik’ Peters, Got Me Hooked is a peppy pop number with electrifying beats and racy lyrics. The music video reveals Kabir in a suave and stylish avatar. With a set of hypnotic rhythms and silvery voice, he comes across as a chilled-out ladies man out to conquer hearts.

 

 

Kabir’s voice has the pitch of a Punjabi jat combined with a soothing touch of flowing melody. A very unusual sound from what we are used to hear from Asian-American singers. And that is also what makes him stand out.

Singer Kabir. Pic 3.

He has a rich musical heritage that includes the Partap Brothers; veterans of traditional spiritual music and ambassadors of the Sikh community in North America.

Singer Kabir. Pic 5.

It turns out that over the years, classic and contemporary American songs have shaped Kabir’s sound along with traditional Indian music, reflecting his varying influences even on a pop track.

Singer Kabir. Pic 6.

That’s an interesting personality-sound combo we have here. Now we’ll have to wait and watch how well it hooks the listeners.

Singer Kabir. Pic 7.