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US Capitol goes to Kolkata Boi Mela - Tridib Chattopadhyay talks about 2011 Calcutta Book Fair (Interview)

Tridib Chattopadhyay - 2011 Kolkata Book Fair (Kolkata Boimela)

2011 Kolkata Book Fair

By Monodeep Chattopadhyay and Arup Ratan Dasgupta

Kolkata, Jan 23, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) The 35th Kolkata International Book Fair 2011 features The United States of America as it's theme. Monodeep Chatterjee caught up with Tridib Chattopadhyay, the Secretary of the Publishers and Booksellers Guild (organizers of the Kolkata Boimela) who gave us a few minutes from these last few crazily busy days for him before the Fair launches on Jan 25, 2011 to talk about this year's highlights.


Interview: LOPAMUDRA MITRA talks about latest Bengali Audio Songs Album MONFAKIRA (Soulmate) Released As MP3 Download By WBRi

MON FOKIRA - Lopamudra MitraWashington DC, Jan 19, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Acclaimed Bengali singer Lopamudra Mitra from Kolkata has released her 2nd audio album titled MON FAKIRA (Soulmate) via ORION Entertainment. MONFAKIRA is available in high-quality MP3 Download format from WBRi Online Digital Download Store >

Lopamudra gave us a few minutes of her time for this informal chit-chat with Arijit Chakraborty. She talks about there being eight songs in the album, all but one of which are popular Bengali traditional folk songs. The remaining one is the famous song Ghate Lagaiya Dinga written by Mira Dev Burman and performed originally by the great Sachin Dev Burman. Do not miss Lopamudra's singing during the course of the conversation !

Lopamudra shares with us the reason for the title of the album - all artists have a fakir/baul persona embedded deep inside their hearts, though not necessarily deeply entrenched in fakir and baul philosophies and ways in life. Particularly for an artist like Lopamudra who has grown up and lives in a metropolitan urban environment, the Baul inside her is more of a feeling - which Lopamudra captures in the selection of the songs as well as their performance. The songs are about love, friendship and Baul philosophical values, and Lopamudra talks about how she could clearly feel closer to her roots while singing these songs now more than she ever did previosuly.


Interview: Kharaj Mukherjee Shares The Astonishing Story Of Making Of BYE BYE BANGKOK (Bengali, 2011)

[Kharaj Mukherjee]

Washington DC, Jan 19, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) We have had the pleasure of presenting Singer-Songwriter-Actor Kharaj Mukherjee previously (in this post) - and in this chit-chat with Arijit Chakraborty, Kharaj talks about Aniket Chattopadhyay's Bengali comedy film BYE BYE BANGKOK. Kharaj was in Bangkok last year to receive an award for his role in the film CHA-E-CHUTI (Buy Bengali Movie DVD in USA) - also directed by Aniket Chatterjee (interview). Initially during the award ceremony, he was wondering why he could not see others from the unit of Chaw-e-Chuti, but while accepting his award and giving his speech, he located Kaustuv Roy, the producer, sitting in the last row. Kaustuv Roy was also there to receive an award for Cho-E-Chuti for presenting the best experimental Bengali film of the year.

Right after receiving their awards, Kaustuv pulled  Kharaj out of the auditorium, got hold of Rudranil Ghosh (interview) and a few other friends, and started asking about their availability on dates that were barely a week away ! Not only that, he made a phone call to Aniket Chattopadhyay, telling Aniket-da to pretty much come up with a script for a film with Bangkok as the location in around ten days.

Thus begins the story of the making of Bye Bye Bangkok, told in the uniquely engaging way that only Kharaj can tell. Listen to Kharaj describe how the film proceeded beyond these initial few hours and get ready to believe that a feature film can indeed be made this way - a theme that is touched upon by all the cast and crew members of the film that we had the pleasure of speaking with as you have heard in the interviews posted on WBRi.

Kharaj also shares with us some behind-the-scenes stories from Bangkok - do not miss his tales of how he was surprised with a birthday party, and his experiences of shopping and getting his feet massaged in Bangkok. He also touches upon the amazing script-writing skills of Aniket-da and how he introduced a character to be played by Priya Karfa seamlessly into the story at the last moment.


Brownface Gunna - The Talented Canadian-Guyanese/West-Indian Rapper From Toronto

[BROWNFACE GUNNA]Germantown, Maryland, Jan 13, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) In life you have to accept the good and the bad, one can’t exist without the other. This is the philosophy Brownface Gunna, a young, talented rapper/producer hailing from Toronto’s west end, lives by. And he emulates it across the board from his laidback demeanor to the music that he makes.


The Flush (MP3 Download) »

Brownface’s style is mood music. It switches between angry and upbeat and everything in between based on the type of mood he is in and what he’s going through in life at that moment. The versatility he brings in his music keeps him and his audience anything but bored.

