Is It Time For A Spring Clean Yet?

Time To Spring Clean

Okay, so the official first day of Spring is apparently the 20th of March this year.

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Frustrations of being a British Born Indian Bengali

 

Born and brought up in the UK, I feel privileged to experience life in such a diverse country where different religions, cultures and beliefs are respected. That said, the Indian culture that I have experienced here is inevitably different compared to if I’d been brought up in India.

Visiting India every year, I have come across some misconceptions that people seem to have of the British Born which I will share below.

1. That non-resident Asians (may think they) are somehow ‘better’ than the resident Asians.

My mashi (maternal aunt) once told me a story of an NRI (Non-Resident Indian) woman at the gym that felt she was ‘entitled’ to be on a piece of gym equipment for longer than the suggested time….just because she lived abroad…..!!

And before you ask, no she wasn’t famous and EVEN if she was, it would still not be acceptable.

Yes, this is a true story.

Yes, it baffles me too.

Yes, it makes me ashamed and I apologise on behalf of all NRIs to any Resident Indians that may have experienced this outrageous behaviour.

No, we are NOT better.

We are ALL equal.

NRIs ARE OF course going to differ.

2nd, 3rd and subsequent generations born and brought up away from the country of heritage, WILL obviously be different from their corresponding cousins brought up in the homeland.

That is a given, due to differences in culture and society, yet there is NOT and should NOT ever be a distinction between who is ‘better’.

2.       Just because we’re non-resident, we are apparently incapable of venturing out alone or being independent.

There is a wonderful scene in the award-winning film, The Namesake, directed by Mira Nair, adapted from Jhumpa Lahiri’s book, of Gogol trying to go for a run in the chaotic streets of Kolkata. His Indian family become so worried that Sahib babu (Sahib – means ‘foreigner’ Babu – affectionate name for a boy/son/friend) cannot handle these unfamiliar surroundings, that they send out their servant to follow him.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the concern of my elders; any country holds risk and potential dangers if one is not alert and aware of their surroundings. However, to wrap us up in cotton wool in some false hope that these troubles will disappear, is in my opinion worse. Shielding us from the harshness of life is understandable when one is young, yet as we grow older, it is imperative that we, as tomorrow’s adults, learn how to best deal with hardships, how to be independent and responsible simultaneously and how to be the peace in times of chaos rather than continue a cycle of not avoiding the real issues entirely.

Have faith that we are culturally aware and responsible enough to make educated choices in today’s world and that even if you don’t, we still have faith in humanity, despite the many times you remind us that ‘din kal kharap’ (times are bad, in this day and age’).

3.       The misconception that we are all uncultured and uninterested in our heritage. 

There have been too many times to count where distant relatives and family friends have assumed I could not speak Bengali and have asked my mother questions about me, whilst I have been sitting there in front of them like an inanimate object! Others have started talking English to me and seem taken aback when I in fact reply in Bengali.

By no means am I completely fluent (I am still working on being able to write the script) yet I do take pride in knowing the language, taking an interest in the culture; whether it be visiting India every year or being sucked into watching the Indian soaps that my mother watches religiously!

Even the little things:

Turning up to school on a Monday morning with a right hand full of ‘yellow’ finger nails because Sunday was spent eating curry heavily laden with turmeric with my fingers, being admonished frequently for not oiling my hair enough or having all our appliances still in their protective plastic covers!

These little things make up my bigger picture, and denying them would remove a huge part of my British Indian Bengali identity. I appreciate that other people may disagree but for me personally, I am proud to say these make up who I am.

Disclaimer:

All views are my own. One may find they can relate to certain or all aspects of this post which is what I intended by sharing it. It does not however represent the views of ALL British Born Indian Bengalis, or British Born Asians for that matter. I am merely 1, and there are many of us around so attempting to characterise all musings would be difficult.

I’m open to adding more to this list so please feel free to comment below, subscribe on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and get in touch!

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Oily hair = healthy hair?!

 

If you’re Asian like me, you will at some point in your life been encouraged by your mother or other female relatives, to oil your hair to ensure your hair maintained long luscious locks comparable to the commercials on television.

Seeing hair glistening in the sun, freshly oiled and neatly combed can be a common sight amongst schoolgirls (and boys) in Asian countries. However, growing up in a more Western society where ‘greasy hair’ equates to poor hygiene, can make this beauty regime a bit of a nuisance.

There has also been some debate as to whether oiling the hair does more harm than good. Some say that it can unnecessarily aggravate the naturally produced sebum which promotes healthy skin and hair.

So what’s the verdict?

From personal experience, my hair definitely feels softer and silkier if I shampoo after an overnight oil mask. After doing a little research I have found that it is important to distinguish between the different type of oils; petroleum-based or mineral oils may actually add to hair dryness by reducing natural moisture. Natural oils such as coconut, jojoba and olive oils are thought to be the most nutritious and encourage re-growth, particularly in damaged hair.

