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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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Bollywood shooting locations with Ridhima Pathak. Watch new show on Zing and ETC!

Bollylands.com – Bollywood ka Global Connection, anchored by Ridhima Pathak features international locales where Hindi movies have been filmed

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Ridhima Pathak anchoring for Bollylands.com - Bollywood ka Global Connection

Bollywood plays a major role in attracting Indian tourists to lands far away. In the course of years we have grown up watching films with beautiful songs and scenes shot abroad – and seeing countries we have never been to. Bollylands.com – Bollywood ka Global Connection is the new show anchored by Ridhima Pathak, which airs on Zing on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 pm. It also airs on ETC on Wednesdays and Fridays at 9:30pm. Ridhima Pathak while talking to CineBlitz, speaks about the show, her career and many other interesting things.

Tell us something about how you began your career in showbiz?

I always liked to be on stage and have the spotlight but I never thought I could make this a career. I am an engineer by qualification and topper of my university, I was a nerd but one who loved to be on stage. I participated in a lot of debates and extempore and literally made those competitions as a source of income during my engineering days. I was good at it and won most of them; the prize money was good and served as additional pocket money. I was campus hired and was working in the R&D department of a multi-billion dollar company, coding transmissions to automate trucks in the USA!

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Ridhima Pathak at a cafe

I left that job to prepare to do my MBA as I wanted to go and study in Harvard but during the preparation period I also went and auditioned as an anchor in a local channel in Pune! I got the gig and started working for them as a freelancer, after which I did cricket commentary for a lot of local clubs in Pune. From there I got a break with Star sports and the rest is, as they say, history.

Tell us about your new show?

It’s a brilliant concept and so relevant. Our Bollywood movies have a huge part in promoting tourism within India and abroad. Europe has been Bollywood’s hot favourite which has given dreams to the masses of India of once visiting those locations shown in Bollywood movies. They wish to travel in trains the way Raj and Simran did or dance in locations where Govinda and Karishma Kapoor romanced. They might just think of going on a honeymoon alone the way Kangana did to find a suitable partner.

Films also make the audience curious to know more about those locations or how those iconic scenes were shot. Bollylands.com – Bollywood ka Global Connection is a show about this girl who is a Bollywood buff travelling the world through the lenses of Bollywood and is a guide for the audience – plus the show is loaded with Bollywood trivia.

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Anchor Ridhima Pathak and director Shashank Mane

According to you what is the one unique thing that this show will offer?

If you love TV and movies and are curious to know what goes into shooting at outdoor locations, then this show is for you. The thought and hardships that have gone into making an iconic song or scene, with the presenter at that location makes it all the more easier for the viewer to visualize, rather than just being a chat show. This show has plenty to offer, we showcase major attractions and landmarks that have been an integral part of our Bollywood movies.

Along with this, we also present a slice of the local culture, food, nightlife and shopping destinations of those locations. Plus, at the end of each episode, we have a special segment where we meet the cast and crew of the films that have been shot there to tell us about some trivia and fun facts about their time abroad.

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Anchor Ridhima Pathak and director Shashank Mane

What are some of the destination that the show will cover? Which of these are your favourites?

Austria, Germany, Hungary and many more have been covered in Season 1. My favourite would be Budapest. It’s culturally rich, beautiful and spectacular. While walking through the Charles bridge with a camera being pointed at me, I honestly felt that some where from the corner Sanjay Leela Bhansali was watching. He had used the bridge as a metaphor so beautifully in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam!

What is the best thing about being a presenter?

The best thing about being a presenter is that the world is your platter. If you are hungry for knowledge and know how to deliver that information in style, then you can have an opportunity to present! From spelling bee competitions to travelogues to food to sports to Bollywood to a show on manufacturing units to trucks to tigers to sharks to adventure sports to public affairs to politics to what women want to Mann ki baat… anything and everything under the roof and I have done everything mentioned above and more!

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Ridhima Pathak during the shooting of the show

Tell us three things that people do not know about you.

I am a trained Kathak dancer; I am trying to loose weight but I have sweet tooth so it’s getting difficult; and I still want to go to Harvard!

Stay tuned to CineBlitz for more exclusive news and updates from the world of Bollywood.

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Kunaal Roy Kapur confesses being scared of horror films

In a candid chat with CineBlitz Kunal Roy Kapur opened up about his break from the big screen, the web space flourishing and a lot more…

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Kunaal Roy Kapoor; Source: Instagram

Kunaal Roy Kapur who rose to fame with Delhi Belly and Nautanki Saala also tried his luck in the web space.  He was last seen in the TVF original Triplings. Now, Kunaal is heading on to try a new genre and doing a horror film titled Mushkil: Fear Behind You. The actor who is on a promotional spree right now, got into an exclusive conversation with CineBlitz and spoke about horror as a genre, how much he liked Stree, how he finds web space more inclusive and what scares him. Read on…

What appealed to you to do a horror film?

I met the director and he narrated the whole story to me. He had a very clear vision in his head. Also he comes from a film background but he has also done a lot of work in the animation industry on films like Bal Ganesha and few more. According to me when someone has done animation he knows what he or she particularly needs, how a story is told visually. Also, the character appealed to me. I have been always doing roles where I play the nice guy, or bad things happening to me. But in this one I got a chance to play a flirt, a little bit larger than life, he is a guide. He has his own ways with women, little bit outspoken and I had never done that which excited me.

How much of a fan are you of horror films?

