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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.

Exclusives

Ranveer Singh’s 83 gets a Gully Boy addition – read exclusive details inside

Gully Boy actor Vijay Varma to play all-rounder Roger Binny in Kabir Khan’s 83 – read exclusive details inside

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Kabir Khan’s directorial venture 83 is currently the talk of the town and for obvious reasons. Since we were the first ones to inform about the various entries to the huge ensemble star cast, we thought it was time to give you all one more update. Just today, our sources have told us that actor Vijay Varma has been roped in to play all-rounder Roger Binny in the highly anticipated biopic which stars Ranveer Singh in the lead. While we tried to get a confirmation on the same from Vijay, he chose not to comment on it.

When asked about 83, Vijay simply said, “I cannot comment anything about 83 right now.” But we got our answer, didn’t we? Earlier this week, we had also informed you that actor-filmmaker Addinath Kothare has been cast as the ace batsman Dilip Vengsarkar. And now Vijay Varma, who played Moeen in Zoya Akhtar’s recent release Gully Boy, has joined the cast. Well, if that’s the case then good for him because he is quite talented. As Roger Binny, apart from being an all-rounder, he is remembered for his terrific bowling performance in the 1983 Cricket World Cup.

Since Vijay has impressed everyone with his performance in Gully Boy, watching him transform into Binny’s character will be fun. 83, wherein Ranveer will play the role of Kapil Dev, will soon go on floors. Last month, RS began his net practice and Kabir Khan was spotted on recce tour to the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground, in London, where the iconic victorious match was played. Also, tell us would you like to watch Vijay Varma as Roger Binny in the film 83? Or do you guys want some other actor to play the role? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Exclusive Interviews

Usha Jadhav on Smita Patil comparisons: Usha Jadhav: No matter whoever you compare me with, I will do it my way

While talking about her new film Firebrand, actress Usha Jadhav got candid about being comapred to Smita Patil and of that has pressurised her in any way

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After playing minor roles in Bollywood films like Traffic Signal, Do Paise Ki Dhoop Chaar Aane Ki Baarish and few more, Usha Jadhav rose to fame because of her Marathi film Dhag. It released in 2012 and fetched Usha her first National Award for best actress in a leading role. And now the 31-year-old, who has featured in many short films as well, is back with yet another interesting project. Her Marathi film Firebrand is releasing today, February 22, on Netflix. So as she gears up to wow the audience with her act, Usha talks exclusively with Cine Blitz about her craft, how she ended up doing Firebrand and much more.

What made you choose Firebrand?
Aruna Raje, she is the very first reason I said yes to this film. My stories are very different. Arunaji and I know each other ever since I received the National Award in 2013. Arunaji was the head of the jury for the short film section. So we know each other from that time. She had a thought in the beginning because she is also the writer of the film. She called me, we met, and she shared this idea and said, “if you are okay with doing it, I will start writing.” I said yes and she began writing the screenplay. She used to write a portion and then show me and this went on till she completed writing it. So basically this role was written for me, it wasn’t that I had the script on the very first meeting. I said yes and then it was written with me in her mind.

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What was the brief for the character?
The thought was she is a lawyer, this has happened with her, how she dealt with the situation and how she overcame that trauma. I was involved in the character from the very beginning. And Arunaji herself is a very strong lady, she has seen a lot in her life. I have gone through a lot in my life too. So we discussed all these things, shared stories and the way she shared her experience, you just need to absorb everything. So that helped me a lot to prepare.

While a lot of films around woman empowerment are being made, what unique take do you think Firebrand has to offer?
When any crime against women happens, we discuss what should be the punishment for the accused. We say the person should be hanged or locked up or we come up with many other ideas but no one thinks about the rehabilitation of that woman who has gone through an ordeal. Both men and women suffer from the psychological trauma and we need to think how they can come out of it. We put masks on our faces and go out pretending everything is okay, but no, it is always there inside them. How should we overcome that is what Firebrand is all about.

