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

BLUSH ON by Ipsita Mukherjee - golden oldie Bengali songs get a modern remix sound while preserving their eternal melodies

Washington DC, Sept 13, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) Ipshita Mukherjee has been learning music from a very young age, taking singing lessons in classical, light classical, ghazals and so on. As she grew up, she always had a strong regard and attraction for the golden oldies from the nostalgic period of Bengali and Indian modern and film songs - like most Indians who grew up in the latter part of the last century, Lata Mangeshkar, Hemanta Mukherjee, Manna Dey, Md Rafi and so on have always had a strong appeal to her. She strongly believes it is not possible to sing those evergreen oldies without having learnt Indian classical music first, and it is a mistake to attempt such songs without training in classical.

Ipsita Mukherjee Blush On Bengali Retro Remix Album

Therefore, Ipsita concentrated on training herself in Indian Classical vocals for the last 14 years before attempting to perform the oldies classics only now when she is somewhat confident of doing justice to the eternal compositions.

Her new album Blush On - Evergreen Bangla Retros Remixed released by Purple Music of Kolkata contains 2 songs by Arati Mukherjee, 4 by Asha Bhsole and 1 each by R D Burman and Lata Mangeshkar. Interestingly, the music arrangement for these songs in Ipsita's new album is extremely contemporary - the songs have been reprised and remixed using modern instrumention and electronic influences giving them a fresh new sound. In the age of techno, trance and electronica, this album is an outstanding effort that has been lapped up Kolkata Bangla FM Radio Stations who are playing the songs regularly and frequently.

Ipsita explains in this exclusive and informal interview with Arijit Chakraborty of Washington Bangla Radio about the title of the album. A blusher is used in make up to make beautiful women look more beautiful, she says, and for the same reason she has named the album Blush On to convey a sense of having applied blusers to songs that are timeless to start with, giving them a younger and contemporary touch.

Purple Music full audio song albums are available for download in pristine audiophile MP3 format from the exclusive Washington Bangla Radio digital download store here >

97 WEST - A pioneering Kolkata global free jazz band experimenting with the "Morph" sound

Four talented, young musicians from Kolkata have come together to create a form of music that was never heard before. They call it Morph.

97 WEST Kolkata Band

Experimental music or avant-garde, in its truest form, has never been a part of Indian  Jazz scenario. 97WEST is possibly the first Indian band that is truly Avant-Garde/Experimental in genre.

"97 West is a Morph Music band. Morph is a musical form that seamlessly morphs from one cultural sound to another" says Sharthok Chakraborty, the young bass player, a disciple of Amyt Dutta , who named the Genre. Sharthok adds, "We were always interested in the day to day sounds which are often 'neglected' as music .This was the common string that gave birth to the form of music when we came together."

Listen to their music and watch music videos on this exclusive feature at Washington Bangla Radio USA.

Sudipta Chattopadhyay from Cleveland, Ohio - talented singer, playwright and Shruti Natok (Audio Play) Actress

Sudipta Chattopadhyay Cleveland Ohio USA
Dr Sudipta Chattopadhyay performing in her home city of Cleveland, Ohio

Dr. Sudipta Chattopadhyay, a current resident of Cleveland, Ohio, is a doctorate in Chemical Engineering and a scientist by profession, on top of all these she is a passionate aficionado of Indian Music. Sudipta is a professional, versatile singer, actress, reciter, creative writer, anchor, and music teacher. Her passion for music has taken her all over the world as an invited singer-performer-anchor.

Washington Bangla Radio presents an exclusive feature on Sudipta. Watch Sudipta performing live via WBRi On-Demand Video service.

Ek mutho jolshar kolorob - In memory of Pulak Bandyopadhyay (May 1931 - September 7, 1999)

By Kohinoor Dasgupta
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

On the evening of Tuesday, September 7, 1999, lyricist Pulak Bandyopadhyay killed himself by jumping off a launch into the Hooghly river at Howrah. He was 68. His body was retrieved on Thursday, September 9, 1999. Words were in short supply in the suicide note he left behind. After having worn his heart on his sleeve as a professional writer for four decades, he had nothing more to say.

