Category Archives: Entertainment

Shardul Pandey Talks To Alex Smith

Shardul Pandey Talks To Alex Smith

Shardul Pandey: I welcome you Alex at SANGKRIT.net, please tell us about yourself.

Alex Smith: Hey :D I’m Alex Smith. I’m a musician based in Brisbane Australia. I’m currently raising funds for my debut EP although I have been performing under the stage name Your Man Alex Smith since May 5th!

Shardul Pandey: Tell us about your music and your upcoming EP? When do you think it will be released?

Alex Smith: I’m not entirely sure what my ‘thing’ is. Usually musicians have something that makes them stand out from the rest, be it their voice or their instrumentation but I’m still finding my unique sound.

I do however write as honestly as I can. Without honesty, I feel that the music is hard to relate to and that’s one of the most important parts!

While I perform with an acoustic guitar, the album will feature a whole band. I want to immortalize these songs as the best versions they can be!

The EP will really depend on how much success the indiegogo campaign achieves. At a very minimum it will consist of two songs but the bigger the end result, the more tracks I will be able to get on the album! The album is predicted to be released around March 2014

Shardul Pandey: Tell us about the tracks which you have already recorded ? What are the themes?

Alex Smith: I actually don’t know for certain which tracks are going to be on the album. I’m working with a producer and he’s going to decide which has the most potential. Though currently there’s a lot of buzz around ‘Gingerbread Man’ ‘Guilty’ and ‘Tragedy’

Shardul Pandey: What is the story behind your title ‘Your Man Alex Smith’ ?

Alex Smith: Originally I was just going to be Alex Smith but it’s such a common name that I couldn’t get any useful or memorable usernames on sites like YouTube or Tumblr.

I used to have my own vlog and I’d start every episode with ‘Hey guys, it’s your man Alex Smith!’ And I thought that’d be a fun little thing.

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Shardul Pandey: What inspired your passion for music? Have you always enjoyed the art of music?

Alex Smith: My dad is a huge fan of music. He’s been collecting Vinyls for years and the house was always full of classic rock songs. I vividly remember my dad sitting me down in the living room and preparing me to listen to ‘Bat out of Hell’. At first I thought he was just being dad but that song blew my mind. I’ve always really loved music since then.

Shardul Pandey: You are an acoustic singer, you also write songs so did you receive any formal training?

Alex Smith: That’s hard to say. I am self taught on the guitar and piano and predominantly with voice but I’ve been part of a few different choirs and I love musical theatre so I’ve absorbed a lot of valuable lessons from them that I otherwise wouldn’t have. Most recently I played The Sheriff in Underground Production’s ‘Bat Boy: The Musical’ with Nick Hollamby as the Musical Director. Nick’s one of the most prestigious vocal coaches in Brisbane so I paid close attention to everything he had to say!

Shardul Pandey: Would you like to share the experience of your first performance ? You perform no mind or you think about something when your are preforming?

Alex Smith: I remember my first proper performance got egged by a passing car. I’m not sure whether it was just an act of wanton mayhem or whether it was premeditated but it was unsettling to say the least.
I personally think that the best performers are those that reveal part of themselves and are honest with the audience. You need to tell the story otherwise you’re just singing notes. When I sing I try to go back to the place I was when I wrote it. This is usually why I end up singing with my eyes closed.

Shardul Pandey: Any favorite moment you would like to share?

Alex Smith: One of my favourite moments would have to be when I performed at ‘The Zoo’. It was a big deal for me and I had a huge amount of support from the people who enjoy my music. The gig was pretty terrible but the atmosphere was just electric! And I met my girlfriend there.

Shardul Pandey: Are there any other creative mediums you work in?

Alex Smith: As I previously mentioned I used to do a lot of acting on stage as well as a little bit of screen acting but I’ve had to knuckle down and focus on my music career. It’s hard enough to make it even when it’s all you’re doing let alone with other things going on.

Shardul Pandey: Any loves, other then music?

Alex Smith: I’m a pretty big fan of ice cream. Like whenever Tash and I are out, we’ll usually end up getting some. Nothing comes close to music though.

Shardul Pandey: What you do for entertainment? Any peculiar interests?

Alex Smith: I do enjoy movies and I’ve recently started playing GTA V which is very addictive! I also love listening to ‘The Protomen Act Two: Father of Death’ it’s my favorite album.

Shardul Pandey: Excluding guitar is there any other musical instruments you like playing ?

Alex Smith: I like playing piano but I’m not super good at it.

Shardul Pandey: What songs get you moving ?

Alex Smith: I’m so far from a dancer it’s not funny. I usually can’t help dancing to ‘Caramel dansen’

Shardul Pandey: How do you best describe what music is to you?

