Today is a very special day for Bravura Artist Magazine! It’s two years old! I feel as if I just started the magazine yesterday. From interviewing Bollywood bombshell Malika Sherawat to heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor to international vocalists/producers RDB & Nindy Kaur to Cash Money’s first South Asian artist Jay Sean, we’ve done it all (almost)! This issue we’ve celebrated our anniversary alongside one of the most important days in history: when Barack Obama was elected President of the United States of America. And of course, there’s a lot of masala, music, media, and entertainment packed into this special issue as well! We hope you enjoy reading it, as we’ve enjoyed putting the entire issue together for you too! Be yourself! Be exceptional! Be bravura!
In This Issue: Are You Down With Jay Sean A Diamond in the Rough: Karen David Eye Candy: Too Hot To Handle Cover Story: President Barack Obama Slumdog Madness with Ajaxxx The Boys of 747 Records Fallinâ€™ Into Fashion The Future of Bollywood Remembering Michael Jackson
By: Dimple Shah
“Baby are you down, down, down, down, down…” It’s amazing how quickly that line caught everyone’s attention and became one of the most popular songs in such a short amount of time. The credit goes to none other than Jay Sean. This talented 28 year old has done it again, once again coming out with a super hit song that is on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Released on May 31, 2009 “Down” instantly became a popular hit song jumping the charts from #60 to #6 in just two weeks! On iTunes “Down” went from entry level on the charts to the #2 song! This is a phenomenal feat but it is no surprise. Let’s be honest, Jay Sean has created nothing short of outstanding music. With hit songs such as “Stolen” and “Eyes on You” it was no shock that Jay Sean would once again WOW the world with his melodic voice. I had the lifetime of the opportunity to sit down and talk with Cash Money’s recently signed artist and it was nothing short of fun, fun, fun (ok…I need to stop singing things to the tune of ‘Down’)! Currently you are signed to Cash Money Records. Before getting signed you knew of other artists who were part of the label. Did you ever think that you’d be in the studio with Lil Wayne and recording a song together? Of course not…when people say ‘did you think’ and ‘did you do that’ you really don’t ever think that it would happen…I think the fact that it happened to me it was a moment where I went ‘what is going on?’
“Cash Money is one of the coolest labels…and I say that because its non corporate…” – Jay Sean Favorite Color – Favorite Movie – Favorite Ice Cream Flavor – Motto In Life –
Whose idea was it to get Wayne on “Down.” What was your reaction to the idea? Were you nervous? What was going through your mind during this process? It was Slim’s idea; he is the CEO of Cash Money. My reaction.…I was jumping up and down like a maniac! I wasn’t nervous, I don’t get nervous…just really excited. What was going through my mind: this is bonkers…this is what dreams are made of. It made me think that I was 16 and writing songs in my room…never thought it would happen that I would be such a great success and my music would really be out there. From what I read up on you, it was a dream for you to be signed with an American label. Now that that dream has come true how does it feel to know that you’ve been signed on by a label that you think has always been “the best in the game”? Cash Money is one of the coolest labels…and I say that because its non corporate…I don’t know of any other corporate label where one of the CEOs is a rapper and blinging out everywhere and the other one is his brother and comes out clubbing everywhere with us. They know what kids want to hear. As the saying goes ‘actions speak louder than words.’ And your actions spoke the loudest – Down jumped from entry level on the charts to the #2 song on iTunes! How does it feel to know that your fans really support you and appreciate your musical talents? My analogy is in terms of sales is ‘if there are two options, either you buy the CD or you can get it for free…most people will jump for anything that is free. So the fact that they even buy the CD is a huge compliment. It’s mind blowing to know how many people buy my music. It’s a huge compliment!
“All or Nothing” is your third album in total but is your very first album debut in America. Were there any major differences in the release of this album as opposed to your other album releases? The only difference with this album is the ease at which it has come. I have enjoyed every single second in this process. I can’t even tell you how many laughs we had while doing everything. Things just came so quickly. We had our funs, the whole album was just fun and I enjoyed every single moment. Comparisons and labels – that’s one thing which the media loves to do. You’ve often been compared to other R&B artists in the South Asian scene, as well as, being labeled as the “U.K.’s answer to Ne-Yo.” What are your thoughts on such comparisons and labels? The “U.K. Ne-Yo” thing is a huge compliment because Ne-Yo is one of the most talented artists ever. He’s a talented singer, song writer so for people to compare me to him is just a huge, huge compliment. Jay it’s been a pleasure. Do you have any last words for your fans and the readers of Bravura Artist Magazine? To my fans…I really do love you guys. The love and support you show me is insane. I can’t tell you how many of my fans write on my Twitter with crazy messages with love and support. I’ve been told that people actually cry when they hear my songs. Thank you for all your love and support and I will continue to do you proud. All or Nothing is set to release November 24th!
