Vishal-Shekhar: Bollywood’s Energetic Duo Has a Mega Hit With #SwagTour2018

[Photo Source: Vishal & Shekhar/Facebook]

The Bollywood music duo Vishal-Shekhar are synonymous with energy! When the duo comes to the US, you know that means you have to pull out your best dancing shoes. With a lot of swag, they made their swagat in the US with their first show in Houston, Texas.

A Rehan Siddiqi & Shaks Entertainment event, the show was completely sold out (foreshadowing sold-out ticket sales for the rest of the tour). The duo had the crowd on their feet singing and dancing along to famous tunes like “Chammak Challo,” “Baby Ko Bass Pasand Hai,” “Sheila Ki Jiwani,” “Radha,” and so many more. Their enthusiasm was contagious and put Houston in the best mood ever! The paisa vaisool concert had the crowd wishing that the duo would not leave.

[Photo Source: Vishal & Shekhar/Facebook]
How did the #SwagTour2018 manifest? Read our interview with the Vishal of Vishal-Shekhar—Vishal Dadlani—to find that out, and much more!

How did you figure out that music was your calling? Was there a particular moment in your life that brought you to that realization?

I was born into a family that loves music, so it was always around. In 1993, a friend of mine set up a band to play a small show in Mumbai. When I got off that stage, for the first time, I felt more alive than I had ever felt before. That’s when I knew, this was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

What is your favorite band/musician of all time?

You can’t ask me that. I’ve never learnt music in an organized manner, so every musician, band or act that I’ve heard, watched or met, has been a teacher to me.

Do you have a favorite song of 2018 thus far?

“This is America,” by Childish Gambino.

Vishal Dadlani onstage. [Photo Source: Vishal & Shekhar/Facebook]

How was it to work with Akon on “Chammak Challo”?

It was great. He’s cool.

You both have so many hits! How did you select songs for the #SwagTour2018? How did the tour come to be?

We actually went down to the coffee shop that we both usually hang around in, and thrashed it out. We wanted to keep it a tight mix of some of the older stuff and lots of new stuff, while also keeping it energetic. We also wanted to include some ballads that we rarely play.

Basically, it’s a 25-30 song representation of all our songs that the audience knows and loves.

What is upcoming for your band, Pentagram?

We’re writing our fifth album at the moment. Hoping to have a new single out before touring season, this year.

Dadlani on the #SwagTour2018. [Photo Source: Vishal & Shekhar/Facebook]

Do you have any advice for fans that want to follow in your footsteps?

Yes. Don’t. Make your own trail, for others to follow. The same thing never works twice.

What is your favorite piece of advice that you have received?

A wise friend once told me that at the end of your journey, your only true wealth is the people who started out with you. I treasure that advice.

How are you so energetic? What’s the secret?

You gotta love what you’re doing. The energy comes from the music, and the audience. I’m just the channel for it.

[Read Related: You Will Finally See a South Asian Actress—Reema Sampat—on Season 6 of ‘Orange is the New Black’ and We’re all About it]

#VishalandShekharLive was the concert of the year! With a repertoire that includes hit songs from huge movies including “Om Shanti Om,” “Bachna Ae Haseeno,” “Dostana,” “Chennai Express,” “Befikre,” and “Tiger Zinda Hai,” we didn’t expect anything less than awesome from the iconic duo onstage!

Thanks for a rocking performance, Vishal-Shekhar! We can’t wait for you to come back.

By Kanika Monga

Kanika Monga, a graduate of the University of Texas, is a doctor by profession at the Texas Medical Center. She … Read more ›

‘The Romantics’: Revisiting the Legacy and Grandeur of Yash Chopra With Filmmaker Smriti Mundhra

The Romantics

If you are a South Asian, born in the ’80s or the early ’90s, chances are your ideas of love and romance are heavily influenced by Hindi films — that first gaze, the secret love notes, that accidental meeting somewhere in Europe, over-the-top gestures and dancing around trees. While reality may have been far from what was promised on reel, you still can’t stop pining over a hopeless romantic, with chocolate boy looks, chasing you across the earth and many universes; in the life here and the ones after. Somewhere deep down, you still dream of that possibility despite your husband sitting and sipping his morning coffee right next to you. And much of the credit for weaving this dreamland, that we can’t resist happily sliding into, goes to the legendary Yash Chopra. Award-winning filmmaker Smriti Mundhra’s docu-series, “The Romantics,” that released on Netflix on February 14, chronicles Chopra’s prolific career; offering an illuminating look into the highs and lows of his journey, his unblemished vision for Hindi cinema and sheer love for filmmaking. 