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Many of the natural oils can be found in any local supermarket and are relatively cheap to buy.

Your Turn…!

  1. For maximum benefit, pour some oil into a small bowl and heat for around 20 seconds in the microwave until warm.
  2. Massage oil into hair and scalp.
  3. Wrap your hair in a towel to lock in moisture.
  4. Leave oil on as long as desired (You can either choose to shampoo your hair after an hour, or for best results, leave it on overnight and shampoo your hair in the morning).
  5. Studies have shown regular hair oil treatment ensures healthier hair so make sure you treat your hair to some weekly TLC!

 

Not convinced?

Other cosmetic brands have started bringing out their own hair oil products.

VO5 Hot Oil Treatment

superdrug hot oil vo5

Tresemmé Keratin Oil

Tresemme Keratin Oil

Vatika Hair Oil in Almond

Vatika Hair Oil Almond

All products can be found at affordable prices at your local drugstore such as Superdrug (in the UK), so what are you waiting for?!

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Light up, Lift up and Don’t be afraid to SHINE

So, we’ve spoken about this before. The fear of ‘shining’. What does this mean? What does this entail?

A Christian friend said to me at her local church service today, this theme was also discussed.

What often amazes me is that at their core, so many religions share fundament core values such as love, peace, hope and an ultimate faith in the ‘divine source’. The term ‘religion’ often just acts as a means of different people reaching their own ‘enlightenment’ or ‘path’ and if that path helps maintain their faith, brings them closer to a sense of meaning…then what is the harm in that?

I thought it was apt to discuss it here, given that today is officially Diwali, the Festival of Lights, in the Hindu calendar.

As a child, I was painfully shy. I would still classify myself as ‘shy’ though age, experience and wisdom has helped me to spread partial wings and leaving a shell that remains, if I ever need it to retreat to.

One other thing that happened as I was growing up is that I became scared to ‘shine’. There may be some people that can relate to this. We don’t want to appear different; we would rather hide in the shadows and be a ‘sheep’ than step out into the unknown and embrace the things that help us stand out, even if it was to the detriment of our own success. I was scared of being unique.

Diwali is a time for rebirth, rejuvenation and reflection. It reminds me that we don’t need to wait for the new year to make a new resolution (however, today is obviously convenient because The Festival of Lights symbolises new beginnings anyway…!).

Why?

Because each and every moment is a moment of rejuvenation, an opportunity to change. Though obvious, the idea hit me again today and emphasised one important point.

So many of us are victims to making ’empty promises’. You know what I mean:

When ‘x’ happens….I’ll do ‘y’

We wait for ‘the perfect time’, we make up excuses and dim our light.

STOP. Today is your day to ‘Face A Fear Everyday’. Today is your day to not ‘shelf your light’ but in fact to shine your light.

Embrace what you have to offer the world, we’re all different. Be proud to be unique.

Breast Cancer Awareness

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The big ‘C’ affects us all in one form or another. It claims parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters. We all have our own reasons for fighting all types of cancer. Amongst many other causes, breast cancer is one that is important for The Asian Destination. In the UK, breast cancer awareness is quite prominent; only a daily commute, one may see up to 5 adverts asking you whether you know the ‘5 signs of breast cancer, yes 5′.

Compared to other cancers, breast cancer research may appear well funded but there is always more than can be done, more that can be raised, more that can be donated to truly make a difference.

It may be the end of Breast Cancer Awareness Month but that does not mean the fight against cancer stops here.

Education is key and remembering it could happen to any one of us, male or female.

And for those of you wondering what 5 signs of breast cancer are:

lumps

nipple changes

 

cysts

breast pain/tenderness

rashes in the chest area

Find out more here

Make a difference and donate to Cancer Research UK

Or find out more about how you can get involved.

 

Chai & Chats with: Veena V

veena1

From the very early age of 15, Veena V has been one to watch in the radio industry. She was awarded ‘Best Radio Presenter’ at the Channel 4 Talent Awards in 2008 and has interviewed the likes of Nicole Scherzinger and Jay Sean but still has many ambitions waiting to be fulfilled. The Asian Destination (TAD) talks to Veena V (VV) on her success. 

TAD: Veena, you made your mark in the radio industry from the early age of 15. What was it about radio that made you want to pursue it as a career?

VV: I just always found it fascinating from a very young age. When I was 5 I used to make cassettes for my family and teachers of me playing song and talking in between the tracks – little did I know I had put together a radio show!

I love being on the radio it gives me such a buzz and didn’t really think of doing anything else as a career (except being a teacher, popstar, businesswoman and 100m Olympic runner when I was little!) Working in the broadcasting industry has always been my passion.