Karen David is not your average “girl next door.” This exotic star has everything you’ve been looking for: talent, sex appeal star quality that shines through everything she puts her passion to. The stylish actress, singer, and songwriter’s budding career has been going from strength to strength. Born in Shillong, at the foot of the Himalayas and raised in Toronto, Canada, by a half Chinese/Khasi mother and a father from Chennai, the ever-alluring Karen was never one to be confined by the expected boundaries. Karen has been back in the studio in L.A recently, writing additional songs for her album project with Qura Rankin, and also in London with Paul Barry and Carl Ryden. Her debut album is in production and features collaborations with an A-list team that includes the beautiful, eclectic Bombay Dub Orchestra (Garry Hughes and Andrew T Mackay), and songwriter-producers Johnny Douglas, Rob Wells, Damian Legassick, Andy Bradfield and, of course, A R Rahman. The breathtakingly original songs marry her velvet smooth voice and quirky insights, set against an exotic backdrop that could only have been painted by Karen David. Her “Live Sessions” EP received critical acclaim, and her much anticipated album will show off what KD is all about.
“I always have trained my voice since I was 13, be it with singing lessons, or singing in choir, to taking my classical voice lessons at the conservatory. It’s like exercise….you always have to keep your voice in shape, and in good condition. I do vocal exercises everyday, and sing everyday as well. “ –Karen David
Born in India, raised in Canada, and educated in London, you have lived three different lifestyles in three different places. Which of those three do you think had the most impact on your upbringing? I think being born in India, and living and growing up in Toronto and London have ALL played a huge part in who I am as a person. I’m very lucky to have been blessed with the opportunity of experiencing different cultures, and I think you often learn so much about yourself when you see what the world has to offer and where you fit in, in this big but small world! Being an actress, singer, and a songwriter, you are the quite the package! What inspired you to pursue both acting and music? It’s all Olivia Newton John’s fault…and mainly my older sister too. Having an elder sister meant that as the little sis, I had to listen to whatever music she listened to, and I had to watch whatever tv shows she liked watching. One Saturday afternoon, she made me watch Xanadu with her, and when I saw Olivia Newton John singing like an angel and acting in movies too, I wanted to be just like her….I even wanted to be blonde and blue eyed like her….but that of course, was never going to happen. Lol So I stuck with pursuing my childhood dream of wanting to sing great music, and acting. We’ll talk about your musical side first. You worked with A.R. Rahman, and together you two created the main theme song for the Aishwarya Rai film Provoked. How did it feel to be working alongside one of India’s most famous music composers? I’ve known Rahman for about 9 years. He discovered me when I was in the original cast of Mamma Mia! In the West End in London. So we have gotten to know each other very well and are very comfortable with working creatively together, so it was really just another day in the studio with him, writing a great song! Writing songs with Rahman is ALWAYS going to be a wonderful creative experience. He brings out the best in me as a performer and as a songwriter.
Where do you draw your inspiration from? My life, my family and friends, my travels, people that I meet, great stories….life is full of great stories and adventures, and I keep them tucked in my heart and when an idea hits me for a song, I grab my pen and writing pad, and dictaphone, and write, write, write. And for acting, I draw upon all those life experiences and use them for the different roles that I play…that’s when the fun begins…when you are creating a whole new character. Tell us a little bit about your debut album Me vs. Me. I’m still deciding whether I want to call it Me vs. Me, so let’s use that as a working title. My album is a reflection of my “exotic” roots mixed with mainstream influences both lyrically and musically. It’s feel good music with a kicking beat at times or moving Bollywood strings, which I hope my fans will enjoy as I have in making it. It talks about a lot of my personal life: love, finding love, losing love, fitting in, being different….very raw, and very open at the same time. Is there anything special you do to exercise your vocals? I always have trained my voice since I was 13, be it with singing lessons, or singing in choir, to taking my classical voice lessons at the conservatory. It’s like exercise….you always have to keep your voice in shape, and in good condition. I do vocal exercises everyday, and sing everyday as well. Moving onto your acting talents, your fans will soon be seeing you in your latest movie, Couples Retreat. Tell us a little bit about that? I have a cameo role in Couples Retreat, working alongside Jean Reno at the couples resort spa. All my scenes are with Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau and Kristen Davis, and I got to film in Bora Bora for a few weeks. It was such a beautiful place to be filming, and Vince and Jon were sooooo funny. It was hard to keep a straight face in between takes. Lol!