I wanted to look at Indian cinema through the lens of it being a major contributor to the global cinema canon and Yash Chopra seemed like the perfect lens to explore that because of the longevity of his career and the fact that he had worked across so many different genres. His films, for so many of us, defined what Hindi cinema is.

— Smriti Mundhra

As “The Romantics” unveils, in a mere episode — a challenging feat in itself — Chopra did experiment with multiple genres as a budding filmmaker, initially under the shadows of his elder brother B.R. Chopra. From the religiously sensitive “Dharamputra” and the trendsetting “Waqt” to the action-packed and iconic “Deewaar.” It wasn’t until later on in his career that he set a precedent for a Hindi film having a wholly romantic narrative; though “Waqt” did offer the perfect glimpse into what would go on to become Chopra’s cinematic imprint. And then came “Chandni” which ushered in a new era for Hindi cinema; defying the formulaic approach to box office success and making love stories the golden goose.

In the words of more than 30 famous faces, a host of archival videos and interviews, and personal anecdotes, audiences get an extensive insight into the life and career of Yash Chopra and the evolution of his vision through the business acumen and genius of his polar opposite son and a famous recluse, Aditya Chopra. “The Romantics” is not a fancy portrait of a legendary filmmaker but an exploration of what goes into making a successful film family and a path-breaking production house. As viewers, we not only get a peek into the making of a fantasy creator but also learn of the many failures, hurdles and uncertainties that the business of filmmaking comes packaged in, the impact of socio-political shifts on the kind of content being produced and demanded, and just how much control we have as an audience over the fate of the film and the filmmaker.

For both the uninitiated and fanatics, there are some interesting revelations like Shah Rukh Khan’s lifelong desire to become an action hero as opposed to a romantic one and the creative conflict between Aditya Chopra and his father Yash Chopra on the sets of “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge” — a project that, surprisingly, did not seem too promising to the latter. Mundhra penetrates deep into the family’s history and industry relationships evoking some really candid conversations; almost as if these celebs were eagerly waiting for their moment to speak. With one appraising interview after the other, it’s a panegyric that does border on being a tad tedious but there is enough depth and fodder in there to keep one hooked. Kudos to Mundhra for managing to achieve cohesion despite there being more than enough material to chew on. In the process of bringing this project to life, Mundhra also ends up achieving a number of milestones: one that the series features the last of actor Rishi Kapoor’s interviews and two, it brings Aditya Chopra, who, it appears, can talk a blue streak contrary to popular belief, to the front of the camera after almost two decades. The moment when he puts the nepotism debate to rest by referring to his brother’s catastrophic attempt at acting is quite the show-stealer.


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At some point during the four-episode series, you might question if it’s fair to credit the Yash Raj family for being the only real changemakers of the Hindi film industry and for picking up the baton to get Hindi cinema the global recognition that it has. But then there is no denying the Chopra clan’s body of work, their ability to understand what pleases the crowd and their commitment towards growth and progress amidst changing times and technology — Yash Raj Studios is in fact the only privately held and one of the biggest, state-of-the-art film studios in India. Chopra’s career and legacy are in no way under-lit that Mundhra can claim to throw new light on with “The Romantics.” But what she really has on offer here are sheer nostalgia, some fascinating discoveries and an ode to a cinephile and his art with a bit of fan service.

In an interview with Brown Girl Magazine, Mundhra discusses why it was so important for Chopra to be the subject of her docu-series, her own learnings during the series’ research and creative process and her accomplishment of getting Aditya Chopra to talk, and that too, at length.

By Nida Hasan

Editor by profession, writer by passion, and a mother 24/7, Nida is a member of Brown Girl Lifestyle's editing team … Read more ›