We’ve all known R&B to stand for Rhythm and Blues, but not if you ask this Greater Toronto Area band. To band founder and keyboard player, Asad Khan R&B stands for Rock and Bhangra.
The R&B United Band is one of the most versatile bands you’ll come across in Canada. With over 20 years of experience, the band is formed of a talented group of musicians who combine their expertise and versatility to put on top-notch performances. While their name may be all about Rock and Bhangra, this band is able to perform multiple genres such as Bollywood, Sufi, Bhangra, Ghazal, Gujarati and more, as well as western genres such as Rock, Pop, Latin and Country.
At this year’s #StayHome with #BollywoodMonster Mashup, they performed to ‘Jugni Ji’ by Kanika Kapoor feat. Dr. Zeus and Shortie, along with Bollywood hits such as ‘O Saki Saki’ by Neha Kakkar, B Praak and Tulsi Kumar, along with ‘Jigar Da Tukda’ Shraddha Pandit and Salim Merchant from the movie Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, starring Ranveer Kapoor and Anushka Sharma.
Check out this exclusive #MonsterArtist Development video where Asad reveals his secret to finding bandmates who can play any music genre you can think of!
Imagine trying to break into not one, but two music industries – Canadian and Pakistani – at the same time.
That’s exactly what The MAD Band Project, a band from the Greater Toronto Area, aimed to do. The group strives to work with the best musicians within Mississauga and Brampton to showcase musical talent within a multi-lingual arrangement, and has successfully paved their way into both industries.
Currently, The MAD Band project consists of Saad Arif Tauseef and Ankita Nandawat, with a group of talented musicians who have all previously performed at #BollywoodMonster Mashup.
At this year’s #StayHome with #BollywoodMonster Mashup, The MAD Band project performed to ‘Bailamos’ by Enrique Iglesias, ‘Challa’ by Punjabi singer Gurdas Maan, and Bollywood song ‘Binte Dil’ by Arjit Singh from the movie Padmaavat, starring Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh.
Check out this week’s video where The MAD Band Project compares the two music industries and discusses which one has allowed them to evolve their creativity skills and expand their network.
Imagine trying to establish not just yourself, but your performing career, in an entirely new country.
Yashwanth Koppala always dreamed of pursuing a career in dance. In fact, Yash began his dancing career at a young age in his native land of Hyderabad, India. He eventually moved to Canada where he set his goal to establish his dancing career.
Since then, he is the founder of the Reign Yash Dance Academy – a prominent choreography school in Brampton. Alongside his students, Yash has performed at over 100 events within the past two years.
While performing at MonstrARTity’s own #StayHome with #BollywoodMonster Mashup, he and his group of dancers got moving to songs such as ‘Dus Bahane 2.0’ by Vishal Shekhar featuring K.K, Shaan and Tulsi Kumar, from the movie Baaghi 3 starring Tiger Shroff and Shraddha Kapoor, as well as ‘Hard Hard’ by Mika Singh, Sachet Tandon, Praktriti Kakar and Sachet Parampara.
Other events they’ve performed at include Taste of India, Toronto International South Asian Film Awards, Carassauga and many more!
Check out this week’s #MonsterArtist Development video where Yashwanth shares his story on establishing himself as a dancer within Canada and how he followed his passion for dance through his academy.
Sometimes, your darkest days can lead you to discovering a light – or in Devin Ramoutar’s case, discovering his passion.
Devin is a music teacher specializing in the intricacies of Indian, Latin, Western, and West Indian percussion. After struggling with depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), he realized how much he enjoyed interacting with people through music, which led him to start teaching music.
Over the last few years, Ramoutar has become one of the most sought-after percussionists in the Greater Toronto Area. He’s performed at a wide range of events, including this year’s #StayHome with #BollywoodMonster Mashup, where he incorporated various instruments, such as playing ‘Mere Dholna’ by Shreya Ghoshal and M.G. Shreekumar with a tabla, and ‘Ghoomar’ by Shreya Ghoshal and Swaroop Khan from the hit movie, Padmaavat starring Deepika Padukone, on the timbales.
Watch Devin’s story to see more about how he created a career through his passion for people and his love for music.
When embarking on a journey to succeed as an artist – whether it be in music or dance – one thing that is universal throughout any of the arts is competition.
When Brampton native Melissa Roopchand started her own dance company, Melissa Marie Dance, she quickly discovered that she was surrounded by dozens of Indo-Canadian dance groups in her city, all of whom were pursuing the same dream.
