Exclusive WBRi Bangla Radio Interviews, Reviews, Features, Songs, Videos, Biographies of Bangla Artists, Bands and Albums

The Carlyta Mouhini Experience - A Musical Chat with the Brazilian-Indian-Bengali Singer Songwriter (Interview)

Carlyta MouhiniWashington, DC, July 26, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Listening to Carlyta Mouhini is an exhilarating experience, as Arijit Chakraborty found out during chatting with her in this WBRi exclusive audio interview with the singer, composer and song-writer. Doubtless you will also feel inspired, excited and generally everything will look brighter after listening to her infectious enthusiasm-filled chat and listen to her songs as she fluidly and adeptly switches between Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, English, Portuguese and Spanish, adding music to words and words to music crossing cultures and genres instantly on the fly!

And perhaps after listening to this interview, you will also take away with you a soothing reminder that there are things which we control that we can try to influence the outcome of with hard work, and there are things beyond our grasp that will transpire according to our destiny.

Carlyta was born into the culture-rich Latin American environment where music is ubiquitous, to a Brazilian mother and a Bengali-Punjabi father, and grew up in a family where she was also deeply influenced by her Bengali grand-mother. As she quaintly puts it, she "came out of her mother's womb singing and dancing!"

The first and foremost quintessential characteristic of South American culture is the music - music automatically gets ingrained into anyone growing up there. Music teachers at school and insitutions serve to train and polish the instinct for music.

Today Carlyta is a multi-lingual cross-cultural music entertainment wonder. She makes the interesting observation that, at the end of the day, the audiences who speak and listen to her songs in different languages are not really that different, because music, like all human beings with a rhythmic heart-beat, is based on rhythm. Once an audience of any cultural ethnicity catches on to the rhythm, the lyrics and music effect them exactly the same way as they would to people who speak other languages. She has personally watched Brazilians dance to her live Hindi film song performances of Chamma Chamma (originally performed by Alka Yagnik for the film China Gate) and Le Le Maza Le (from the film "Wanted" starring Salman Khan performed by Suzanne, Saumaya Rao, Hrishikesh Kamerkar and Nikita Nigam). Similarly, Carlyta also finds people spontaneously breaking into dance when she sings in English (which is rarely spoken in South America).

Obviously, having grown up in Brazil, Carlyta greatly enjoys singing in Spanish and Portuguese. She loves singing in Hindi - after all Bollywood is Bollywood. But, she expresses special feelings for Bengali - a language she has a deep emotional connection with due to inheriting it from her father and her grandmother who instilled Bangla into her very personality. You will be undoubtedly impressed with her flawless common Bengali !



RIMA MUKHERJEE - An Exclusive Musical Chat with the Renowned Bengali & Hindi Film Songs Playback Singer (WBRi Interview-Feature)

Singer Rima MukherjeeCalcutta, July 24, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) On behalf of  WBRi, Soumitra Talukdar talks to Rima Mukherjee, the popular and acclaimed Hindi and Bengali film songs playback singer, in an informal and intimate video interview. This is a very special interview feature where Rima chats about her musical background, training and career, and being equally adept in Hindi as well as Bengali, spontaneously sings some wonderfully nostalgic songs, including O Akash Sona Sona, Dafliwale, a song from her memorable first Bengali film that was nominated for Anandalok Award for Best Playback singer (female) and many more over the course of this adda.

Rima started training as a singer from Srimati Sabita Mukherjee from the age of just two and a half years. After that she trained with Sri Asit Sengupta and Pandit Girish Chatterjee. Her first break as a singer was from music director Snehashish Chakraborty in a Bengali TV Serial. She sang in many tele-films and TV shows on popular Bengali TV channels, including on ETV Bangla, Akash Bangla and Rupashi Bangla. Rima subsequently moved into a spectacular career in playback singing in Bengali and Bollywood Hindi films.

Rima was nominated for Best Playback Singer at Anandalok Award 2004 for the film Gandagol directed by Haranath Chakraborty, and for Suthol Telecine Awards 2007 for the film Shakaal Sandhaya directed by Swapan Saha.

Singer Rima MukherjeeRima has worked with well-known composers like Anand Milind, Babul Bose (interview), Ashok Bhadra, S. P. Venkatesan, Ashoke Raj, Chandan Roy Chowdhury, Rishab, Asim Chatterjee and Snehashish Chakraborty.

Over her distinguished and continuing career, Rima has performed songs in almost 40 Bengali, Hindi and south-Indian movies, including duets with Sonu Nigam, Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan, Amit Kumar, Babul Supriyo, Shaan, Kunal Ganjawela, Shreya Ghosal, Priya Bhattacharya and Javed Ali. She has worked with most top directors in Tollywood Bengali Film industry like Haranath Chakraborty, Swapan Saha, Ravi Kinagi and Sujit Guha.