With a fast flow atop a booming bass, Brownface Gunna delivers a classic hip-hop banger with his latest release, “Big Dreams”. The track has caught on like rapid fire overseas where it remained in the No. 1 spot in Euro DJ Leagues for four weeks straight.

“It just came to me, there was no direct thought process behind it, I’m always dreaming” says the 22-year-old rapper who hails from Toronto’s Rexdale community. “It’s all about taking your destiny in your own hands and chasing whatever you seek out of life.”

[BROWNFACE GUNNA]After laying down the track, which was produced by long-time collaborator J. Freedom, Brownface quickly envisioned shooting the video in the ultimate location for big dreamers: The Big Apple. And that’s exactly what he did. Hooking up with MMVA-winning video director, David Cropper, Brownface brought his vision to reality. The video was shot between Brooklyn and Times Square and has helped generate even more attention to the single, garnering thousands of views on YouTube in just a couple of weeks.

With songs like “Big Dreams” Brownface connects to his audience in the same way rappers like Jay-Z, Nas and Twista did with him in the 90s. His songs tell stories of a young man on the come up, who goes through the rollercoaster of life. “[My music is] more serious between the lines, than up front in your face,” he explains. “It’s music people can relate to cause it about people & life.”

To date, Brownface has release two mixtapes, The Grizzy and The Green Harvest. Brownface Gunna’s third project, The Flush, features “Big Dreams” which is now available on itunes »

Watch the music video of the song Big Dreams via Washington Bangla Radio.


Shakti - The Global Hip-Hop Diva Weaves Eastern Beats and Ancient Melodic Indian Ragas with Pop and Urban Grooves

[SHAKTI]Germantown, Maryland, Jan 13, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) Global Soul Entertainment and Innertemple Music present SHAKTI, “The Global Hip-Pop Diva.” Exuding glamour and verve like a glistening eastern gem, her debut record Feminenergy contains rich eastern beats, ancient melodic Indian ragas interwoven with Pop and Urban grooves. She draws from her ethnic heritage with extreme fluidity. She defines Feminine Energy and Power inspiring women of all ages and cultures.

Shakti's debut album, Feminenergy takes you on a musical trip around the world.  Taking you to India, Asia, Africa, and beyond.  The album has the International hit single "Do The Thing Thing" which received ridiculous airplay from BBC Radio 1, New York's Hot 97, and LA's Power 105 and her album has already charted #5 in India. Songs from this breathtaking project have been featured in the film "Paul Blart: Mall Cop," Tyra Bank's top rated TV show, "America's Next Top Model," NBC's "Outsourced" and the IFC original series "Bollywood Hero."  Her music is an exciting fusion that bridges her musical background and reflects the ever current international scope of today's world.

Read all about Shakti, listen to a few of her songs online and download  Feminenergy in MP3 audio format via Washington Bangla Radio.



Interview: Actress Kanchana Moitra talks about Bye Bye Bangkok, Accident and her Tollywood Kolkata Bengali films

Actress Kanchana MoitraGermantown, Maryland, Jan 12, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Arijit Chakraborty caught up with actress Kanchana Moitra in Kolkata while she was actually going to work. Kanchana speaks with us after pulling into a gas station and you will hear the lovely sonic ambience of Kolkata city in the background while Arijit and Kanchana talk about Kanchana's background and career in film.

Kanchana started modeling when she was sixteen, appearing in the acclaimed SANANDA women's magazine edited by Aparna Sen, and subsequently in a host of fashion events and shows, walking down the ramps for some of the best designers in Indian fashion. Not complacent with her early success as a fashion model, Kanchana felt an urge to try different things - but acting was not initially in the list of things she wanted to try, not being sure of herself in front of a camera.

Eventually, she gave up modeling in the interest of concentrating on her college degree, after which Kanchana, encouraged by her friends and loved ones, took up the role of anchoring the popular television show Shrimati dealing with women's issues, and then a major role in the Bengali TV Mega Serial Poush Faguner Pala. She was selected for the serial Mallika on ETV Bangla as well - and in spite of less-than-encouraging remarks by director Goutam Sen (which only reinforced her determination to succeed as an actress), went on to bigger things as a heroine in the Tollywood Bengali film industry.

Listen to Kanchana Moitra in an informal and candid interview exclusively on Washington Bangla Radio.


Interview: রুদ্রনীল ঘোষ - Rudranil Ghosh - Award-winning Bengali Film Actor Talks About BYE BYE BANGKOK, NECKLACE and JIYO KAKA

Germantown, Maryland, Jan 11, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) In this informal chat with Arijit Chakraborty of WBRi, award-winning Bengali film actor Rudranil Ghosh makes the interesting observation that Bye Bye Bangkok (2011) currently holds the record for the Bangla film with the longest period of shooting in a foreign country (not counting Bangladesh). The cast of the film is pretty big, but consists of all close buddies of Rudranil.

