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In the current climate I plan to conduct a series of interviews for my new project A Creation with go-getters who can share their experiences and advise about the pitfalls on the way to achieving their goals.
SD: I love how music is your life. Did you ever want to make music, or did you watch music interviews and aspire to that career straight away?
DC: Thank you. I’ve always been interested in seeing quote unquote “celebrities” for the human beings that they are and learning about their life stories, so I grew up reading a lot of biography books about my favorite athletes and musicians and watching documentaries like VH1’s “Behind the Music,” even some of Sway’s interviews on MTV. But it definitely took a while for me to see interviewing, or even journalism as a whole, as a viable career choice for myself. In terms of wanting to make music, not many people even know this about me, but there was actually a brief period of my life when I wanted to grow up to be a rapper. It was just a phase, though, and I eventually grew out of it. But I definitely spent a lot of time in 5th grade writing out the lyrics to my favorite rap songs and memorizing/reciting them, which ultimately lead to me performing “Number 1” by Nelly in front of all my classmates at the school talent show that year. Somewhere along the line, I started writing some songs of my own as well, but thankfully they never saw the light of day.
SD: Looking at your site, it looks like you present for your own website MuziksMyLife.com. Is this website how you established a name for yourself?
DC: Definitely. Ever since I realized that I wanted to make a career out of this, I’ve always sort of looked at my site as a public portfolio: all of my interviews, write-ups, and — to a certain extent —experiences in the music industry on full display for the world to see. Basically, my intentions with the site have always been to ultimately use it as a stepping stone to greater opportunities, once I’ve proven myself worthy of them.
SD: How long ago did you set up the site and did it begin as a music interview website?
DC: I started the site in 2007, when I was a junior in high school, as a way to help keep people up to date with the latest music because at the time, hip-hop blogs (and music blogs in general) weren’t nearly as common as they are today, and not many people even knew about the few that existed. Friends of mine were often asking me to update their iPods for them, so I saw it as a way to help people out on a larger scale. I was spending all my time on these other sites anyways, so one day I just decided to start one of my own, and I called it MuziksMyLife. As things progressed, I eventually started doing interviews in 2010 as a way to contribute exclusive content to the culture, while also giving my viewers a chance to learn about certain artists and hopefully feel more connected to them as human beings. But for a while I just dabbled, even though I was becoming more and more known for it. I didn’t like the thought of being boxed in and felt like people were overlooking the fact that I could do other things too, so at the time I was still trying to expand my repertoire. About a year and a half ago, however, I had somewhat of an epiphany. I finally realized that interviewing was what would not only take me the furthest in my career, but also where my passion and talent truly lied. So I decided to fully embrace the role by eliminating all distractions and focusing solely on conducting as many quality interviews as possible.
SD: Was your first interview of a famous person? How did you achieve your first interview, and how did you achieve your first interview with an established person?
DC: I feel like ‘fame’ is a relative term, but the first interview I ever did was with a Miami-based rapper named Billy Blue, which was pretty surreal ‘cause his song Story of My Life was the summer anthem for my friends and I the year before. If memory serves me right, I think I got a hold of him over Twitter and he messaged me his manager’s number, who in turn helped me set up a phone call with the man himself that ended up lasting a whopping 26 minutes. That was the first time I realized what types of doors my site could open for me. But the first time I felt like I had knocked a door down, so to speak, was when I interviewed Wiz Khalifa, and I credit that one in particular to persistence. It was only my third on-camera interview (fourth overall), so clearly I hadn’t established myself yet. Not only that, but “Black and Yellow” was already No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 well on its way to becoming No. 1. Needless to say, the odds were stacked against me—so much so that I actually got ignored for like a week straight. But I knew deep down that I could make it worth their while, and that it would ultimately give me the credibility I needed to move forward, so I refused to accept defeat and was eventually able to convince Will, his manager, to give me a chance. From there, I knew that anything would be possible.
SD: How did you achieve your goals in terms of writing and interviewing? Does it help being based in Michigan?