Bandyopadhyay lived in Howrah. He was educated at Scottish Church College, Calcutta. He came from a family that enjoyed the Arts — drama, literature, music. Many of his songs were written for Bangla movies, tailored to suit “situations” outlined by screenplay writers and directors. The rest were songs written for the Puja releases and other albums of well-known singers.

Partha Pratim Roy - Indian Classical Instrumental Sitar | Exclusive Interview and Performances

An upcoming sitar player, Partha Pratim Roy started learning the Art and Musicology of Sitar playing from Prof. Devi Prasad Chatterjee from the age of five, thereafter from Prof. Nihar Bindu Chowdhury and from Sangitacharya Ajay Sinha Roy. Listen to performances from a few Indian classical Ragas on Washington Bangla Radio on-demand service by pressing the play button on the audio player.

Partha also took lessons in intricacies of Indian rhythm from Prof. Anil Palit.

Subhomoy Mukherjee of Washington Bangla Radio talks to Partha in an exclusive interview video.

Kamaleshwar Mukherjee (Interview): URO CHITHI Bengali Movie is about deleting SMS messages from mobile of a software engineer

Germantown, MD (Washington Bangla Radio): Listen to Kamaleshwar Mukherjee talk about his background and his films online on Washington Bangla Radio on-demand audio service by pressing the Play button in the player in this post.

Film-maker Dr. Kamaleshwar Mukherjee whose next Bengali film URO CHITHI is being awaited by Bengali movie lovers across the world talks to Arijit Chakraborty of WBRi in this up-close, informal and intimate interview.

URO CHITHI is a poetic phrase, and the film has a fascinating storyline based around the contemporary culture of text messaging (SMS) over cell phones. The story revolves around various incidents that occur while the owner of a mobile phone deletes old text messages. There are around a dozen sub-stories in the film, each associated with a text message on the cell phone - the little incidents together covering a span of around one year forms the subject of the film. The protagonist works in one of the myriad of cheap IT services export shops in India, and also focuses on the impacts of the currently ongoing phase of economic recession in the developed world on such workers.

The star cast of URO CHITHI includes Locket Chatterjee, Sreelekha Mitra, Bishwanath Basu, Rajatava Dutta, Rudranil Ghosh, Swastika Mukherjee, Indraneil Sengupta, Reshmi Ghosh, Sudipta Chakraborty and others. Locket Chatterjee plays Sudha, married to Bishwanath Basu's character. Sreelekha Mitra plays Raka, the wife of Indraneil's charater who has an extra-marital affair with a girl played by Tanushree.

Bengali Actress Locket Chatterjee
Tollywood actress Locket Chatterjee
Image from Facebook Album

URO CHITHI is currently in shooting stage, and production is expected to be complete towards the end of 2010. The script of URO CHITHI is written by Kamaleshwar, too.

Film-maker RAJA SEN talks about LABORATORY (2010) Bengali Movie (Exclusive Interview - Audio) | RAVEENA TANDON in Bangla Film

Raja Sen on Washington Bangla RadioAcclaimed award-winning flm-maker Raja Sen is currently busy with promotion of his latest feature film, a homage to Tagore, titled Laboratory written by Rabindranath Tagore himself starring Ravina Tandon, Ranjit Mullick, Arpita Chatterjee, Saheb Chatterjee, Biswanath, etc.

Laboratory will be screened in a few local community centers and school auditoriums and such places in the USA the last weekend of September, 2010.

Subhomoy Mukherjee of Washington Bangla Radio talks to Raja Sen about his career in film-making in this informal and up-close interview.

Subrata Dutta (RAKTA CHARITRA): "Viewer Opinion is Paramount" - Interview (Audio) with Award Winning Bengali & Bollywood Actor

Subrata Dutta - Bengali Bollywood ActorPowerful character actor Subrata Dutta - a renowned name in Bengali and Bollywood Cinema in India and Indian film-lovers across the world - recently bagged another "Best Actor" award - this time at the Cairo International Film Festival, 2009 - for Jai Tank directed film Madholal Keep Walking [BUY DVD] co-starring Swara Bhaskar. As you will hear Subrata describing in the interview, in Madholal, he plays the role of a man in Mumbai who has lost a hand and has thus had to extensively shoot with one hand tied to his back, in real locations, sometimes on a hidden camera.