Alex Smith: Without sounding really pretentious, music is what feelings sound like.

Shardul Pandey: Any other musical projects which you have planned for future ? Any plans for an international tour ?

Alex Smith: I am actually writing a rock opera concept album inspired by the Protomen about a robot created to make music. It’s called ‘Amadeus’ though ‘Amadeus ex machina’ has been considered as a title as well. It’ll be a cross between rock, neoclassical and musical theatre. I’m very excited about it.

I do have plans for an international tour in the sense that I plan to one day but I don’t have nearly enough of a fan base to afford it yet.

Shardul Pandey: What is your web address, do you own a domain ? Where netizens can find lastest news about you and your music ?

Alex Smith: I have:

Facebook: Facebook.com/yourmanalexsmith

Tumblr: Yourmanalexsmith.tumblr.com

YouTube: Youtube.com/yourmanalexsmith

And I currently have an Indiegogo page open to fund my first album!
http://igg.me/at/ymasep/x/316267

Shardul Pandey: What is your ultimate message for netizens ?

Alex Smith: What are you passionate about? Are you on your way to achieving that/currently doing it? If you’re not, then change something. It’s never too late to turn everything around. You’ve only failed if you stop before you’ve succeeded!

Shardul Pandey Talks To Marie Parie On Europe Tour

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Shardul Pandey Talks To Marie Parie – 3

[heading]← 9 Days Back[/heading]

Shardul Pandey: Hi Marie! How are you ?

Marie Parie: I just did an amazing session with Mariah Carry’s brother in Law Reuben Cannon yesterday for my new song “Kinda Girl” and it was amazing. I’m so excited to bringing R&B pieces to Pop Dance music. I love it.

Shardul Pandey: That’s Great. Have you planned any special events for this tour ?

Marie Parie: This is exciting, I’ll keep it a mystery. Well, I’m going to Europe for Radio and TV interviews. I’m going to meet with amazing people in the industry. Many surprises to come and I’d like to keep the rest of the mystery and have my fans find out about the adventure. I’ll be in touch from France.

Shardul Pandey: Good. Wishing you success and I know you’ll do very well. Good luck to you.

Marie Parie: Thanks. I’ll be in touch from France.

Shardul Pandey: Ok.

Marie Parie: Hi Shardul. I’m in France. I was on the platform of a huge TV Show of Patrick Sebastien “les Annees bonheur” for two days Monday and Tuesday, and it was amazing, all about music and meeting amazing people such as Sylvie Vartan, and more.

French stars for years, that changed french history. Now, today all french TV is talking about Marie Parie who was on one of the most famous touristic avenues in Paris, who can’t buy her beauty products.

I was walking in champs Elysee avenue, the big touristic place, the most beautiful so busy street where all tourist and locals buy beauty products and more when they used to close at midnight and now they obligate stores to close so early as 9pm and stop business and one of the sudden, I stopped near Sephoara at 9 pm, to buy products like beauty stuff and they closed the door and throw everyone out, saying that no one can work after 9pm now. So I started being so agitated telling them to let people go to work. I want them to let people work, and I spoke in French and English saying that it’s not good for tourists who want to buy stuff, France has to change this, they can’t be paying people to stop others working, and fine stores for opening pass 9pm. Many students need to work at night for sure. It was so strange to do such a thing.

Shardul Pandey: To make such a change you do require intervening politically. That demands making that kind of public opinion dominant over the constitutional process there in France. It is up to you to make your decision that up to what extent you are prepared for doing so.

If you take any such decision, I may offer you the technology to make a breakthrough.

(To be continued…….)

Shardul Pandey Talks To Natesh Kirtan

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Shardul Pandey Talks To Natesh Kirtan

Shardul Pandey: I welcome you Natesh at SANGKRIT.net, what’s your story?

Natesh Kirtan: Thank you for the opportunity to share my story, Shardul!

I love to chant, especially in the kirtan form, but also other forms. I have been chanting in the kirtan tradition for over 30 years, having first connected with it in late 1979 in the Oakland Siddha Yoga ashram of Swami Muktananda. I became a devotee of Baba and his successors. After being on that path for over a decade, I had a very powerful dream of Ammachi (Mata Amritanandamayi) before I knew anything about her, even receiving a hug from her in the dream, and I a couple years later I finally met her and became her devotee. The name Natesh I received from her many years later. Having these extraordinary beings guiding and transforming my life for the past 34 years has been truly a blessing. I, along with my wife, Monnie, and others, have been leading weekly kirtan in Sedona, AZ, for over 9 years with a group I simply called the Kirtan Wallahs and I’m now finally in the process of creating a beautiful kirtan album, Bliss of Kirtan, with great support from producer and multi-instrumentalist, Ben Leinbach, and many wonderful musicians and singers.