Horror is a fun genre when you work in it. I cannot say that I am a horror fan or love watching horror films. I am scared of horror films, the most I can do is IT, more adventure horror say Stranger Things, that’s it. If you go towards Insidious,AnabelleExorcism of Emily Rose, are not at all my cup of tea since childhood. When I was a kid, I used to run to other room. But at the same time when you are making a horror film, the fun you have, no other genre has.

In the times where horror comedies are also making it big, what is the unique aspect you are bringing with this film?

I love horror comedy and I loved Stree, which did a fabulous job of cracking the genre. People had attempted in the past but didn’t reach the perfection maybe. I wish I was a part of that kind of a film as well, because, horror and comedy combination and it also had a nice social message in it. Having said that, there will always be a space for pure horror, ours is more of a pure horror film.

We don’t get to see much of you on the big screen, is it a conscious effort to take long breaks?

It’s not like that; there are a lot of opportunities in the web space right now. I have been doing a few shows including one for Amazon prime and I did one for Eros now. So I am saying that to do good work is now not only limited to the big screen. Also, how the people consume it is not longer only a big screen. So, right now I am more on web than films.

So, what according to you is the difference between the web space and big screen?

I think writing is the main difference, with big screen you need to be able to cater a wider spread of audience so your writing has to be broader. With web you can target a certain bracket, whether age group, sensibilities or genre can be even more specific. It’s a capsule that you can consume anywhere, anytime at you leisure. That is the beauty of writing in web space where you can go specific. Also, the production value with the OTT’s is at power.

What’s difficult comedy or horror?

As an actor I would say, comedy is more difficult.  If you are making the film, horror is more difficult. But both are enjoyable, have their set of challenges. But still comedy for me is difficult and challenging than horror.

For more updates and gossip, stay tuned to CineBlitz.

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Nach Baliye 9: Madhurima Tuli opens up about her equation with Vishal Aditya Singh

Contrary to Vishal Aditya Singh’s claim of not being on talking terms with ex-girlfriend Madhurima Tuli, the actress has another tale to tell

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Madhurima Tuli (Image Source: Instagram)

Nach Baliye 9’s ex-couple Vishal Aditya Singh and Madhurima Tuli worked together in Chandrakanta. And the two even started dating each other, but a few months back the couple called it quits and as per Vishal they were not even on talking terms. But destiny had other plans and the exes are now participating in the Salman Khan produced dance reality show. Throughout the show’s promotion Madhurima’s identity was kept a secret, but now that it is revealed that she is Vishal’s baliye, we got in touch with the actress who spoke about their bittersweet equation, the reports of the same and her experience on the show. Read on…

How is the Nach Baliye experience?

Well, the rehearsals and everything is going fantastic, there is the ‘ex’ factor where there is a little bit of friction, but otherwise, everything is fantastic. Hope you will like the show, the first episode has aired, and tonight will be my revelation.

Reports state that there are a lot of differences and constant bickering between you two. What do you have to say about that?

Honestly, there are a lot of issues between us. But when we thought of doing this we thought let’s do it to win the show without getting any of our issues in between. We broke up a few months back only, the friction is very strong. Sometimes he doesn’t agree to what I say or I do not agree to what he says, so, it just gets very difficult to practice with someone who doesn’t understand you. But we both always wanted to do Nach Baliye, so I am just keeping that aside. If we have a fight, I come back home and try and forget the misunderstanding, the next day I again go with a very happy zone thinking I have to win the show and give my best. So it’s about thinking positive and not let anything negative affect you.

Before the show, Vishal got a lot of coverage, and he even spoke a lot of things about the equation between you two. Was this because your identity was kept a secret?

Yes, it was because of the secret factor. There is no such thing that he is getting more coverage or anything, in the end, it is only going to be both of us doing the show together. So it was just because of the mystery factor.

In one of the interviews, Vishal said that when was approached for the show with you, he wasn’t very keen. What was your reaction to all this?

I was quite shocked, at that time we were on talking terms and he saying this was very disheartening for me. We are talking; once in a blue moon we meet also, he used to come home also, so we were on talking terms and him saying this had really broken my heart. So, then I thought that now toh I have to do it (the show), if he doesn’t want to he will refuse. Let him say no then we won’t do it because they had approached me also.

Don’t you think the friction might affect your chemistry on stage during the performances?

That I don’t know.  I am trying hard…I am thinking that he is my co-actor, and not thinking he is my ex or was my lover at some point, I  just keep all that aside. Without getting involved I am giving my performances. Hopefully, that chemistry comes out…even in the friction that angst should also come out, that also looks nice. Depends on how the audience takes it.

What about your equation with other Jodis, who do you think is a strong competition and who is your favourite?

I love all of them, they are amazing people. They perform so beautifully, though Rohit Reddy (Anita Hassanandani’s baliye) is a non-dancer, he is doing great, he is working hard. They share beautiful chemistry, Prince-Yuvika are amazing, mostly all are. Aly-Natasha are fantastic, Babita-Vivek are good. It’s all about bringing that chemistry and content to your story. Kieth-Rochelle are also a lovely couple.

What is next on the work front, whether after Nach Baliye 9 or along with it?

My web-show will be coming out soon with Applause Entertainment. The dubbing is on right now, so after Nach Baliye 9 I will be promoting that show.

Well, we look forward to seeing this bittersweet equation get better on Nach Baliye 9 and we wish Vishal and Madhurima all the very best. Stay tuned to CineBlitz for more updates on the dance reality show.

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