Subrata has previosuly won the "Best Actor" award at the Osian Cinefan Festival 2006 for Subrata Sen directed Bengali film Bibar - Calcutta Unabashed (DVD Release) co-starring Tannishtha Chatterjee, Payel Sarkar, Biswajit Chakraborty, Dulal Lahiri, Kunal Mitra etc.

Madholal Keep Walking has had a limited trial release in Calcutta in August and will be re-released soon on a much larger scale.

A graduate from the elite National School of Drama, New Delhi and Central School of Speech and Drama, London, UK, Subrata has and continues to play lead roles in films in various languages. He is also a renowned stage theater actor.

Subrata Dutta grew up in Bankura district of West Bengal, and in his young days, had little clue that he would become a powerful and internationally acclaimed character acter in films and theater. He studied Zoology at the graduate level and Business Administration at the post graduate level. He then chanced on attending a workshop at the National School of Drama, New Delhi and subsequently applied to study there, and was selected. His subsequent apprenticeship at the Central School of Speech and Drama, London, UK was financed by a scholarship from the Brtish Council in Kolkata.

Subrata Dutta performed various roles in stage theater in Delhi for around 8 years, eventually also playing roles in parallel and art-house films and then lead roles as protagonists and antagonists.

Subrata Dutta is playing a lead role in Ram Gopal Verma directed RAKTA CHARITRA that is expected to have a release date in October 2010. RAKTA CHARITRA will be released in two episodes and in three languages.

After a long string of successful Bengali films featuring Subrata Dutta - Buddhadev Dasgupta's UTTARA (BUY DVD), Kushan Nandy's 88 Antop Hill [BUY VCD], Suman Mukherjee's  Chaturanga (DVD Release), Subrata Sen's Bibar - Calcutta Unabashed (DVD), Arin Pal's Doshta Dosh (BUY DVD), Anjan Das's Achin Pakhi (DVD) and so on, ANTIM SHWASH SUNDAR (Last Breath Beautiful) (BUY DVD) by Kris Allin is now playing to capacity audiences in theaters in Kolkata, featuring Subrata Dutta as Prem Sengupta, Indrani Halder as Vibha, Paran Bandopadhaya as Mystic, Kaushik Banerjee as Sarda, Kunal Padhy as Mehra, Swagata Mukherjee as Alka, Punya Darshan Gupta as Rao, Debdut Ghosh as Patel, Sanjukta Roychowdhury as Anjali, Surangana as Arti and Prakash Sharma as Raghu.

Subrata recently appeared in Achin Pakhi with the young promising actress Manali Dey of Mouri fame from the superhit Bengali TV show Bou Kotha Kao.

Subrata Dutta's other upcoming films include Reema Mukherjee's ARDHANGINI EK ARDHASATYA which is adapted from Rabindranath Tagore's short story GHARE BAIRE (previously made into a film with the same title by Satyajit Ray) where Subrata plays the role of Sandip and appears with Subodh Bhave, Sreelekha Mitra, Manoj Mitra, Reema Lagoo, Varsha Usgaonkar and others. The film is headed to the Berlin International Film Festival.

Subrata Dutta is also appearing in the upcoming film BLIND LANE with Sonali Chowdhury - the film is directed by Amitava Sengupta and is based on the Kamtapur movement.

Listen to Subrata Dutta once again on Washington Bangla Radio. We wish Subrata Dutta all the best and we look forwarding to having him with us on Washington Bangla Radio again.

Nilanjann Nandy - Exclusive Interview with the Singer Poet Songwriter and Journalist

Nilanjan Nandy

Acclaimed singer, song-writer, composer, creative writer and journalist (among many other interests) Nilanjann Nandy talks to Subhomoy Mukherjee of Washington Bangla Radio in this exclusive, personal and up-close interview. Do not miss his extempore singing.