The process of starting a chanting group in Sedona all unfolded initially from me sitting down with the intention to practice some classical guitar pieces in the Fall of 2003 and the next thing I knew I was ‘downloading’ a chant to one of the many Deities, like Rama or Krishna or Durga or Shiva. Then I would forget about playing any classical piece and just be blissfully chanting whatever new chant. After some months of this I really lost all interest in playing any classical pieces anyway because that didn’t compare to the bliss I experienced from chanting and decided it was time to ‘share the bliss’ and started the Kirtan Wallahs.

I’ve also composed over 180 chants since 2003, although I’ve ‘retired’ a bunch of them that I became less enchanted with. It was had to narrow down the field to what to put on this first album!

Shardul Pandey: Tell us about ‘Bliss of Kirtan’ album Project ? How long have you been working on this? How much have you done and when do you think it will be released?

Natesh Kirtan: In one sense I’ve been working on it for close to 10 years, as one of the chants on the album, He Ma Durga, I composed in Autumn, 2003. But in terms of deciding to do a studio album and moving forward with the project, that decision happened in May and with some Grace I’ll be able to release the album in mid to late November.

The Bliss of Kirtan album is first and foremost a kirtan album, with the intention to inspire people to chant along with the call and response format and to invoke ecstatic, even transcendent, states of bliss in the listener, through chanting along or even simply through listening. I’ve intentionally kept the tempos much mellower than I typically do in a live kirtan so that the music can also serve as a backdrop for yoga, meditation and general daily activity.

As I mentioned, Ben Leinbach is an awesome producer, and I have some very talented female singers on the album as well as many excellent musicians contributing on bansuri, sarod, esraj, santoor and cello as well as tabla on some tracks. Sample excerpts from the latest rough mixes for the 8 tracks on the album can be heard at this link.

I’ve been getting wonderful comments from people who have heard some of the album in its present state, using adjectives like profound, sweet, powerful, lovely, lush and blissful, to name a few. Some of the tracks are mantras (or shloks) like Gayatri and Tvameva Mata and others are to the different Deities like Ganesha, Shiva, Krishna and so on. It’s also running very close to the 79.8 minutes maximum recommended for a commercially produced CD.

All the recording is done so we’re in the editing and mixing stage and still have mastering, artwork, physical production and so on to go. We got it this far on short-term borrowed money to take advantage of an opening in Ben’s schedule so now we have to raise money to get it finished and pay back the short term loans. We’ve started a funding campaign on Indiegogo to help make it happen.

After all these years of doing live kirtan and composing chants, I’m really excited about how beautiful this album is turning out for sharing the ‘Bliss of Kirtan’ with the world!

(To be continued…….)

Shardul Pandey Talks To Vivek Sharma, Founder Of Filmzone Creations Pvt Ltd.

Shardul Pandey: I welcome you Vivek at SANGKRIT.net. How are you? On what new projects you are currently working on ?

Vivek Sharma: Hi Shardul. I am good. Hope you are good too.

As you must have heard that I have opened my own production house, Filmzone Creations Pvt Ltd.

And now I am producing and directing many films. Making one film in 8 Indian languages, first of its kind and each language will have different actors, locations and music. Its like creating history. Its a commercial film, black humor on recession.

Shardul Pandey Talks To Vivek Sharma

Shardul Pandey: I am fine. Thanks. Yes, Priyanka told me about your new production house, Filmzone Creations Pvt Ltd.

It seems to be very interesting. So did you always know you were going to be a movie producer ?

Vivek Sharma: Yes, I was a story teller. Ma Saraswati blessed me with creative human ideas. So in my childhood I decided to become director producer writer and I became:)

Shardul Pandey: So how your journey has been, starting from your childhood when you made up your mind to become a director-producer-writer that has finally grown into this climax of yours ?

Vivek Sharma: Well I can give a brief points as I am writing a book on my journey. Mahanagry 1094 up, details will be in that.

But it started from Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh from where I did my masters in physics.

Trained in martial arts..a football player.

Stage dance performer.

And a dream of making difference in people’s life..

Came to Mumbai with Rs. 250 in pocket.

Struggled..worked hard…learnt a lot from common people and survived on my own.

Lived in pipe lines, spent nights in watchmen’s cabin…corridors..station platform..

But zeal to achieve pushed me to continue. And here I am:)

Shardul Pandey: Likewise you are working on many big movie projects so when you are planning to announce your next film. I mean, would you like to give any rough idea of next big announcement from Filmzone Creations Pvt Ltd. ?