This week, we chat with Melissa – who choreographed for and performed at this year’s #StayHome with #BollywoodMonster Mashup to hits such as ‘Get Ur Freak On’ by Missy Elliot and ‘Ghagra’ by Vishal Dadlani and Rekha Bhardwaj from the Bollywood blockbuster Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani.
Through the #MonsterArtist Development program, local artists come together to share how they’ve overcome fears and obstacles through their journey. Check out Melissa’s #MonsterArtist Development video and discover how she overcame her fear of competition within her community and learned to channel that energy into ensuring her dance troupe would succeed.
You may have a favourite dancer, singer or musician, but who’s your favourite beatboxer?
Beatboxing is a form of vocal percussion which mimics drum machines using one’s mouth, lips, tongue and voice.
Nassar Khan who performs under the stage name EnKaye, was excited to showcase his beatboxing skills on stage at #StayHome with #BollywoodMonster Mashup, where he performed as part of the #BollywoodMonster Orchestra (BMO) – a group of talented local singers and musicians who fuse different instruments, music and culture to create an original production that you can’t see anywhere else. This year, they fused hit Bollywood music with popular urban genre songs like ‘Badtameez Dil’ from the movie Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani with ‘Stayin’ Alive’ by the Bee Gees.
In this exclusive #MonsterArtist Development (MAD) video, we speak to EnKaye, who shares his story of how he became a professional beat-boxer.
Ever wanted to take your passion and turn it into a full-time career, but had fear hold you back?
Ria Aikat, one half of the Giggle Queens, shared with us how she overcame her fear and decided to pursue dance full-time with her best friend, Jennalee Desjardins.
The dancing duo, Ria and Jennalee, have created two brands for themselves – Giggle Queens, where they infuse Bollywood, waacking, hip hop and other dance styles into their performances, and Dance ‘N’ Culture, a school program where professional artists showcase diverse cultures through dance.
This year, they put on a fantastic performance at #StayHome with #BollywoodMonster Mashup, where they showcased original fusion choreography to hits such as ‘Bindis and Bangles’ by Raja Kumari.
Check out this #MonsterArtist Development (MAD) video to learn all about overcoming fear and how you, too, can turn your passion into a full-time career.
Every so often, life hits us with challenges, and it’s up to us to decide what we make of them. #MonsterArtist Development participant and #StayHome with #BollywoodMonster Mashup performer, Wali Shah decided not to let his past define his future, instead taking his experiences and creating art.
A Mississauga native, prominent poet and motivational speaker within Canada, Wali began his career in his hometown when he was named the City of Mississauga’s Poet Laureate. His love for poetry began in high school after he wrote a poem about his early years being turbulent and resulting in his arrest at the age of 15.
Since then, he has toured coast to coast as a WE Day speaker and has had the opportunity to perform for high-profile individuals such as Barack Obama, Kareem-Abdul Jabbar, Seth Rogan and Kendrick Lamar.
Wali’s career has skyrocketed to success, so you may never guess that when he started down this path, he struggled with self-doubt.
Check out today’s #MonsterArtist Development (MAD) episode where Wali talks about overcoming his fears and pursuing a career outside his family’s norms.
Bollywood dancing is traditionally done in bare feet. So what were Anushya Vijayaraghevan and Indiana Mehta, founders of Bollywood fusion dance group BollyHeelsTO, thinking when they decided to throw in a pair of heels?
Anushya has an extensive background in teaching Bollywood fusion, having fused Bollywood, hip hop and bhangra in performances and performing at events such as National WE Day. Indiana is trained in Indian classical dance and various western forms like jazz, ballet, and contemporary, experience which she found useful in her role as principal actor and dancer in Netflix feature film, Work it. The dance duo created BollyHeelsTO together to create and teach Bollywood fusion in heels while also promoting diversity through their dance group.
At this year’s #StayHome with #BollywoodMonster Mashup, BollyHeelsTO meshed songs such as ‘Move Your Body’ by Punjabi artist Hard Kaur with classic Bollywood song ‘Nimbooda’ from the film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam starring Aishwarya Rai. They also combined ‘Freedom’ by Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar, and paired it with ‘Jai Ho’ by A.R Rahman and The Pussycat Dolls feat. Nicole Sherzinger.
Check out their episode of #MonsterArtist Development (MAD) to hear how they promote diversity by showcasing a range of cultural backgrounds and talents through dance.