DC: I had to learn to appreciate it, but I’ve definitely come to realize that being based in Michigan gives me a competitive advantage. For starters, I conduct the majority of my interviews when artists come through on tour, and it seems like almost every single tour makes at least one stop in Michigan, if not more. We have so many different markets — Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor, the list goes on — and each one has multiple venues varying in capacity, which allows for a wide range of talent to come here and perform. And when all else fails, I’m still only three hours from Chicago. Not only that, but if I lived in a media hub like New York City then I’d be further down the totem pole and therefore less of a priority for artists seeking press coverage while in town. Whereas here in The Mitten, I feel like I’ve marked my territory in a sense and really established myself as the go-to guy for on-camera interviews—at least in hip-hop, anyway. Over the years, I’ve also become increasingly familiar with different venues and their tendencies, built rapport with certain staff and security, etc. And since none of these interviews are ever truly guaranteed until they’re completed, it helps to know your way around in case you happen to find yourself in a pinch.
SD: Did you receive any help to get to your position? What tips would you give people trying to make a name for themselves?
DC: Oh, definitely. I mean, on the one hand I’m essentially a freelance journalist who just so happens to have his own platform, so it’s certainly an independent grind in the sense that I’ve had to create a lot of my own opportunities. But at the same time, I’d be foolish to think that I could have made it this far without all the people who’ve supported me over the years and ultimately contributed to my success—whether they even realize it or not. I try my best not to take anything for granted, so I could go on for days recalling certain situations and thanking those who’ve played a role up until this point. But to save on time I’d just like to say that this entire journey, much like life in general, has been about one thing leading to another. It all adds up. Taking that into account, my advice to anyone reading this would be to try and live a regret-free life from this point forward. I know, easier said than done. But think about it: not only are you dwelling on the past, but you’re allowing its negativity to seep into your present. Sure, it can be beneficial to look back on things from time to time and learn from the direct consequences of certain decisions so that you can apply those experiences down the road if you so choose. But the fact of the matter is…even if you could go back in time and change something, it’s utterly impossible to know what type of outcome that would have on even the world in general, much less your own specific situation. It’s the butterfly effect, plain and simple. So there comes a point when dissecting your past only distracts you from your future.
SD: Would you consider yourself an artist? Or how would you describe yourself?
DC: Absolutely. I don’t go around referring to myself as an artist, per se. If someone asks, I’ll say I’m an interviewer or, at most, an interview personality. But if you really break it down, interviewing has become my outlet for creative expression. Just like any other art form, it’s my craft for others to critique, study, and — most of all — enjoy, and I take great pride in my work. I strive for all of my interviews to be the best that they can possibly be, and in the process, refuse to ever sacrifice their artistic integrity.
SD: Are you working 24/7 in your field to maintain a name for yourself?
DC: The last thing I would ever want to do is get caught up in the past and rest on my success, so I eat, sleep, and breathe this stuff. Not only to maintain a name for myself, knowing that all of this could be gone tomorrow if I allowed it to be, but more importantly to continue pushing the boundaries and building upon my accomplishments — always taking things to the next level. As I mentioned earlier, I named my site MuziksMyLife because at the time, I was spending all of my free time listening to music and studying the game, trying to keep up with everything that was going on within the industry. But since then, music — and more specifically as of late, interviewing musicians — truly has become my life, 24/7. One of the things that I love most about what I do is that I don’t have time to be bored. Regardless of what it is, there’s always something productive that I can be doing to help further my career. Even when I am off doing something else, which is rare, I’m usually still multitasking or, at the very least, thinking about my musical endeavors.
SD: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
DC: I’d just like to thank you for taking the time out to interview me. I really appreciate the opportunity and can’t even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed your questions. I’d also like to thank anyone who took the time to read this. If you’re interested in watching any of my interviews, you can find them all on MuziksMyLife.com. My contact info is on there as well. Thanks again.
Visit Project A Creation here, and email us to be considered as a featured artist!