 

TAD: You have been so successful in your career already and yet you are still so young. How does it feel that many of your fans have placed you as their role model and look up to you?

VV: I wouldn’t say I’m successful and I’m no where near where I want to be in my life and still have so many ambitions I want to fulfil. Many people don’t realise I’m also a Mum so have slowed down in the last couple of years to really spend quality time with my son. Being a mum inspired me to set up a pregnancy blog called www.VIPregnancy.com to document it all.

If children aspire to be like me that’s a honour but I wouldn’t call myself a role model.

veena3

TAD: In 2007, your Q2 RAJAR figures were 107,000 listeners and you beat the Breakfast Show figures which is really surprising. Have you faced criticism or jealousy in the industry? How do you deal with it all? And what advice would you give to individuals looking to break into the entertainment industry?

VV: My show and listener figures on Club Asia Radio has been one of my career highlights. I loved my time there and learnt a lot. I haven’t encountered any jealousy in the radio industry but I have come across many people with big egos!

I’ve actually just written a blog post about how to be a radio presenter and I made a YouTube video on my 3 biggest tips to get into the media industry. I update my blog regularly so be sure to check out lots of radio and TV presenting advice on there if you’re trying to bang down that door.

TAD: Veena, how important is your Asian heritage? And how do you incorporate your ethnicity into your everyday life. Have you found it difficult to balance cultures and traditions whilst living in a British culture and lifestyle? Was your family always supportive of your career choices?

VV: Being Mauritian is important to me but I wouldn’t say it’s built into my everyday life. I never knew the Asian music industry existed and how important it was to people until I started working at Club Asia, I was blown away by it.

My parents have always been so supportive and just want me to be happy. They really are the best parents in the world and are my role models.

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TAD: You have interviewed some huge names such as Nicole Scherzinger, Imran Khan and Jay Sean. Have you ever got really starstruck or tongue tied? If so, with whom? How do you deal with nerves on air? Who are you yet to meet that you would really love to?

VV: I don’t think I’ve ever been starstuck except when I did my first celebrity interview at the age of 16! I love Nicole Scherzinger, she’s even more beautiful in real life.

I would love to meet and interview Diddy and Richard Branson. They inspire me. I wake to Diddy’s Instagram pictures which really motivate me for the day ahead!

TAD: You already have a number of awards such as “Best Radio Presenter” at the Channel 4 (4 talent) awards in 2008, and host`The Shaadi Show’. What can we look forward to hearing and/or seeing you on next?

VV: Keep an eye on my blog for all my latest celebrity interviews and where you can hear me on the radio next www.VeenaV.com

Photo Source: veenav.com

Want more updates from Veena V? Follow her on Twitter!

If you liked this post, you may also like:

Chai & Chats with: Arjun Coomaraswamy

Chai & Chats with: Natasha Sandu

Chai & Chats with: Roshni Chugani

Chai & Chats with: Pavan Ahluwalia

Chai & Chats with: Malika Garrett

Chai & Chats with: Amilla Javed

Chai & Chats with: Jesbir Bahia

from Destination: Interviews

Happy Durga Puja

Happy Kali Puja & Diwali

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Do All Deeds With Love

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I find that any task I undertake that I love, does not feel like work. Instead, I look forward to planning it, carrying it out and completing it.

There are many things in life we may have to do in order to achieve a particular goal. However, isn’t life too short not to pursue the very passion that causes your spirit to lift?

Try to remember when you last felt inspired and then ask yourself, what did you achieve as a result? Did you use that passion-filled energy to do something great? Or did you package that inspiration and store it for ‘someday’?

Remember: TODAY is SOMEDAY</em and pretty soon you will only be left with 1 day.

The Art of Fashion

The Asian Destination has joined forces with Feed You Fashion to calm your Fashion Week withdrawal symptoms. This fashion webzine aims to “inspire, update and parley”. Stylish and sophisticated, Feed You Fashion is definitely a site worth following.

In this guest post Lucy, founder of Feed You Fashion, reveals the Indian cultural influence behind two beautiful S/S’14 collections.

THE ART OF FASHION

Let’s assume for a second that all designers lived under one roof – a big brother house situation, if you will! Sure, based on new conversation their designs would begin as deductions from curious encounters but with time, and a lack of interaction with the outside world, such enthusiasm and spirit would falter. This is purely because fashion breathes through creativity. Innovation is accumulated through experiences and the ways in which these experiences are interpreted are based on our culture.

Fashion Week is a prime example of such diversity, an assortment of backgrounds and cultures, which is what allows designers to create such contrasting fashions.If you look close enough, these origins seep through the seams.

It’s September. It’s time to welcome a flood of fashion, as we take on this month dedicated to our sartorial needs.

