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Exclusive! Indian Grammy nominee Prashant Mistry opens up on his journey so far!

London-based Indian music producer, mix and mastering engineer Prashant Mistry’s album Symbol is nominated for the Best Immerse Audio Album at the 61st Grammy Awards.

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CB: How do you feel about the praise and admiration you are receiving now after the nominations were announced?

Prashant: It’s been really beautiful to see, I’ve been blown away by the kind words and wishes. This album took me a very long time to compose so to see it have this recognition is a blessing. It also makes me so happy for the featured musicians to be able to say they are proud to be a part of this.

CB: How and when did you find out that Symbol has been nominated? How did you celebrate?

Prashant: I was actually looking for Jorja Smith’s nomination (whose music I mix and master) and she is up for ‘Best New Artist’… I was super happy about this and happened to keep scrolling and saw my name! I Celebrated by eating lots of cheese.

CB: What do you think about the other albums nominated in the same category?

Prashant: There are some brilliant projects, with top engineering!! Some very tough competition indeed but we shall see…

CB: You have been described as – multi-instrumentalist, DJ, mastering and mixing engineer. How would you describe yourself as an artist?

Prashant: Haha… it’s true I have been known to wear a number of hats, in truth I just love music and am blessed to have had the opportunity to work on music every day.  As an artist, I guess I’m a sum of lots of strange influences.

CB: From what I hear, your roots are in Rajkot, Gujarat. Were you born in India?

Prashant: Actually I was born in the UK, my grandparents are originally from Rajkot, my parents were born in Uganda but had to leave as refugees in the 70s to the UK to escape the Idi Amin dictatorship. I was born a few years later just outside London as 1st generation.

CB: In 2009 you started your bass collective – Engine Earz Experiment. How did that come about?

Prashant: So I had been working with the other musicians on other musical projects for a while, and we all had a passion for incorporating traditional live instruments with their electronic and machine counterparts. After I composed the first song ‘Kaliyuga’, Nihal at BBC Radio 1 asked me to come to perform a Maida Vale live session, so I asked them if they would like to join and the band was alive! We toured for many many years all over the world together.

CB: Engine Earz Experiments takes a lot of inspiration from India. Tell me more about this…

Prashant: I don’t think its intentional as such, I just grew up with Indian classical music at home, whilst being heavily into electronic music, so the two influences naturally manifest in the music I compose. The same is true for other members of the group.

CB: How has the response been for the integration/fusion Indian undertone?

Prashant: I was honestly surprised by how well non-Indian fans took to the Engine-Earz Experiment music. Often Indian fusion music is mainly appreciated by other Indians, I think because I have enough of a mix of other underground genres in the composition it’s able to reach further? Who knows!

CB: How was your experience working in the UK? Were you ever discriminated against?

Prashant: That’s a tough question –  for sure I’ve faced both overt and more subtle racism throughout my life but I try not to let that define my outlook too much as a person (although sadly now post-Brexit it’s becoming much more of a norm after vanishing for 20 years!). I remember being chased by racist skin-heads as a kid, to being physically attacked in the street. But most of the time it’s much more subtle. Funnily enough, as I grew up I realised being different was my greatest strength in the UK, and similarly having a Western musical experience was a great asset in India.

CB: What kind of music from India inspires you creatively?

Prashant: I think the hip-hop movement is fantastic, I LOVE what Azadi records are doing (shout out Mo!), I’ve always been a fan of Randolph and Vishal from Pentagram, the bass movement with Krunk is fantastic and I’m a fan of Sandunes and some of the experimental sounds. But I think the Hip-hop movement encapsulates what is going to be incredible about India in the years to come.

Check out the Symbol Full album with full Visuals here-

CB: What’s the significance of our great musical and cultural heritage today?

Prashant: I think it’s the ability to unite almost 2 billion people and to focus that energy into new forms and experiences with open arms to the rest of the world.

CB: What would you say to the ones looking up to you and seeing you achieve so much today?

Prashant: Keep focused on your art, your message, and find happiness, something to love and passion in every project you work on.

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Exclusives

RAW actor Shadaab Khan: I want to focus more on acting now!

Having made an impactful comeback to the big screen after 19 years with Romeo Akbar Walter, Shadaab Khan reveals he is here to stay!

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Shadaab Khan was recently seen in the espionage film Romeo Akbar Walter, starring John Abraham and others. Even in a small role, he managed to make his presence felt in a suave, nuanced rendition of his screen character – Nawab Afridi – that other actors might have played loudly. Before RAW, the actor was last seen in the 2000 release Hey Ram, but we hope to see more of him in the future. In his elegant home just off Kalakar Amjad Khan Chowk in Bandra’s Pali Hill area, Suguna Sundaram caught up with the actor and his lovely wife Rumana, who was instrumental in his return to the big screen. In a candid chat, the actor talks about his big screen comeback, what kept him away for so long and juggling between writing and acting. Excerpts:

It’s been almost two decades since you disappeared from films…

Honestly, I don’t know what happened. Somewhere down the line, I just fell out of love with the business of films. I didn’t feel like I belonged here, and it was a feeling of just not wanting to be here. I wanted to explore other opportunities. It was always told to me that you should go into films because of my father (the late Amjad Khan) and grandfather (legendary late actor Jayant). I got here and thought to myself that I was probably better off someplace else. I can write. I wanted to explore that. And somewhere, while doing that, I just went further and further away from this place.