Rima has recently released a Rabindra Sangeet album under the label of Purple Music (MP3 Download).

Some of the movies featuring songs by Rima include Gandagol, Baazi, Manik, Raju Uncle, Hungama, Maharan, Mastan, Swapno, Shokal Sandhya, Agni Pariksha, Jeeban Saathi, Prem, Narir Samman, Partner, Baazimat, Blood, Muqabla, Narir Protishodh, Premi No 1, Apon Shatru and Piriti Kathaler Atha.


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Interview - SHYAMAL SENGUPTA - Renowned Lyricist of Bollywood Hindi and Kolkata Bengali Movie Songs & Film Screenplay Writer

Shyamal Sengupta - Kolkata Bengali Movie Lyricist WriterCalcutta, July 24, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) On behalf of Washington Bangla Radio, Mou Sanyal talks to famous Bengali movie songs' lyrics and film screen-play writer Shyamal Sengupta in an exclusive video interview captured on camera by Soumitra Talukdar.

In his childhood, Shyamal Sengupta had a knack for writing. His first album as a lyric writer was released from Sahana Cassettes sung by singer Anand with music composition by Babul Bose (interview) in the year 1980.

In the year 1985 he went to Mumbai. The famous Bollywood actor Danny Denzongpa and singer Swapna Chatterjee sang songs on his lyrics in an album with Babul Bose’s music direction. After that, he joined the Venus Music Company as a Bengali lyric writer.

As a lyric writer he became very busy at this time when two cassettes from Mumbai and two cassettes from Kolkata were released simultaneously from Venus and Sagarika.

Watch the full interview.



Interview: Tollywood Hero Anshuman Gupta on His Career in Bengali Movies

Anshuman GuptaWashington DC, July 22, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Angshuman Gupta is a rising star of Tollywood. He started his career in the glamour world as a model. In 2006, he participated in Grasim Mr. India and he got the chance in final round there as one of the Top Ten finalists.

After Grasim Mr. India contest, he signed some modeling assignments in Mumbai and he was trying to establish his career there.

Scope was limited in Mumbai as competition was very tough and he did not have mentor there.

But he did not give up and he tried to be an actor so he joined renowned Prithwi Theatre there to learn acting.

Watch our exclusive video interview feature on Angshuman.



Interview: Award-Winning Film-Maker Indrasis Acharya On "Living Beyond the Line" and "Ektu Antorikotar Jonno"

Indrasis Acharya - Writer-Director of Award-Winning Bengali Films Washington, DC, July 22, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Film-maker Indrasis Acharya based in Kolkata chats with Arijit Chakraborty about his films and his next big project in this audio interview broadcast.

In spite of not being a professional film-maker, his first two short films "Living Beyond the Line" and "Ektu Antorikotar Janya" did remarkably well in the film festival circuit, both winning critical acclaim and a slew of awards.

Working a full-time job in a Multi-National information technology organization means Indrasis can pursue his passion for making films only after work, which naturally led him to try short films first.



Interview - Singer Somlata On Her Bengali Movie Songs & Anjan Dutta's Ranjana Ami Aar Ashbo Na, Bappaditya's Elar Char Adhyay

Playback Artist SOMLATA ACHARYA CHOWDHURY - Singer in Bengali Film SongsWashington, DC, July 20, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) In this audio interview broadcast, Arijit Chakraborty chats with Somlata, the primary female playback singer in Anjan Dutta's (interview) latest Bengali feature film "Ranjana Ami Aar Ashbo Na". Somlata talks about her background and career, and describes her fascinating experience in singing songs originally composed and performed by Anjan Dutta, that too in a film directed by Anjan-da!








Pianist, Singer & Composer Debanjalee Banerjee Talks About "Rimjhim" Bengali Modern Songs Album (Anwesha & Debanjalee)

Debanjalee Badopadhyay - Singer & Co-Composer of RIMJHIM (Bihaan Audio)Washington DC, July 17, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Singer-Composer Debanjali Banerjee talks to Arijit Chakraborty about the international Bengali modern songs album "Rimjhim" (a Bihaan Music release) for which she has composed a couple of songs, including the title track that is performed by the prodigal Indian singer Anwesha Dutta Gupta (interview). Debanjalee has also performed two of the songs in "Rimjhim" - "Chena Ki Ochena" (a song that will invoke 1980s nostalgia with  Alisha Chinoy and Nazia Hussan ) and "Shudhu Gaan" - a number with heavy Jazz influence.

