Royal Stag Barrel Select MTV Unplugged in its sixth season took the level of music to a higher level much to the liking of the music lovers. The multi-city tour event also came to Kolkata and the audience was swayed by the music of rapper Badshah. Prior to the performance, a press meet was organized with Badshah addressing the media.
Badshah had performed in the city before and was quite excited to be back in Kolkata. The rapper who is popular among the youth due to the foot tapping numbers like Kala chashma, Kar gayi chul, The humma song, DJ wale babu holds a degree in civil engineering. “I was doing a job too. But I realized that I was cheating myself. I was not doing what I was meant to do. DJ wale babu happened and then I quit my job and now I am here” said Badshah.
To share space with the legend A.R.Rahman has been a great opportunity for Badshah. He also added that the rap industry in India is small now and he is hopeful that it will grow in the coming time.
Badshah’s tip for the youngsters who want to become rappers was “Believe in yourself!! Listen and continue to write. There is no institution or teacher to guide you. Just go on polishing the talent that you have”.
Video: Rituraj Sen’s Video Launch of Tumhare Shahar Ka Mausam
Rituraj Sen’s video launch of Tumhare Shahar Ka Mausam took place recently. This is a track from his album Khayal. A student of the eminent musician A. R. Rahman, this is the first music album of the musician and his second video release.
Present at the music launch were Mehuli Sarkar, Abhinandan Dutta, Sam Samax, Rituraj Sen and others. The composer of the album is Baloo Dutta.
Khayal is a new way of presenting Ghazals. By the use of different instruments and new musical arrangements, the new album tries to blend the two styles keeping the authenticity of the composition intact. The style of composing the songs is traditional and the presentation is contemporary.
“My uncle Baloo Dutta, a disciple of Ghulam Ali, composed these songs many years ago and I grew up listening to them. It was then that I decided that I will make this into an album. I came back from Bangladesh and started recording the songs in 2014. I hope the audience love the songs” said the musician.
Aakash Aath’s new musical non-fiction show Trac Record will be representing and reviving the spirit of the golden era of Bengali and Hindi songs through melodious songs in a new format for the audiences. These songs will be performed by some well known singers of today’s generation.
Singers like Jojo, Sidhu, Kinjal, Prashmita, Emon and others will be performing in this show. Speaking about the program, singer Jojo said “The old melodious songs will be presented in a new way to capture the attention of the young generation. No changes will be made to the original song though. There will be slight changes made in the orchestration. With this program, we will be seeing the different ways in which a single song can be performed. I will be singing four songs in the program”.
Songs of the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s will be sung in this program. Songs after 2000 will not be included however. Songs of Mohammad Rafi, Asha Bhonsle, Swapna Chakraborty, A. R. Rahman, Shyamal Mitra, Usha Uthup and others will be performed in this hour long program.
Debjit Roy who is the music director of the show said “There is always a chance that the audience may not like the way the old songs have been presented. But we are taking the chance. We have only selected those songs which could be sung in a different manner”.
Director Supriyo Ghosh said “We want to make the audience listen to good songs. The old melodies are so contemporary that we can even experiment with them. Nearly all the musical show of Aakash Aath has been well appreciated by the audience. I am extremely hopeful that the program will touch the hearts of the audience”.
RJ Roy will be acting as the invisible narrator of this show. It is to be noted that the program do not have an anchor.
The show will be aired from 4th August, Thursday to Saturday on Aakash Aath at 9.30pm.
Video-Bollywood Singer Ash King Exclusive Interview
His favorites are the Masala tea and the Liquor tea. He can stay in the city if he is given Macher-jhol and Bhaat. The person in question is singer Ashutosh Ganguly or better known to us as Ash King. Sholoana Bangaliana caught up with the talented and versatile singer over cups of tea at Park Hotel. Excerpts..
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana- Welcome to Kolkata. So how is the city treating you?
Ash King- Well the experience has been good till now. I have been gorging on Bengali cuisine. The heat is as usual wonderful. However I have not been able to grab Jhaal-muri. I will surely be having some before I leave Kolkata.
How did Ashutosh Ganguly become Ash King?
Ash King- I am still Ashutosh Ganguly (laughs out loud). But Ash King was devised so that the people abroad could pronounce my name. The Bengali name is tough for them to pronounce. Moreover writing that down on albums was also problematic. So I took the name of Ash initially. One day a friend of mine was giving me a haircut and he suddenly said “Hey Ash King! Are you listening?”. The name caught my fancy and I decided to stick with the name. The name King is synonymous to the Bengali ‘daknaam’. And in this way I became Ash King.
Your grandfather Brajendra Lal Ganguly was the first music teacher at Rabindranath Tagore’s home and school. Your father Shankar Ganguly taught you about various music genres. How has this family background influenced your taking up singing as a career?
Ash King- Seven generations of my family has been into music. Whether it is Drupad, Kirtans or Classical Music, my forefathers were all into music. Music, I assume is in my genes. I am half Bengali and Half Gujrati. That also had an influence on me. If I had lived in an Indian household, I would have been exposed only to Indian music. And if I had only lived with an English family, I would have been exposed only to pop music. I am thankful that despite living abroad, I have received the best of both cultures. That has helped me much in shaping my musical sensibilities as an artist.