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How was it working with everyone on the sets?
Out of everyone, I have huge respect for Rajeshwari (Rajeshwari Sachdev) who plays the second most important character in the film. She is a fantastic actor and a fantastic human being. It was a great experience working with her and she deserves more.

You are known for your roles in Dhag, Rahasya and Thanks Maa. Do you think you are approached for a certain type of roles or is it your choice?
You know people start imagining you in a certain type of roles, maybe serious or comedy. In my case, I choose my roles. If I don’t like anything, I straight away say no.

You have been compared to the yesteryear actress Smita Patil. Does that put pressure on you?
I don’t feel pressurised by it in any way. No matter whoever you compare me with, I know I am Usha Jadhav and I will do it in my way. But it is a great compliment to get. I am happy in my own space and I want to do better than what I have already done. I am happy if I deliver whatever my director expects from me. Everything else doesn’t affect me because a lot of that is people’s perception and I don’t have do the catharsis about what people think. I take all the compliments and I am happy without really stretching it more.

What do you think about the shift from the big screen to the OTT platform?
I think it is a great shift. What happened with Firebrand is that, initially, Netflix was not on board. So when they came on board later, it was actually a nice thing. It’s a Marathi film, and then considering the fight for theatres and not getting ample amount of screens and also the business now is just over a weekend these days. So without stressing about those things, this is a nice opportunity for Firebrand to reach to the world audience. Because our story is general and not just India bound, this can happen with anyone in any country.

What do you think about Purple Pebble Pictures concentrating on regional cinema?

It’s a great initiative by Priyanka Chopra and her mother Madhu Chopra to produce regional cinema. It’s actually great to see someone like her, who is at the peak of her career, supporting good content needless of the language it is in.

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Who do you hold as an inspiration?

My parents are my biggest inspiration. Whatever I have is all their blessings. My father has his own great journey, he was a military man, and he wanted to learn music. Though he was in the military, he learnt music. So that explains where all the art in me comes from. My mother had her own story, so they are inspirational for me.

Tell us about your future projects?

I am working on a biopic directed by Anant Mahadevan which I cannot talk much about right now. Also, there is a very interesting Spanish film that I am doing in which I am playing the main protagonist and is directed by Alejandro Cortés. I have learned Spanish for the same.

 

 

 

 

 

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Exclusive Interviews

Vicky Kaushal girlfriend, father, Instagram – the Uri actor answers Google’s most-searched questions! Watch exclusive video

Vicky Kaushal played Google Autocomplete with CineBlitz and here’s what he had to say about the most searched question about him on the web…

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Vicky Kaushal is one of the hottest properties in Bollywood. The handsome hunk has delivered some fabulous performances, most recently in Uri: The Surgical Strike. His fan following and popularity has grown by a huge margin, making him one of the most-searched celebrities on Google. But we were curious to know what do people want to know about Vicky Kaushal. We checked out the most-searched questions about him on the web. And we were surprised to know that people wanted to know a host of things about him. From his girlfriend to his father, his role in Sanju and Uri. We put forth the exact same questions to Vicky in a fun Google autocomplete segment and here’s what he had to say!

Vicky has been reportedly dating actress Harleen Sethi. While he has been pretty secretive about it, he has hinted at being committed on numerous occasions. Talking about his girlfriend, Vicky revealed to us exclusively, “It is a very personal thing for me.” He continued blushing about it as he answered the next question which was about his father Sham Kaushal. The actor even mentioned how it was a privilege for his name to be associated with a film like Sanju, describing his character as a lanky with ‘champu‘ (nerdy) hair. He even revealed that Instagram is his most used application. Check out all his revelations in our exclusive video interview with the Uri actor right here.

On the professional front, Vicky is riding high on the success of Uri: The Surgical Strike. The film has made more than Rs 225 crore at the domestic box office till now. He is currently shooting for a horror comedy thriller, which also reportedly stars Bhumi Pednekar. He also has Takht and a few other films lined up. In the meantime, stay tuned to CineBlitz as we get you more Bollywood news, updates and gossip right here.

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