The DJ, producer and face of the iconic Soul II Soul movement – Jazzie B – has launched his clothing line The Classics Collection at Harvey Nichols this month.
The Leeds store’s first floor became a reinvention of Soul II Soul’s Camden clothes store (in the 80s and 90s) on Thursday evening, with retro posters and vinyl trinkets from the group’s archive. The loveable funk-master’s infamous voice richly filled the room as he cracked jokes and he was very approachable in-between his DJ set, laughing with fans and taking photos.
Lloyd Bradley, author of Bass Culture was on hand to host a Q & A session. He began by noting the super-producer’s backwards route of beginning his career with a fashion-line and then moving in to music.
The Funki Dred logo which dons the clothes is drawn by illustrator Derek Yates – and the original T-shirts were sold as the group began gaining momentum. Jazzie B explained that the idea behind Funki Dred (and Soul II Soul) was the community idea being inclusive and affirming a British identity.
In connection with that – comics – which were always a part of the Soul II Soul brand were also given out during the evening. Jazzie said: “The idea was we came from a planet called Ard, and we were sent to the earth as pleasure-givers, to put on parties and get into the funk.“
He continued about the group’s mission: “We wanted to have the biggest sound-system in the world with our own followers that were inclusive, not exclusive – because growing up at that time (60s and 70s), we didn’t have a group to connect with. The mods didn’t want to know us, nor did the teddy boys. We were only accepted by the skinheads and punks.”
He set-up the story about the humble beginnings of the Soul II Soul style of life which begun around 25 years ago – how his technicality as a sound-man mixed with his street-wise ways landed him a record contract.
And Jazzie B was sincere in his affirmation of Britain being a land of opportunity and his appreciation of Harvey Nichols – who being a window of that mentality- would celebrate Soul II Soul’s history and impact.
The “blackface” issue has come up again. Within days of each other I saw supermodel Iman and Ebony Magazine post examples on Instagram:
It’s caused a huge debate, like Dolce & Gabbana’s use of blackamoor motifs (references to Africans and decapitation) in their Spring/Summer 2013 collection.
The fashion industry should be trying to improve its standards, not go backwards – in any aspect.
Maybe it was done simply for publicity, but whatever the intentions of Dutch Vogue – it’s unnecessary – because “blackface” is a visual reference to times when minstrel shows ridiculed black people with nasty racial stereotyping.
I appreciate when models are made up in all sorts of colours in spreads which are beautiful, creative works of art – but in this instance – black models could have been hired for a respectful tribute without controversy.
- Oh Look, It’s Another Blackface Editorial in Vogue (fashionista.com)
The children have a right to know - Ella
What do you mean, “right”? - George
Somehow, when I originally watched East is East years ago, I didn’t take into account that the film focuses on men being forced into unhappy marriages.
I’m so used to thinking of arranged and forced marriages from a woman’s perspective that I forgot about the hard situation men are put in.
There are a couple of real life scenarios I know of which should have opened my eyes:
A Pakistani family (including the extended family) all live under one roof. They own businesses which must remain in the family. So the eldest boy and eldest girl from the relevant families must marry:-
- Boy – has a girlfriend, the family know but don’t speak about it.
- Both are told it is time for you two to marry.
- Both speak with each other and don’t want to.
- Girl receives the most pressure because, boy says publically – ” I will marry her, she doesn’t want to”.
- They get married, he still cheats on her with the longtime girlfriend.
- Boy is dating/in love, but gets told to get married in an arranged marriage. In this case, the boy just agrees despite heart not being in it.
- (In East is East, Tariq puts up a fight but cannot reason with his father who gives his son no say in the matter – this will be a true to life scenario).
- The boy ends up married, unhappy, and cheats on his wife.
While watching East is East this week, it did make me think, “why can’t all (Pakistani) men fight for their freedom like Tariq’s character does?” Instead, they cowardly choose to live an unhappy life and ultimately make their wives unhappy.