RIMJHIM - Anwesha & Debanjalee - Full Songs MP3 Audio Album Download: To listen to producer and co-composer Aninda Bose online and download "Rimjhim" feat. Anwesha & Debanjalee in MP3 Bengali audio songs format, check out our exclusive interview-feature on Aninda Bose.

Debanjalee grew up in Tanzania and Zambia, and is a trained western classical pianist who has performed with Indian and American artists in concerts. She has also composed and written a couple of songs in Rimjhim. Debanjalee now lives in New Jersey.

Listen to Debanjalee share with us the story of the making of "Rimjhim" exclusively on Washington Bangla Radio.



Interview - Singer Anweshaa Dutta Gupta on International Bengali Modern Songs Album RIMJHIM, Her Background & New Film Songs

Indian Singer Anweshaa Dutta GuptaWashington DC, July 14, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) The prodigal Bengali and Bollywood (and Tamil and other regional languages!) singer Anweshaa Dutta Gupta started taking singing lessons from her mother Mita Duttagupta when very young, and subsequently commenced her training in North Indian Classical vocals when she was barely four years old from her Guruji Shri Jayanta Sarkar, who she still is a student of.

In this informal chat with Arijit Chakraborty, Anwesha talks about her grooming in the world of music, and especially about her latest album "RIMJHIM" which is an international production of Aninda Bose (interview) recorded in a studio in New Jersey.

Rimjhim - Anwesha-Debanjalee MP3 Download: To listen to producer and co-composer Aninda Bose and download "Rimjhim" feat. Anwesha & Debanjalee in MP3 Bengali audio songs format, check out our exclusive interview-feature on Aninda Bose.

Anwesha expresses her gratitude to Debanjalee Banerjee, the composer of the title song "Rimjhim", which she describes as a very sweet and romantic song. Thanks to Aninda's efforts, arrangements for recording and production were pretty complete before Anwesha arrived in New Jersey to sing her songs in the album. Her experience of working with the world-class musician and sound engineer (ex-bassist with Bon Jovi) Dan Skye was, not surprisingly, excellent. When Aninda sent her the finished tracks later, Anwesha was very impressed and thinks Dan did a great job in mixing. She says the recording experience in a studio in New Jersey was distinctly different from that in India - and the studio itself (Skylab Recording Studios) is in a quiet secluded "forest" as she describes.

Winner of numerous awards, Anwesha touches upon the importance of television reality competition shows and talent hunt programming as a platform that provides an opportunity to showcase the abilities of aspiring young and upcoming artists on a national (and sometimes international) level. Anwesha points out that this audio interview is another event that is in a way rooted to the exposure she has had in TV reality shows. She specifically mentions "Chhote Ustaad" as a talent-hunt show that pretty much launched her career - she immediately started getting offers to perform playback film songs for Bengali and Hindi films and eventually Tamil and songs in other Indian regional languages.

Anwesha considers her recent live appearance in Nashville, Tennessee as one of her most memorable performances. Other favorites of hers include her song "Megher Palok Chander Nolok" from director Amit Sen's (interview) Bengali film "Natobar Not Out" for which she recently won a Telecine Best Playback Singer Female award (she also won the Best Title Song award in the same ceremony for ETV Bangla show "Rojgere Ginni"). The lyrics of "Megher Palok" are written by Kamaleshwar Mukherjee (interview) who is the director of Uro Chithi, and music composition is by Debojyoti Mishra (interview). Anwesha's experience in recording Tamil film songs in studios in Chennai is also very thrilling - listen to her describe that experience in her own words!

Anwesha currently has her plate full - she is singing a great number of songs for South Indian and Hindi movies, including the upcoming Bollywood film "Luv U Soniyo" in which we will see the Indian cinema debut of Tanuj Virani, son of veteran Bollywood actress Rati Agnihotri.

Listen to the full interview with Anwesha audio exclusively on Washington Bangla Radio.



Interview: Composer-Producer Aninda Bose on Bengali Album RIMJHIM feat. Anweshaa & Debanjalee | Bengali MP3 Songs Download

ANWESA RIMJHIM BENGALI SONGS AUDIO ALBUM By Anindya BasuWashington, DC, July 14, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Aninda Bose is a co-composer and the producer of international Bengali modern songs album "Rimjhim" released under the label of Bihaan Music of Kolkata. Aninda talks to Arijit Chakraborty about the music album, his background and how he came about making Rimjhim with Anweshaa Dutta Gupta and Debanjalee performing the songs.

Listen to Aninda, watch the music video of Rimjhim feat. Anwesha & Debanjalee, and download the album in MP3 audio format online.