How did you get your ticket to sing in Bollywood?
Ash King- I met A. R. Rahman with the help of a friend who actually had mentioned to A. R. Rahman that there is a guy who sings Hindi songs. I was asked to meet him and I was literally surprised at my good luck. No one would actually believe that they will get to meet such a great talent so easily. I went and sang a few lines. And then I sang the song “Dil gira dafatan”.
How will you describe your musical journey till now?
Ash King– It has been immensely fulfilling. I have sang with some of the top music composers namely Shantanu Moitra, Himesh Reshammiya, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Vishal Bharadwaj, Pritam, Amit Trivedi and Meet Bros. This was always on my wish list to sing for some of the best music composers of today’s time. I will like to work with Ajay-Atul, Jeet Ganguly. I have met Jeet Ganguly but I never had the chance to work with him. I don’t know though whether he will like to work with me. One thing I want to be very clear about is I want to work more in the Bengali music industry. The kind of likes and hits that I have been getting for my Bengali songs like Kothin or Dekhte Bou Bou is amazing.
One thing about Kolkata which I always have found fascinating is the people here are very contented. One can go to Mumbai or Delhi for work but they will eventually come back here. The city has everything. You simply do not need to go anywhere else.
So what are your upcoming projects in Bollywood and Tollywood?
Ash King- I have quite a few projects lined up. I recently recorded a song for a Ramesh Sippy film. The romantic track which I recorded is by Meet Bros. I was amazed when they approached me as they have always done item numbers. But the track is so romantic. The film has Hema Malini and Rajkumar Rao. If you liked the song, I Love You, you will surely love this song too.
Apart from that I have a band Ash King Live. We do mainly live programs. We are planning to bring out a single Rabindrasangeet song in Bengali just before the Pujas. That will be in a video format. Hope I will be able to do justice to the song.
Amongst my Tollywood projects, I have recorded a song for Savvy named Chaichi Toke.
You have worked both in Bollywood and Tollywood. What differences have you come across in the working style of both the industries?
Ash King- Bollywood is more technical and at times stressful. They are always in a rush. I don’t blame them as the films often have big stars and you have a deadline to meet. Hence there is always the mad rush.
In Tollywood, things are done with more passion. There is a certain pace to the way one completes their work. Most of the songs I have sung here have lyrics written by Prosen. He is a bundle of talent. Some of the lyrics of the songs are so witty and funny. Who would have thought about them but him? I have listened to songs sung by Haimanti Shukla, Manna Dey and many other eminent singers. They take their time in singing a particular song. They do not rush.
Many singers have turned actors. Do you have any such plans?
Ash King- No, not at all. Honestly I don’t possess the looks needed to become an actor. Even if I had any plans of becoming an actor in future, I will like to do comedy films. I love to entertain people. Parody videos will also suit me. However, I think I will stick to my singing and let the professional actors do their job.
Our interview came to an end as the singer had more work lined up in his small visit to the city.
(The interview was arranged by Artist Branding)
Priyanka Dutta takes a keen interest in lifestyle and entertainment related news. She also enjoys interviewing celebrities and other renowned personalities. Priyanka holds a post graduate degree in English and Mass Communication. Journalism is her passion and she has reported for many a reputed international web portals.
The cold could not dampen the spirit of 6588 runners who made it to Red Road to participate in the inaugural Tata Steel Kolkata (TSK) 25K in the men and women’s categories. Apart from the runners, the face of the event, Jeet along with Tota Roy Chowdhury, Abir Chatterjee, Arjun Chakraborty, Nusrat Jahan, Moubani Sorcar, Raj Chakraborty along with Cricketers Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Ashok Dinda stepped out in the morning chill to cheer runners. Actor Rahul Bose who is a fitness enthusiast was seen taking part in the run too.
Indian elite athletes, Nitender Singh Rawat and Kavita Raut won the inaugural Tata Steel Kolkata (TSK) 25K, in the men and women’s categories respectively. Nitender clocked 01:19:39 to win his first title in the City of Joy and Kavita stopped the clock at 01:33:39 in the women’s category.
On winning the inaugural edition, Nitender Singh Rawat, said, “This is my first time in the 25K race. Earlier I had taken part in the 21K race. However this experience was memorable. My coach Mr. Surinder Singh is my mentor and guide and I will like to follow his footsteps. The next year I will be participating in the full marathon. I wish to take part in the Full 42k in the Mumbai Marathon 2016 with an eye for the 2016 Olympics.”
Winner in the women’s category, Kavita Raut, said, “The arrangements at the race impressed me and I thank the organizers for such great organization. The weather, the support from the crowd and the route was immensely favorable. I had run for 21K before but this is my first time in 25 K race. This race prepared me for the 2016 Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon.”
A total of 6,588 plus runners participated in the inaugural edition of the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K across different categories. Some of the categories and the number of participants include 857 in the 25K, 1515 in the Open 10K, 3534 in the Ananda Run, 2622 in the Senior Citizen and 419 in Champions with disability.
The top three Elite athletes in the 25K category won Rs. 2, 50, 000, Rs. 1,75,000 , Rs. 1,00,000 respectively.