The boy in scenario one, told me when he was venting, that he wasn’t bothered whether he married his cousin or not. When I told him he should tell the elders he wanted to marry his girlfriend, he said it was in his best interest not to. He would rather live an easy life, where the pressure is put on the girl, and he can do no wrong, because after all, he is a man.
I wonder, do boys like the ones in East is East exist anymore?
I think a lot of Asian families that live in the UK have progressed, especially if our parents grew up here, but there are sections of the community which still use marriage as a tool of control, not of happiness.
Whether it’s to control women, or to control businesses, the mentality needs to be abolished. The men need to respect themselves by treating their wives respectfully if they choose to marry them.
I know I’m generalising – I know of marriages which were arranged in a mutual way between all parties and handled in a caring way. How some parents can pressure their children to marry without a care for their happiness is what baffles me.
The Forced Marriage Unit
If you or someone you know is being forced into marriage either in the UK or abroad, you can contact the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU).
The FMU helps and advises men and women who are being forced into marriage.
The FMU’s caseworkers also understand the issues that
people from the LGBT community can face, including the family pressures and how difficult it is to talk about these situations.
They do not judge.
The FMU offers confidential support and information and can also put you in touch with organisations that can support you.
You have a right to choose, and the FMU is there to help you.
Call (+44) (0)20 7008 0151 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday
Emergency Duty Officer
(outside office hours)
(+44) (0)20 7008 1500
OR e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about the work of the FMU at
May 3 is being marked as the official 100th birthday of Indian cinema. DG Phalke became known as the “Father of Indian Cinema” after the success of his film Raja Harischandra, screened in Mumbai, in May 1913. It wasn’t considered appropriate for women to work in film at this time so the female characters were played by male actors.
As 2013 marks its centenary year, I want to take a look at some of the actresses who have broken boundaries in Hindi cinema and hypnotised audiences over the decades.
Devika Rani had an aura and style which audiences loved; her method of acting is studied and emulated to this day. Known as the “First Lady of the Indian screen”, she happened to work on set-design originally and became skilled in many aspects of film including production. She founded the Bombay Talkies film studio in the 1930s with her husband and became a mentor for upcoming actresses. Rani’s films were socially conscious and explored themes of ostracism, caste issues and the prospects of dancing girls. Achoot Kanya (1936) is an interesting film of hers to watch for its technical structure. The storyline is broken up and put together in a pulp fiction way. Much loved – Rani’s “shocker” moment is a scene in Karma (1933), which stunned audiences at the time for the 4-minute long kiss she plants on her co-star.
Selected list of her achievements/awards:
- Honoured by an invitation of B.B.C. London to act in the first television broadcast in Britain which was relayed throughout the country. She was also chosen to inaugurate the first B.B.C. broadcast on the short wavelength to India.
- In 1970 she was bestowed the first ever prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Film Award, named after the “father of Indian cinema”.
So famous, she is known by just her first name; Zubeida was one of the first women to venture into the male-dominated world of silent films in India. She appeared in one of the earliest versions of the classic Devdas (1937) and she enamoured audiences with her acting and dancing talent. In 1931 she also gained fans for her singing – she starred, sang and danced in the first Hindi film to have sound, Alam Ara, – which featured her real singing voice, and she subsequently became India’s highest paid female actress and their first female director. She helped to establish the film studio Mahalakshmi Movietone in 1934.
Australian-born Mary Evans moved to India as a child and worked as a circus performer. Her acrobatic skills led to her becoming one of the earliest actresses getting female leads in Hindi movies. She was credited as Fearless Nadia; she performed her own stunts and acted as a stunt-double for men. Nadia (she officially changed her name) could jump from running trains and performed stunts well in to her 50s. Her look from Hunterwali, or “Lady of the Whip” (1935), became iconic and one of her most popular films is Diamond Queen, about female emancipation and anti-colonialism. Fearless Nadia set the bar for using action films to combat themes of social injustice in Indian cinema.