Rimi Basu - Bengali-American Singer's Pop Album "Crossing Over" & Music Video - Worldwide MP3 Download Release (WBRi Feature)

[Rimi Basu - Crossing Over - Bengali Pop CD MP3 Download]Washington, DC, July 14, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Versatile pop singer and dancer Rimi Basu, a Bengali originally from the USA, dropped out of a prestigious medical school, returned to her parents' motherland in Kolkata, and completed her first Bangla fusion album to make her mark on the Bangla music industry.

You might remember we previously spoke to Rimi in an informal and intimate audio interview which you can listen to online here.

Rimi has taken her first step by completing the first-ever female tribute to the King of Pop in Bengal: a high-energy music video to a dark and sultry number from her just-released pop album, “Crossing Over” which you can listen to online also here.

“This project is aimed at inspiring the youth to stay connected to their roots despite the fast globalizing world. It is the ‘crossing over’ of  boundaries and bridging the cultural gap with music……I have idolized Michael Jackson growing up and so I was thrilled to pay a tribute. It’s  all the more special because my tribute to him is in my mother tongue, Bangla", says Rimi.

Watch Rimi's music video and download her Bengali pop songs album "Crossing Over" in pristine HQ MP3 format via Washington Bangla Radio.



Bengali Film ICCHE (2011) - Interview: Shiboprasad Mukherjee & Nandita Roy with Sohini Sengupto, Samadarshi Dutta, Bidita Bag

Calcutta, July 12, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Produced by Vignesh Films Production and Co-Produced by Encash Entertainment Pvt Ltd. , Icche is the forthcoming feature film, based on a story by eminent author Suchitra Bhattacharya revolves around the tangible relationship between and obsessive mother and her son.

Mrinal Sen, Bratya Basu and Suchitra Bhattacharya
Mrinal Sen, Bratya Basu and Suchitra Bhattacharya at ICCHE (Bengali, 2011) Movie Web-site launch

I got the opportunity to interact with Icche director duo Shiboprosad Mukherjee and Nandita Roy recently along with actors Sohini Sengupta, Samadarshi Dutta (interview) and Bidita Bag. We missed actors; Honourable Minister of Higher Education of State of West Bengal, Bratya Basu and Ruplekha Mitra a lot that evening.

The directors and actors shared their experiences with Icche that day.

Watch the video interview of the directors and most of the star cast of ICCHE. A Washington Bangla Radio exclusive.



Interview: Internationally Acclaimed Film-Maker Aparna Sen (ITI MRINALINI): "Direction is Logical Extension of Acting"

Konkona Sen Sharma

Konkona Sen Sharma | Image via Wikipedia

Aparna Sen ‘s later films like Mr. & Mrs. Iyer,  15, Park Avenue, The Japanese Wife and the very recent Iti Mrinalini  is a journey of reinventing herself as a filmmaker. With … Mrinalini receiving awards and critical acclaim, Shoma A. Chatterji, whose book on Sen had ended with  Paromitar Ek Din,  tries to look back on the director’s  rich oeuvre over the years.

Note: You might also check out the prior appearance of Aparna Sen on WBRi in this audio feature >


Her meticulously detailed screenplays, mostly scripted from her own story, offer an insight into her growth. 36 Chowringhee Lane’s script is typed in English, neatly bound with a soft cover, detailing each sequence, each shot, with bracketed directions for herself and for the cameraman.

Paromitaar Ek Din was published in the screenplay annual number of a Bangla magazine, it was that professional. Though she chooses her technical crew with great care, she never allows the work of a brilliant technician to overwhelm or to overshadow her directorial treatment whether it is Ashok Mehta who cinematographed her first film 36, Chowringhee Lane, or whether it is Anay Goswami, a FTII graduate who did the cinematography for The Japanese Wife.

Kolkata was the  setting for all her films till Paromitar El Din. With Mr. & Mrs. Iyer she moved beyond the confines of the city. For 15, Park Avenue, the story and its characters moved between Bhutan and Kolkata.



SOHORTOLI Bangla Band from Dhaka & Songs from Latest Album Release "Borabor Sohortoli" (WBRi Feature)

Washington, DC, July 13, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) The Bangla rock music group "SHOHORTOLI" was formed in 2004. During that period it had no name! In 2005, it got a name which is "SHOHORTOLI"! Back then it was a 3-member band which now has 5 members in it's family.