Your wife Rumana had been urging you to come back to films I believe!

Rumana played a huge part in this journey back. It was 100 per cent her doing and her belief in me. And her constantly telling me that I should not ignore something that I should be doing. She said, ‘You’re an actor, this is your family’. She was of the opinion that I should not just write, but act as well. In fact, she insisted that I was making a mistake in continually turning down work that was coming my way. Eventually, that would definitely stop. And she was absolutely right. Now I want to strike a balance between writing and acting with more attention on acting. I am thankful to her for bringing me back here, or RAW would not have happened.

So how did RAW come about then?

I am very grateful to Mukesh Chhabra’s casting agency. They always kept me in mind, for my role in Hey Ram, and kept calling me for roles. I turned down a number of roles, including one in Sriram Raghavan’s Badlapur. I wasn’t sure of or keen on coming back. Plus, I’d put on a hell of a lot of weight during the time I was out. I didn’t want to be seen on screen with the 131 kilos I was back then. If you are typecast in a film and it works, every other film you get will be in that same mould. I was very scared that if I came back with Badlapur, it would not look good for me. So I started working on myself towards losing weight.  But it was very nice of Mukesh Chhabra’s agency to keep remembering me because had they not, that role in RAW might have gone to somebody else. When they called me for RAW, I knew that I was not the guy the director had in mind. The physicality of character he had in mind was something else, someone greater in size and physical stature, and more menacing.

Tell us more…

For the character of Nawab Afridi, he was looking for somebody more Nawabi, someone heavy-set, like a fat, rich man. I had lost weight by then. I was not fitting the character. Mukesh’s team said let’s audition him for the role, and when they did, it worked well. That’s how I came back, though I wasn’t planning on that even now. But the kind of films being made, opened my eyes to this, honestly.

Post RAW, what’s next on the table?

I am currently in talks for two particular web series, as an actor. Verbally, I have committed to one, and I’ve auditioned for both. The good thing about auditioning, is as an actor, it gives you practice, it sharpens you up. Auditioning is the norm now. And until you don’t make it, until I am not in that position, until the director says, ‘Hey, I want this guy, we write a role for him,’ and you don’t need to audition, until that day comes, I will keep auditioning and keep my eyes open. I’m very competitive by nature, and I don’t want to fall back.

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Malaika Arora reveals her BIG secret for a flawless summer body – watch video

Malaika Arora is undoubtedly one of the hottest celebrities in Bollywood

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Malika Arora, even at the age of 45, sure knows how to maintain a toned body. Her Instagram feed is like a fitness goal in itself and everyone just wants to know her secrets. Well, there is good news for all her fans. Malaika, who last walked the ramp for Kalki at the Bombay Times Fashion Week 2019, sat down with team CineBlitz for an exclusive chat. And we couldn’t help but ask her some summer hacks and tips.

The Chaiyya Chaiyya actress was all up for it. She opened her box of Pandora and revealed, “As cliché as it may sound, I think water is the most important. Stay hydrated. Whatever it may be, juices or just plain water, don’t forget to stay hydrated.” Well, this tip is really important for sure but she did tell us more. Wearing cool, comfy fabrics and hitting the shower whenever possible is how the actress keeps her summers breezy. Want to know more? Check out our video right here:

On the personal front, the buzz is that Malaika will soon be tying knot with her beau Arjun Kapoor. Although the actress shunned the rumours saying none of it is true, the marriage is supposedly taking place in Goa tomorrow (April 19). Stay tuned to CineBlitz for more such updates from the world of Bollywood.

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Exclusives

Rhea Chakraborty claims Jalebi’s failure was due to sabotage? Read shocking deets!

Rhea Chakraborty was last seen in Mahesh Bhatt’s Jalebi, which was a washout at the box office

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Bollywood stars do many films throughout their career out of which some turn out to be blockbusters while some even tank at the box office. The reasons may vary but the actors have to move on from the failure and focus on their next project. Something very similar happened with the Jalebi star Rhea Chakraborty and she exclusively told team CineBlitz what went wrong with her last outing.

“The film’s poster being tagged as a copy of some other poster was a small thing. The film did not work at the box office is what affected me more. After the release of the film, it was featured on Amazon as well and people eventually saw the film on it and we got a lot of love from that. And as for the critics and the reviews, they rammed us which I feel wasn’t required. But I guess there was some politics and some agenda to all of this. I would never believe that my work was bad. People came up to me and told me that they really enjoyed the film, so my purpose as an actor was fulfilled,” revealed Rhea.

Rhea recently featured in Jassie Gill’s music video Surma Kaala and has also signed a multi-starrer project. The official announcement, however, is yet to be made. Stay tuned to CineBlitz for more such updates from the world of Bollywood.

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