Madhubala is one of the most loved Indian actresses. With depth in her performances and grace in all her movements she stole hearts and scenes with her ethereal presence. Her body of work is one of the most versatile including supernatural thrillers, A-rated films, classic re-workings of Robin Hood and Jayne Eyre, and she had excellent comic timing in her comedies. Madhubala was revered for her sense of style – she was considered to dress Westernised which accentuated her sex appeal. She became the most bankable star of the early 50s and she continued to work hard throughout health scares (a hole in the heart) which led to her early death. Her role as a royal courtesan (dancer) in Mughal-e-Azam (1960), about a tragic love affair with a prince is regarded as her definitive role. It was the biggest grossing Hindi film until Sholay was released 15 years later and was re-released 35 years after Madhubala’s death to much success.
Nargis began acting aged six, in Talash-E-Haq in 1935 and continued to lead a hugely successful career spanning to the 1960s. She was known for dressing glamourously and for picking feisty characters to portray. To the apprehension of industry people and critics alike, she chose to portray Radha (a much older woman than herself), a peasant mother fighting for the rights of her land in Mother India (1957). The Oscar-shortlisted film is now considered the greatest work Bollywood has ever produced. Nargis later formed the Ajanta Arts Cultural Troupe – a group of entertainers - to perform for troops in Dhaka, after the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. In the 70s she focused on social work and she became the first patron of the Spastics Society of India.
Selected list of her achievements/awards:
- The Nargis Dutt Memorial Cancer Foundation is established in her memory.
- The award for Best Feature Film on National Integration in the annual National Film Awards ceremony has been renamed the Nargis Dutt Award in her honour.
- The first film actress conferred by the Government of India with the Padma Shri title (the fourth highest civilian award).
Zeenat Aman played various bold and sexy roles throughout the 1970s and 80s: a rebel hippie in Haré Raama Haré Krishna (1971), a prostitute in Manoranjan (1974), a Westernised revenge-seeking action heroine in Don (1978), a rape victim seeking justice in Insaaf Ka Tarazu (1980) and a spy disguised as a nightclub dancer in The Great Gambler (1979) are just a few. Her role as Rupa in Satyam Shivam Sundaram (1978) is still a talking point; as she broke boundaries by appearing nude in the film, which is full of symbolism about mortality- in a story about beauty being skin deep. She revolutionised India’s perception of women in many ways with her film choices and how she chose to style her self (hair/fashion). Even one of her latest films, Strings of Passion was an eye-opener in India because it includes the taboo subject of male rape in its storyline.
Meena Kumari has made a monumental impact on Hindi cinema for her most famous film Pakeezah (1972), which took 14 years to complete. Her personal issues, highly publicised, are present on screen, but it is also a film cherished for its gorgeous soundtrack and beautiful poetic monologues. Kumari herself was a poetess who recorded an album of her Urdu poems entitled I write, I recite accompanied with music. As a child star, she was the main breadwinner for her family and she is dubbed the “Queen of Tragedy” for her roles although she did play some heroines and light-hearted parts. One of her best-known roles was in Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962) which reflects her life story, and notably contains a progressive song sequence, Piya Aiso Jiya Main, alluding to women’s sexual desire.
Selected list of her achievements/awards:
- In 1962, she made history by receiving all three nominations for Filmfare’s Best Actress Award, for her roles in Aarti, Main Chup Rahungi, and Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam.
The first South Indian actress to have national success in Bollywood, Vyjayanthimala, also starred in Kollywood, Tollywood and Bengali films. She is most well-known for appearing as the character Chandramukhi to much acclaim in Devdas (1955) and her portrayal is considered one of the best Tawaif (courtesan of Mughal era) characters in Bollywood history. She also starred in Sangam (1953) which set the Bollywood trend of shooting song sequences abroad in exotic locations. In Jewel Thief (1967) she works alongside four more female leads Tanuja, Helen, Anju Mahendru and Faryal, all who were prolific at the time. Vyjayanthimala is also a much loved classical singer and has branched into politics. Recently, she lent her her name to films which raise money for children’s hospitals.