Bangladeshi Bangla Band Sohortoli in Concert

"SHOHORTOLI" usually feel free to work on Soft Rock, Mellow Rock, India/Bangladesh Territorial Rock, Rock, Hard Rock, Alternative Rock, Fusion Rock, Folk Fusion, Symphonic Rock and Psychedelic genres. Indeed it invented and introduced a new genre "THEATRICAL ROCK".

Bangladeshi Bangla Band Sohortoli in Concert

It's their first effort in the mixed album "NAS" putting an individual signature the Entire Music Scenario of BANGLADESH with the help of the unique plotting and texture of the song and genre!

Read all about the Bangla band and listen to their songs from their latest album release "Borabor Sohortoli".


The Un-Common Connection: Ritwik Ghatak & Guru Dutt (WBRi Feature)

By Arin Paul

A collage tribute to Ritwik Ghatak by Arin Paul on 50 years of Meghe Dhaka Tara

Calcutta, 30th June, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / OOBE): Ritwik Ghatak considered being one of the greatest and most significant filmmakers in Indian & Bengali cinema and Guru Dutt, often credited with ushering in the golden era of Hindi cinema had things very similar often overlooked. Though both the Legends were overlooked in their own lifetimes but had belatedly generated international recognition. Both Ghatak and Dutt started their directorial careers in early fifties. Dutt’s debut film was Baazi in 1951 whereas Ghatak’s debut film was Nagarik in 1952. What’s interesting and overlooked is that both these film-makers have directed eight movies in their lifetime. Ritwik Ghatak’s immortal eight films are Nagarik (The Citizen) (1952/1977), Ajantrik (The Unmechanical or The Pathetic Fallacy) (1958), Bari Theke Paliye (The Runaway) (1958), Meghe Dhaka Tara (The Cloud-Capped Star) (1960), Komol Gandhar (E-Flat) (1961), Subarnarekha (1962/1965), Titash Ekti Nadir Naam (A River Called Titash) (1973) and Jukti Takko Aar Gappo (Reason, Debate and a Story) (1974). And Guru Dutt’s immortal eight films are Baazi (A Game of Chance)  (1951), Jaal (The Net) (1952), Baaz (The Hawk) (1953), Aar Paar ( This or That) (1954), Mr. & Mrs. '55 (1955), Sailaab (1956), Pyaasa (The Thirsty) (1957) and Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959).

Guru Dutt was born as Vasanth Kumar Shivashankar Padukone in Bangalore on 9th July, 1925 and Ritwik Kumar Ghatak was born in Rajshahi (the then East Bengal and presently Bangladesh) on 4th November, 1925. Ritwik Ghatak moved to Calcutta (now Kolkata) with his family during the Bengal Famine on 1943 whereas Guru Dutt moved to Calcutta and settled in Bhowanipur as his father got a job in the city. Guru Dutt entered the film industry in 1944 with a job of a choreographer in Prabhat Film Company, Poona (now Pune) whereas Ghatak entered the film industry in 1950 as an assistant director and actor. Ritwik Ghatak was also briefly at Pune as he taught at Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) in 1966. Dutt married well known play back singer Geeta Ghosh Roy Chowdhuri famous as Geeta Dutt in 1953 and Ghatak married Surama Ghatak in 1955.



Interview: Writer-Director Raja Chanda on Bengali Movie LE HALUA LE (2011): "The Title Says it All - A Bindaas Comedy Film"

Hindi film (Bollywood) actor Mithun Chakrabort...

Image via Wikipedia

Washington, DC, June 27, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Bengali film writer-director Raja Chanda is currently working on his second movie - a Bengali film with the interesting title of "Le Halua Le". Arijit Chakraborty chats with Raja in this audio interview where the film-maker talks about his background and his previous and ongoing Tollywood film projects, and of course, about his debut film "Target" and his second film "Le Halua Le".

Listen to the director share a few glimpses into "Le Halua Le", a hilarious tale - "comedy of errors" - of the characters misunderstanding others and being misunderstood themselves. The cast is big, but all the characters are interconnected in interesting ways, though each has his or her own little story, too. The climax of the film is huge - the entire cast shows up together and all misunderstandings are resolved.

"Le Halua Le" will probably have four Bengali film songs. Raja indicates they are shooting for a Durga Puja 2011 release of the film.

Do not miss Raja's story of shooting with superstar Mithun Chakraborty - that too outdoor shooting in Hyderabad - where Mithun-da showed up fifteen minutes before his call time, fully ready with make up and thus putting enormous pressure on Raja and his crew! Amazingly, Raja managed to finish shooting with Mithun-da a whole day ahead of schedule. Not only that, Mithun-da also had some remarkable comments on Raja's tendency to use a trolley mounted camera for almost all outdoor shots (because, as Raja puts it, he likes moving shots).