Vivek Sharma: Filmzone creations will be announcing 3 big projects around December..but pre-productions have already been started.

Shardul Pandey: I read somewhere (but I did not save the references) that Yash Johar And Karan Johar were not sure to use Rani Mukerjee’s original voice in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. It was you who stood by her and forced makers to use her real voice. Is it true or a rumor?

Shardul Pandey Talks To Vivek Sharma

Vivek Sharma: Yes I convinced Karan and Yash uncle to retain Rani’s original voice and stood by her. Worked very hard on her dubbing. I was the post production designer for ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’. I did as Yash ji and Shakhan(srk) wanted me to.

Shardul Pandey: You started your career from ‘Kuch Kuch Hota hai’, worked in various capacities and then ‘Bhoothnath’ was your directorial debut. So what was it like to film your debut movie? Was it different from other experiences you’ve had?

Vivek Sharma: I was blessed to have worked with great talents like Mahesh Bhatt, Shah Rukh Khan and many others. I learnt and learnt and learnt. When I was starting Bhoothnath I had no fear. It was clear what I wanted. Amit ji and shri Ravi Chopra supported me through out. I can not ignore contribution of Juhi ma in my life and in my career. She has been there for me as a guide as a sister. Yes making film on your own is different than designing filmz for others. Its an awesome feeling to witness to see your own creation. :) I loved it. I will always cherish it.

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Shardul Pandey: Bollywood seems to be experiencing a renaissance of sorts, with new directors and new subjects ? Would you like to say anything on that ? Any advice for future filmmakers?

Vivek Sharma: I consider this phase of Hindi cinema THE WORST phase where anybody is making film and anybody is becoming a star. Cinema is a platform for talents and artists which has disappeared completely. Its very sad. Corporate and certain banners have made it a mere business thing.

I feel we as film makers must make filmz which has good content and better craft. New film makers should not get into this trap of so called “new age cinema” its the worst phase.

Shardul Pandey: Sometime back I read on Filmzone Creations social media news feed that you are launching a Music Company ?

Vivek Sharma: Yes, Filmzone Creations is launching its music company as I have many film projects, in many languages and trying to bring back Indian classical and melody back on the horizon, a good class music is a promise.

Shardul Pandey: Movie making can be a time-consuming job so would you like to explain the time commitment you put into your movies. What do you do for entertainment? Do you have any peculiar interests?

Vivek Sharma: I am not just a film maker, I am a shayar too:)I am ready with my shayri book which will be published soon.

I love music so I am not only discovering new singers and music directors but also learning classical music.:)

I love sports. I cycle a lot. I am a fitness freak, very regular in gym.

I use every second of my life to create, share and cherish:)

Shardul Pandey: Where netizens can find you on Internet, your official blog is no more active ? Do you own a domain as being online actually means having a domain of your own because that is your real web-address, it saves you from straying homeless on Internet ?

Vivek Sharma: I was writing on the same platform where Mr Bachchan was writing blogs. My blogs were widely read but bigadda sites crashed and now I will write on “vivek sharma’s creative gallery” which will be launched soon but people can find me on my page “Vivek sharma’s official fan page” on Facebook.

Shardul Pandey: Got it about your weblog. Yes they scaled down their social networking and blogging services in July,2011.

It is always better to work from the domain your own because there you get to ultimately control everything that happens in your webspace and others get excluded from doing anything without your permission.

Shardul Pandey Talks To Vivek Sharma

Shardul Pandey: What is your ultimate message for netizens ?

Vivek Sharma: Message for all the lovely netizens that.. make a positive difference in you, in the society and in the world. Its one life. Live and cherish. Create and gift. Share and luv :)

Shardul Pandey: And from personal experiences what do you say to young people out there struggling to get into the film industry?

Vivek Sharma: I never consider journey as “struggle”. Its a process, its all about passion for cinema. I think youngsters should spend more time with themselves rather than sitting in coffee-house or in gym. They should read more. They must use their energy in constructive work and most important is focus dedication and faith.

(To be continued)

Shardul Pandey Talks To Justin Elswick On His Upcoming Album “MORTAL LONGING”

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Sleepthief is an American electronic music recording project formed by producer and composer Justin Elswick. Elswick began writing music for the album ten years prior to its release. The album was mixed, mastered, co-produced, and co-arranged by Israel Curtis. Sleepthief’s first album, The Dawnseeker, was released in 2006.

Continue reading Shardul Pandey Talks To Justin Elswick On His Upcoming Album “MORTAL LONGING”