Shabana Azmi is as well known for being a fine actress as she is for being a social activist. A highly respected woman who is sought for Hindi productions and international projects in film, theatre and television, she made her mark in arthouse films, known as Parallel Cinema in India. She kick-started her Bollywood career with a role other actresses were afraid of – a married servant having an affair with a college student in Ankur (1974) and she hasn’t stopped since. Her progressive and experimental films garner her high praise, especially for her portrayals in true life stories, but some roles have led to threats on her life. For instance, she was threatened by social groups and even Indian authorities for her portrayal of a lesbian in Fire (1996). She speaks out against rape, denounces communalism in India, supports children in need and educates about Aids and funds the research. She is a political figure; a member of National AIDS Commission of India and the UN’s Goodwill Ambassador for India.
Selected list of her achievements/awards:
- Azmi’s performances in films of a variety of genres have earned her a record of five wins of the National Film Award for Best Actress.
- Fire won her international recognition with the Silver Hugo Award for Best Actress at the 32nd Chicago Film Festival and Jury Award for Best Actress at Outfest, Los Angeles.
Sharmila Tagore, a Bengali actress, achieved success young. She became infamous in An Evening in Paris (1967), becoming the first actress in Hindi cinema to wear a bikini in a scene. It established her as a sex symbol in Bollywood and transformed female roles from that point on. She became legendary for her on screen chemistry with superstar co-stars and although she played romance really well, she could also pull out edgy characters. She was one of the highest paid Hindi actresses from 1966-1969 along-with Nanda and Waheeda Rehman and became the highest paid actress along-with Mumtaz from 1970-1975 – it was this period when audiences couldn’t get enough of seeing her pair-up on screen with Rajesh Khanna.
Hema Malini, established herself as a box office bombshell of the 70s. She could successfully slip from comedy to drama, from arthouse to mainstream and of course her classic Bharatanatyam dance moves made her mesmerising on screen. She took on challenging roles others shied away from and turned them into hits and noticeably performed in a lot of female-centric films. She is in a special league of Bollywood superstars who get to act in films with double-roles written for them. Seeta Aur Geeta (1972) is considered as one of her best comedy performances where she plays twins and nobody can forget her as the feisty Basanti in Sholay, (1975) which was a phenomenon. She still acts and directs in both film and television and is a successful business-woman. She is a choreographer who owns a dance school and in 2000 she became a chairperson of the National Film Development Corporation.
Selected list of her achievements/awards:
- She has been nominated ten times for Best Actress at the Filmfare Awards (seven of those were consecutive) and won in 1973 for Seeta aur Geeta.
- In 2000 she was presented with the Padma Shri award from the Government of India.
Rekha is known for reinventing herself and struggling to be taken seriously as an actress. Originally type-cast as a glamour girl and judged for not being as attractive as other actresses at the time, she did alter her appearance and was determined to succeed. She learned Hindi perfectly to compete for successful films and she continually chooses bold, strong, interesting, controversial and rejected characters to play – whether as a heroine or villain – in lead or supporting roles. Her portrayal of a gang-rape victim in the movie Ghar (1978) turned her in to one of the most successful actresses and she gave some of her best received performances in Parallel cinema. Rekha was one of the main women in heroine-led films of the 80s who continued to take on lead roles in the 90s and she continues to draw audiences.
Selected list of her achievements/awards:
- 1985: Best Hindi Actress in Utsav at the Bengal Film Journalists’ Association Awards.
- 1997: Lakme Timeless Beauty Award and Best Villain Award for Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi at the Star Screen Awards.
- 2006: Role Model of the year at the Stardust Awards.
- 2009: Raj Kapoor Pratibha Gaurav Puraskar by the Government of Maharastra for outstanding contribution to the Indian cinema.
- 2010: Padma Shri, from the Government of India.
Megastar of the 90s, Juhi Chawla, is currently working in independent film and is the co-owner of production company Dreamz Unlimited with Shahrukh Khan and director Aziz Mirza. Some of her recent films have focused on taboo subjects such as child abuse and My Brother…Nikhil (2005), from new wave director Onir, was the first mainstream Hindi film to deal with Aids and same-sex relationships. After being crowned as the winner of the Miss India beauty contest in 1984, Chawla became so successful as an actress with her contemporaries Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit. Audiences flocked to watch her in comedies and romances.