Which actor/actress(s) do you draw your inspiration from? I have so many actors and actresses that I love, but if pressed, I would say…Sally Field, Helen Hunt, Natalie Portman, to Jason Bateman, Liam Neeson and Michael Caine. I think a perfect storyline matched with the perfect performance is in itself “perfect” inspiration. What do you think is the most important thing to know about acting? To just “be” the character and not over think things…to exist and breathe into the character, and listening is soooooo important. The greatest actors are the ones who listen to the other characters. Are there tips you have for our aspiring singers and/or artists? There is a huge difference between singers and artists. There are tons of talented singers out there who can sing the pants off anyone, but it takes an artist to be different, unique, and genuine in who they are as an artist, that stands out from the crowd. Any last words for the readers of Bravura Artist Magazine? Thank you for all your support, it means so so much! Come and say hi or drop me a line on www.karendavid.com, I’m even on Facebook, and I have a Fanpage too! XXXX
Has there ever been a time when you see someone and you just can’t help yourself and say “Damn, he’s fine!” or “Wow, she’s hot!” – of course you have; all of us, (and I mean all of us), can vouch for it! Working in the South Asian media & entertainment industry, I’ve come across more than one person who this oh-so cliché ‘catch phrase’ applies to. From signing to one of the biggest music labels in the United States (that’s right ladies – I’m talking about the one
and only Jay Sean), to going from Hollywood to Washington D.C. (Kal Penn marks the spot), to working on some of the biggest Bollywood blockbuster films on a musical level (RDB’s very own Manj Ral & Nindy Kaur) – all these people, and many more, have one thing on common: not only are they amazingly talented at what they do, they’ve got some of the most killer looks in the industry! We begin our travels in New York City – the home of media & entertainment, and also a newfound home to British R&B sensation, Jay Sean. In his career as a singer, he’s overcome obstacles and done what only many have thought imaginable – landed a deal with one
of the biggest labels in the US, Cash Money Records. His first US single, “Down,” featuring Lil Wayne, climbed the charts to the #2 spot on iTunes and attained heavy rotation on many radio stations across the country. After listening to his sultry and sensuous British accent, there’s no stopping you from falling in love with his voice – and not only that, but he’s got the killer GQ looks to go along with his alluring voice. “Down” recently went PLATINUM! That’s right ladies, over 1 million records of “Down” was sold in the US; so there’s no wonder as to why Jay is heard on every major radio station across the US and his videos are playing everywhere too!
We travel further South and stop in Washington D.C., the Capital of the US, and also a newly found home for actor and White House employee, Kal Penn! Not only has Penn made a household name for himself by appearing on the hit TV show House, (no pun intended, haha), but he’s currently serving as the Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement in the Barack Obama administration! I don’t think that things could get hotter for this rising actor and political activist. Originally hailing from Montclair, New Jersey, he moved to Los Angeles, where he established a strong acting background in films such as the Harold & Kumar series, Superman Returns, and The Namesake. And just because Penn is working for Obama doesn’t mean that he’s stopped acting. Be sure to keep your eyes out for yet another Harold & Kumar movie releasing before the year is over, in addition to Bhopal: Prayer for Rain, an upcoming historical-drama film set amidst the real-life Bhopal disaster in India. Mischa Barton and Martin Sheen will also be starring in this film that is directed by Ravi Kumar.