COVID-19 has struck a chord throughout the world, forcing people everywhere to adapt to a new way of life. However, the pandemic hasn’t stopped Brampton-based musician and artist Nick Pandya and his band Vedik Vibez.
At the age of 8, Nick began his musical career by learning how to play the tabla – a classical instrument also known as a hand drum. He has performed with various Bollywood singers such as Shankar Mahadevan, Jonita Gandhi, Chinmayi and Sukhvinder, and has won an award in vocal excellence by Pandit Jasraj. Since then, his career has expanded to owning his own music company, Darshan Entertainment, having his own band alongside local musicians, and even performing and building a friendship with Bollywood playback singer Rajdeep Chatterjee.
For the past few years, Nick and Vedik Vibez have taken the stage at #BollywoodMonster Mashup and performed a fusion of popular Bollywood and Gujarati hits. At this year’s #StayHome with #BollywoodMonster Mashup, Nick and his band performed Gujarati and Bollywood songs such as ‘Gori Radha Ne Kalo Kaan’ by Wrong Side Raju and ‘Nagada Sang Dhol’ by Shreya Ghoshal and Osman Mir from the popular movie Ram Leela, starring Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh.
In this exclusive episode, Nick sits down with #MonsterArtist Development (MAD) to share how COVID has taught him to think outside of the box and grow as an artist during these times. Check out his video!
Moving to a new country isn’t easy. Moving to a new country with zero relatives or friends and working multiple part-time jobs to pay international student fees all while embarking on your journey as a dancer, is even more daunting.
Shivani Joshi faced all of that in her first couple of years after moving from India to settle in Canada. She quickly realized that many people were hesitant to give newcomers a chance when it came to pursuing their passion for dance.
These challenges prompted Shivani to create Team Nritya – a dance group formed with current and former international students whose mission is to leave a mark of their culture and identity while overcoming the obstacles of living in a foreign country. Since starting Team Nritya, Shivani and her team have been able to showcase their dance skills at various events, including this year’s #StayHome with #BollywoodMonster Mashup, where they graced the stage with classical indian dance. They danced along to Gujarati hits such as “Fagan Foramto Aayo” and “Halaji Tar Hath” by Pamela Jain, Jigardan Gadahvi, Abhita Patel and Aditya Gadhavi.
Through the #MonsterArtist development (MAD) program, we share the stories of our talented, local artists. This week, we sat down with Shivani from Team Nritya, who shares her story of overcoming adversity as a dancer.
Check out Shivani’s video!
Ever wondered what happens when you mix West Indian and Bollywood music together? Well, a beautiful fusion of melodies gets created! Enter one of the exciting music acts we’ve been working with this year, N2 The Band.
N2 The Band is a group of five talented musicians including a husband and wife who have come together to showcase West Indian music with a Bollywood flair. At this year’s #StayHome with #BollywoodMonster Mashup, N2 performed to ‘Zaalima’ from the movie Raees starring Shah Rukh Khan, as well as a Bollywood 1980’s classic, ‘Aap Jaisa Koi’ by Nazia Hassan from the film Qurbani starring Feroz Khan, Vinod Khanna and Zeenat Aman.
Check out this exclusive #MonsterArtist Development (MAD) video, where Ravi Sookhoo of N2 The Band discusses fusing multiple music genres and how N2 The Band came together.
With a passion for the arts and a desire for change, Frog in Hand, a Mississauga-based dance company, is keen on providing a hand to their community through education, resources, knowledge and the art of dance performances.
At this year’s #StayHome with #BollywoodMonster Mashup, Frog in Hand collaborated with #BollywoodMonster Orchestra (BMO) – a hand-picked group of talented local singers and musicians who can only be seen at #StayHome with #BollywoodMonster Mashup – to debut their choreography to #BollywoodMonster Orchestra’s original music productions.
Hits they choreographed and danced to were ‘Chammak Challo’ from the movie Ra One starring Shah Rukh Khan, along with mashups of ‘Badtameez Dil’ from the movie Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani with ‘Stayin’ Alive’ by the Bee Gees. Along with ‘Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan’ by the Meet Bros from the movie Roy, which was mixed with ‘Thrift Shop’ by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
In this exclusive MAD video, Frog in Hand shares some tips on celebrating existing dance styles, and how to adapt to genres you may have never danced to before and how to make them your own.
Check out their video above!