Selected list of her achievements/awards:
- 2004: Best Supporting Actress for 3 Deewarein at Star Screen Awards.
- 2007: Star Gold Comedy Honours Award.
- 2008: Cultural Promotional Award from Cultural Awards.
- 2011: 13th London Asian Film Festival Best Actress Award for I Am,
- 2013: 3rd Petrochem GR8! Women Awards for Most Successful Actress
The Nepali-Indian actress Manisha Koirala is also a UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador and social activist. She promotes women’s rights organisations and works to prevent violence against women, and to prevent the human trafficking of Nepali girls for prostitution. A lot of her films themselves have been woman-oriented: Escape From Taliban (2003) was based on the true story of Sushmita Bandhopadhya who suffered torture in Aghanistan and Paisa Vasool (2004), which she produced, has been called Bollywood’s first ever chick-flick (it had no male lead and no love story). She has been successful in Hindi, Nepali, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films and was the lead actress in many Bollywood favourites of the 90s including 1942: A Love Story (1994), Bombay (1995), and Dil Se (1998).
Selected list of her achievements/awards:
- 1994: Smita Patil Memorial Award.
- 2001: Gorkha Dakshina Bahu Honour from the King of Nepal for achievement in the Indian film industry.
- 2004: Best Actress Award at the Bengal Film Journalists’ Association Awards for Escape From Taliban.
6 facts on Indian cinema/television’s progression
- Ardeshire Irani who made India’s first film with sound - Alam Ara (1931) – was also involved with the first colour film in Hindi, Kisan Kanya (1937).
- One of the boldest movies released under Bollywood Talkies, was Shiraz, (1929), about ill-fated, royal lovers. It was successful internationally and launched Seeta Devi’s career – she became very popular in the 20s and 30s.
- In the 1930s and 1940s, common themes were on female rights, hypocritical social injustices and caste prejudice.
- Since 2008 – American cinemas have begun screening Hindi films and Hollywood directors such as Steven Spielberg are beginning to associate with Hindi cinema.
- Nargis and Madhubala were at first the only two actresses to be commemorated with postage stamps in their honour. Now Nutan, Meena Kumari, Savitri, Leela Naidu, Devika Rani and Kanan Devi have been added to that roster.
- The popular actor Aamir Khan created and hosts the TV programme Satyamev Jayate which confronts unjust and corrupt practices in India. Around Six hundred million people watch the show.
Various members of the Wu Tang Clan are hoping to mark the 20th anniversary of their monumental debut album “Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) this November with a comeback LP.
Front-member Method Man is championing the comeback along with producer RZA and Ghostface Killah.
Method Man announced over the weekend during a performance at the Key Club in Hollywood, California: “This year will be the Wu-Tang Clan’s twentieth anniversary. How many brothers kept a job for twenty years? The same job. That’s the shit. We owe that shit to each and every fan that ever supported our music, and that’s real talk”.
It’s not just Method Man that thinks the group’s 20th anniversary is the right time for a comeback – forefront member/producer RZA also wants to reprise his role as the creative director of the group; and Ghostface Killah, who is currently recording for the comeback LP said: “I believe in [RZA] because if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be standing here today”.
A glimmer of hope for fans wanting the whole clan to reform came from Raekwon. During a chat with hip hop site RapFix Live last month, he said on a Wu comeback: “I just want everything to be right, the business. When we made a lot of our great music, it was because we were in harmony. You cannot put guys together if there is no harmony, and on top of it, we’re doing business”.
The group’s last album, 8 Diagrams was released in 2007, and with the death of popular member ODB in 2004, various incarnations of the group have toured at different times. Signature members GZA, Tical, Inspectah deck, U-God and Masta Killa are yet to publicly announce their involvement in the 20th anniversary project.