Next we make our way down south to Orlando, Florida and meet up with Ajaxxx, a Hip-Hop artist whose been featured on the cover of international magazines (Hong Kong & India), placed on numerous mixtapes, and even had a commercial of his air on MTV, BET & VH1. Simply put, Ajaxxx is an MC on the rise! He’s an artist who knows how to make a club jump with his fast-tracks when he raps, “What can I say, the game that A plays…can get any chic, to gimmie’ some brain waves.” But what sets Ajaxxx off from other rappers (besides his smokin’ looks) is his way of using a beat to tell a story. His versatility makes him stand out as a rapper, where he can cleverly tell a story of meeting a girl and where it leads. In the words of Ajaxxx, “It’s what I does, and shorty was with it.” And more than that, he can easily “set the mood” in a song when he raps, “I’m chillin’ with some women and sippin’ on my drink, Bacardi and lime, that’s when we had our eyes link,” escalating the ‘seductive’ mood which the song sets. Ajaxxx is the “kinda guy that you can vibe with,” whether it’s a Hip-Hop song or Bollywood-based track! Seriously though – what else did you expect from such a talented artist?! Oh right: expect Ajaxxx’s next CD to be releasing soon and we’ll be the first to tell you about it! From Orlando we grab a flight to LAX and link up with actress and singer Karen David! I’ve known Karen for a while now and all I can say is that she’s a singer with a beautiful voice and that beauty is expressed outwardly too! Now this is one girl who’s got her A-game on! She’s appeared in the original cast of Mamma Mia!, and worked with Indian composer A. R. Rahman in developing material for Bombay Dreams. Following that, she worked with Rahman again to create the theme song for the film Provoked. Her acting career includes films such as Flight of Fury, The Colour of Magic, and The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior. Be sure to also catch her in one of the funniest flicks of 2009,Couples Retreat! Right now she’s working on her highly anticipated debut album, Me vs. Me, which features a team of acclaimed producers such as A.R. Rahman, Johnny Douglas, and the Bombay Dub Orchestra! Her single “Magic Carpet Ride,” has made waves internationally and I suggest you take a listen to it on iTunes! I know it’s on repeat on my iPod! And just a side note…I wouldn’t be surprised if KD makes her Bollywood debut anytime soon, because she’ll knock the socks off some of the actors out there! And fellas, did I mention she’s mad fly too?
From LAX we hop onto a non-stop flight to Toronto, or what I’d rather call, TDot! Toronto is a beautiful city and I’m not surprised that the people of T-Dot are equally stunning! Well, it’s no surprise that RDB & Nindy Kaur top off the ‘eye candy’ list for 2009! What haven’t they done that’s made them hot on a musical level?! We’ll put off the fact that RDB consists of one of the hottest couples in the world – Manj Ral & Nindy Kaur, and that they are both gorgeous in their own aspects! But the four members of RDB – Kuly, Surj, Manj, and Nindy – have soared to such an international level that there’s no catching up with them. From collaborating with Snoop Dogg to performing in countries like Hong Kong & Dubai, they have conquered a level of success that many in the music industry dream of reaching. I can continue talking about RDB & Nindy Kaur for the rest of the magazine, but you’re already familiar with their international hits such as “Singh is Kingg,” “Aloo Chat,” and “Kambaqth Ishq.” Just be ready for the release of RDB’s highly-anticipated album Worldwide and Nindy Kaur’s self-titled album! It’s nothing like you’ve heard before and will blow your mind – trust me, I know!
Well there you have it everyone – we’ve easily compiled the hottest talent for 2009 – and I can promise you that when it’s time to list some sizzling talent in 2010, there will be repeats! Rumor has it that Drake or Ashley Tisdale might be collaborating with Jay Sean?! And I also heard that two others from this list might be making some music together too! It’s all about time, talent, passion, and dedication! And trust me, if you have it and make yourself known, you will rise to success! 2009 has been a very successful year for all our HOT talent and things will get scorching in 2010…I’m certain about that! I hope this has warmed you up a little bit since we’re entering Fall now! Till then, this is Lady T (as Karen likes to call me…and I love it,) signing off!
With invitations piling in through the mail, it’s obvious that the 2010 wedding season is just around the corner! With preparations for bridal showers, wedding registries, and reception dinners…the one thing that’s on every girls’ mind is, “What am I going to wear?” Over the past few months, whenever I’m watching any Indian TV program, I always catch an add for Kaneesha. One day I decided to go to their website and found that they have one of the largest collection of not only bridal wear, but also Indian saris, party wear, accessories, and much more! And if that wasn’t enough…they also have some awesome clothes to keep the guy in your life styling all year long! But in all honesty, when I saw the outfits from Kaneesha, I knew I had to share them with you guys! Check out some of their latest designs…and did I mention they have lovely accessories too?!...plus some awesome jewelry too! What I love most when wearing a sari is the material. It has to be something that feels smooth on your body and worth wearing. That’s where ‘georgette’ fabric comes into play! It’s smooth, soft, and flows nice on any body type! Most of the saris and lenghas found at Kaneesha are all georgette, so the first demand of comfortable sari’s is fulfilled! Check out some of their designs on the next few pages!
Besides the lovely saris and choli sets, Kaneesha also offers their customers a wide range of tunic tops too; thatâ€™s one piece of clothing which will never go out of fashion! Be sure to log onto www.kaneesha.com for all your wedding needs!