Directed by Aniket Chattopadhyay (INTERVIEW), Bye Bye Bangkok happened pretty suddenly with no real pre-production or planning. Rudranil's character Sadhu Charan Das is the chaffeur of a reasonably well-off family in Kolkata. Sadhu secretly derives a lot of enjoyment from the usual quarrels between the husband and wife of the family he serves - and in addition, his Madam - the lady of the house who he mostly serves as a driver - is stunningly beautiful and Sadhu secretly feels romantically attracted towards her.


Interview: Danseuse-Actress Locket Chatterjee talks about FIGHTER, Bye Bye Bangkok, Necklace, Street Light & her career in film

[img:Tollywood Kolkata Bengali Movie Actress LOCKET CHATTERJEE] Germantown, Maryland, Jan 10, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Like most people, actress Locket Chatterjee has very fond and nostalgic memories of her childhood and young-adulthood. She studied at Sarada Girls High School in Dakshineshwar and also took lessons in dancing from the very young age of two. An accomplished dancer, Locket performed for many years with the famous Mamata Shankar Dance Troupe. Circa 2000, an opportunity came her way of acting in a television serial, which marks the start of Locket's career as an actress. In the meanwhile, her love of dancing still burns strong, and after a few years where she had been too occupied with her acting career, she has now formed her own dance troupe which is now performing at various events and venues across the world. But, says Locket, she now sees herself as an actress first - and most of her time and efforts are spent in acting projects.

Interestingly, Locket had seriously considered a profession in medicine but somehow ended up being selected for an Engineering course in the ruthlessly competitive "Joint Entrance" examination of Bengal. She did not really want to pursue engineering, and opted for a course in Zoology while continuing to perform with Mamata Shankar's troupe when suddenly she was offered the role of a dancer in a telefilm. Locket took the offer up, still not with any intention of taking acting up as her profession - but after performing that role, she had no time to reconsider, as great offers of roles in some of the most promising Bengali films started to pour in.

Aniket Chattopadhyay's Bye Bye Bangkok is the third film produced by Kaustuv Roy that Locket is appearing in (after Lal Ronger Duniya and Cha-E-Chuti [Buy Bengali Movie DVD in USA]). Echoing the sense of a fun-filled film made with little planning and driven by spontaneity, Locket describes how she was suddenly requested to get on a plane to Bangkok and the way a fun-filled vacation overlapped with shooting for the film so much so that it is surprising a complete feature film did come out at the end !

Listen to Locket talking about her career in films, dance and academics on Washington Bangla Radio.



Interview: Swastika Mukherjee - "I am a Bhoot" | Swastika talks about Bye Bye Bangkok, Nandini, Bhooter Bhobishhot & her career

Tollywood Bengali Movie Actress SWASTIKA MUKHERJEEGermantown, Maryland, Jan 9, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Tollywood actress Swastika Mukhopadhyay is the quintessential Bengali girl. Her spectacular career in Bengali films is well deserved, and a result of the usual and only way to attain success - hard work and a passionate belief in one's own self.

Today, her illustrious father Santu Mukherjee must be very proud of her daughter. Being Santu Mukherjee's daughter must have had it's own curious implications, but it is entirely understandable when Swastika tells Arijit Chakraborty over this little chat how she was initially dissapointed when her father refused to give her the "little push" in the industry when Swastika was a rookie trying to make a career in films. Today, a confident, glowing and successful Swastika thanks her father to have forced her to make it on her own. While recording the audio interview, I was listening to Swastika describe this aspect of being Santu-da's daughter, and I could connect - being a father of a young daughter myself, as surely all our listeners who are dads will - and you will doubtelss feel the swell of pride as a Bengali of Santu-da and Swastika when you listen to Swastika.

Listen to the comprehensive, intimate and informal interview with Swastika Mukherjee on Washington Bangla Radio as she touches upon her career, background and upcoming films including Bye Bye Bangkok, Nandini and Bhooter Bhobisshot.



Interview: Director Atanu Ghosh explores virtual relationships in TAKHAN TEYISH and Time Travel in ABBY SENER AJOB DUNIYA

Tollywood Kolkata Bengali Movie Director Atanu GhoshGermantown, Maryland, Jan 8, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) After the spectacularly successful Angshumaner Chobi (Buy Bengali Movie DVD in USA) which, after a fabulous run in theaters, is holding it's position as the top-selling Bengali DVD for over 180 days now, the next film from director Atanu Ghosh titled Takhan Teish has a release date of January 21, 2011.

You will perhaps remember we previously had an opportunity to talk to Atanu Ghosh in an extensive, comprehensive and intimate interview about the then recently released Angshumaner Chobi. That candid audio interview is available online in this post.

In this audio interview with Washington Bangla Radio, Atanu Ghosh talks in depth about Takhan Teish and touches briefly on his next film Abby Sener Ajob Dunia.



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