Click on the play button to listen to the full audio interview online on WBRi on-demand radio broadcast service.

Interview: Akash Adhikari - Actor-Writer-Director Nepali Movie KATHMANDU (2011) and Trailer

Akash Adhikari is an acclaimed Nepali film-maker with over 15 popular Nepali movies to his credit. He is the writer-director and lead actor of the eagerly anticipated Nepali movie Kathmandu (2011) with an international cast. Akash talks to Washington Bangla Radio's Arijit Chakraborty in an exclusive, comprehensive and intimate interview about his career and his films. Do not miss the special preview of his next film Suryoday (Sunrise) that Akash talks about in detail exclusively on WBRi.

Kathmandu - with a tag-line of "Anything can happen in this city" - is a contemporary story of the relationship between youngsters and their parents. In some ways, Kathmandu is a universal film about teenagers and the responsibilities of parents in both being protective and inspirational towards developing independence and self-confidence in their teenage children. It may be seen as a film about universal generation gap issues.

Kathmandu is shot in San Fransisco, USA and of course, Nepal using the Red Cinema 4K Camera for the first time in Nepali cinema, and features an international cast and crew. Kathmandu is written and directed by Akash Adhikari and produced by Akash Adhikari and his brother Ben-Nabin Adhikari who lives in New York. The internationmal star cast includes Akash Adhikari, Resh Marhatta, Gauri Malla, Samyukta Rana, Arjun Shrestha, Ben-Nabin Adhikari, Suresh Adhikari, Sangita Chhetri, Sunil Dutt, Subhatra Adhikari and more. The movie introduces newcomer Prapti Ghimire to Nepalese cinema. Ani Choying Dolma and Indian Bollywood singer-actor Sukhwinder Singh make guest appearances in the film.

A scene from Nepali movie Kathmandu (2011)
A scene from Kathmandu (2011, Nepali)
The Nepali film songs have been performed by Indian Bollywood playback singers like Sukhwinder Singh, Aakriti Kankard, Kailash Kher, Sunidhi Chauhan, Adhitya Narayan and Sanjivini. Rahul Pradhan has composed and directed music in Kathmandu and Dirgha Gurung has taken care of cinematography.

Akash Adhikari also talks in depth about his next film Suryoday (Sunrise). That film is about a complex relationship of a woman and multiple husbands. The Nyinba people of Nepal live high in the Himalayan mountains and practice fraternal polyandry - when a woman marries a man, in Nyinban culture, she marries all of her husband's brothers as well. Beneficial aspects of such a custom include preservation of inherited wealth and property without too much fragmenting, while obviously the relationship between the woman and her husbands is fascinating.

Dharmendra Bhatt - North Indian Hindustani Classical Instrumental Mandolin

Dharmendra Bhatt - North Indian Hindustani Classical Instrumental MandolinDharmendra Bhatt is an unusual instrumentalist from Ahmedabad, India - he is an expert in North Indian Hindustani Classical Instrumental Mandolin.

Check out Dharmendra's performance of Indian Ragas on Mandolin in the player.

Director KRIS ALIN talks about Bengali Movie ANTIM SHWASH SUNDOR (2010) - Exclusive Interview on Washington Bangla Radio

ANTIM SHWAS SINDOR posterAntim Shwash Sundar (English title The Last Breath Beautiful) is a 2010 Kolkata Bengali movie released in theaters in Calcutta today, Aug 20, 2010.

The film stars Subrata Dutta, Indrani Haldar, Paran Bandopadhyay and others. Subrata Dutta has delivered a powerful performance as Prem Sengupta in the film, as posted by Washington Bangla Radio film critiques in our WBRi Kolkata Tube blog.

Debutant writer-director Kris Alin talks exclusively to Arijit Chakraborty on Washington Bangla Radio in a comprehensive, intimate and informal interview that you can listen free online by pressing the play button in the player.

Anilabha Chatterjee - EGARO The Immortal XI (2010) Bengali Movie Producer (Interview)

EGARO - The Immortal XI  (2010) Kolkata Bengali New Movie Poster

Magic Hour Entertainment's  Egaro - The Immortal XI is an upcoming Bangla movie celebrating the best of Indian soccer (football) and the July 29, 1911 historic victory of the Indian team of Mohun Bagan against the British East Yorkshire Regiment, thus Mohun Bagan lifting the IFA Shield for the first time ever. The film is directed by Arun Roy and produced by Anilava Chatterjee.

EGARO features music by the folk band MOKAM (Mayukh - Mainak) known for their unique and innovative sound rooted in folk and tribal music of Bengal.

Watch a video of and listen to producer Anilabha Chatterjee talking to Subhomoy Mukherjee, WBRi correspondent, in an informal and intimate interview online.

Subhomoy writes:

Anilabho Chatterjee started his career as a journalist. Then he liked to cover the sports, eventually he felt in love with sports and till date, even as a producer of popular television events, he likes to do programs on sports, even the programs with celebrity sports persons.

Interview | PROSENJIT CHATTERJEE - The 2nd Mahanayak of Tollywood Kolkata Bengali Movies talks to WBRi

PROSENJIT CHATTERJEE - Kolkata Tube @ Washington Bangla RadioTollywood Kolkata Bengali movie actor Prasenjit Chattopadhyay, affectionately called Bumba-da by his huge fan following, is one of the top stars of Bangla cinema for over a quarter of a century. Son of popular hero of yesterday, Biswajeet Chatterjee (buy Biswajit DVD Collection Online), Prosenjit started his career in film at the age of around four with Chotto Jigyasha directed by his dad. Prosenjit's sister Pallavi Chatterjee is also an acclaimed actress.

In this comprehensive, informal and intimate interview, Prosenjit Chatterjee talks to Subhomoy Mukherjee of Washington Bangla Radio about his career in films and Bengali cinema. Do not miss the words of one of the greatest Bengali movie personalities with unbeatable popularity.

Prasenjit Chatterjee lives in Kolkata with his wife, actress Arpita Pal Chatterjee and their son Trishanjit. Arpita has recently re-emerged in Bengali cinema after a gap of several years.

King of commercial / pop Bengali cinema for many years, Prosenjit has matured into a full-fledged character actor powerful enough for challenging roles in parallel and art-house films starting with Rituparno Ghosh's 2003 gem "Choker Bali" (Chokher Bali - A Passion Play Online DVD Release) where he appeared alongside Aishwarya Rai and Raima Sen. His fabulous performance as Kaushik in DOSAR (2007) [BUY DVD] co-starring Konkona Sen earned him a Silver Lotus National Award. He considers the role of Kaushik as the most challenging in his 300 or so films so far.

The 1983 film 'Duti Pata' (1983) saw Prosenjit Chatterjee debut as the hero. The film was a super-hit and launched Prosenjit into super-stardom in Bangla cinema. Other remarkable Prosenjit-starrers include AMAR SANGI (1987) [BUY DVD] with Vijayeta Pandit -  the famous song "Chirodini Aami Je Tomar" still reverberates in Bengali hearts, Tarun Majumdar's Apon Amar Apon (1990), Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s 'Ami, Yaseen Aar Amaar Madhubala' (2007) and many more.

Prosenjit has acted against around 50 heroines and ex-wife and childhood friend Debashree Roy remains his favorite actress to work with. He has appeared with Satabdi Roy in the highest number of films, and has acted with other top Tollywood heroines like Rachana Banerjee (WBRi Interview), Rituparna Sengupta (Interview), Indrani Haldar and his wife Arpita Pal Chatterjee.

Interview - Surajit Dhar - Director, Bengali Movie Britto (2010), Pa Ma Ga Re Sa (2009)

Surajit Dhar is the writer-director of PA MA GA RE SA (Bengali, 2009) and BRITTO (Bengali, 2010). In this exclusive interview, Surajit Dhar talks to Arijit Chakraborty of Washington Bangla Radio about his career, experience and thoughts about modern Bengali cinema as well as, of course, his films.