HAUTE SEAT

New York Fashion Week has previously introduced us to two Indian designers – Naeema Khan and Bibhu Mohapatra. Khan launched his label in 2003 and Mohapatra, having resigned as Design Director of J. Mendel in 2008, went on to launch his own brand under his name. The latter’s designs showing fewer connections to his Indian roots, which may be due to his years spent at the French fashion house.

The S/S ’14 woman of Naeem Khan is all about elegant femininity.

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Hemlines happily follow few rules, ranging from floor skimming to thigh skimming and setting a liberating example for shape. The common denominator being a cinched waistline to gracefully celebrate the female form. The Khan woman is a romantic, yet proves she does not fear the borders of her comfort zone as reserved silhouettes are made daring by descending necklines, thigh high slits, chiffon and open backs.

Perhaps most notable of the collection is the patterning; if garments are not lavished from seam to seam in elaborate prints, then such designs creep across dresses from various angles. The print heavily reminiscent of traditional Indian henna – the intricate patterning typically used during Hindu weddings and festivals.

The story is in the print.

Naeem Khan S/S ’14

Image Source: Vogue

For Bibhu Mohapatra, the S/S ’14 woman is much more angular with an air of modernist chic surrounding her.

Bibhu Mohapatra S/S'14

3D flowers act as the cherry on this sartorial cake, either creating shoulder armour, fanning across waistlines or concealing cardigans. Where buds and sequins did not appear, mini peplums and micro pleats were on hand to make up for the missing texture. Not to mention, the thick dress straps, which left little shoulder or décolletage visible in order to cement their presence. The Mohapatra woman is sophisticated and concise, teaming her pencil thin skirts to her leather jackets.

The delicate hues and feminine patterning of the collection hint at romanticism, however every angle reeks of opposition.

Bibhu Mohapatra S/S ’14

Image Source: Vogue

Want to know read more from Lucy?

Click here or why not follow Feed You Fashion on

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Chai & Chats with: Natasha Sandhu

By now, you must have heard of the extremely talented Arjun Coomaraswamy.

If not, check out our interview with him here.

Behind every successful artist is usually a very organised management team and Arjun’s is no different. However, not only is Arjun’s personal assistant committed to helping promote his talent, Natasha Sandhu is also a full-time qualified doctor, singer and model.

The Asian Destination finds out how she manages to balance being an integral member of Arjun’s management team, her own creative projects as well as a career in medicine.

Natasha Sandhu

TAD: How did you first become Arjun’s personal assistant?

NS: I first met Arjun when we were assigned to sing together at a show, over 4 years ago now! That very moment I heard him sing at our first rehearsal I thought,

“Wow this guy is destined for big things”.

I was so blown away by how humble yet talented he was which meant helping him a no-brainer. I’ve believed in him from day one and he is now one of my best friends, which is why he trusts me to be part of the team. Since then, I’ve become increasingly involved in helping with his day-to-day affairs, touring, online PR, styling etc alongside his main management, Crown.

I’ll always have his back and work hard to help his talent get recognised.

TAD: You’re a qualified doctor, what stage are you in your medical career? What is your specialty/what are you hoping to specialise in?

NS: Yes I’m a full-time working doctor now, which shocks a lot of people in the media industry. I qualified 2 years ago, so work is really busy with increasingly more responsibilities.

In the long term I want to be a General Practitioner since you build long-term relationships with patients, there is more scope for variety and I find the daily work in hospital specialities too repetitive.

Plus I’d have more flexibility to keep travelling, helping Arjun with his music, and doing my own projects, as they are all passions I cannot give up! But I love A&E so I plan to locum in that for the excitement.

I’ve also had an interest in international health promotion and human rights since I was a teenager (UN and Amnesty) so I want to take time out of clinical medicine and get more involved with that later.

TAD: Are we right in thinking as well as your PA job and medicine you’re also an aspiring singer and model? Tell us more about these other passions of yours.

NS: Err, yes I can sing English R&B/pop and have performed a lot but I’m not planning a singing career!

My favourite performances involve a Beyoncé song since I am OBSESSED with her!

If you have heard Arjun’s Kabhi Kabhi I sang in that with my ‘sister’ Shivali but I cringe singing it since I’m not fluent in Hindi (yet!).

Nowadays I don’t sing solo since it’s only been a hobby for me, and there is no time. On tour though, whether it’s Kabhi Khabhi or an acoustic cover of an English song, I love singing on tour with Arjun.

I’ve done mainly editorial modelling since I was 14, but it’s been on and off due to medicine meaning I cannot make most shoots in working hours.

It has picked up again though and I’ve had some fun shoots in the past 3 years with my agencies.

It’s something I don’t talk about much since I do it for me rather than to talk about it, and I’ve experienced girls becoming judgemental or jealous in the past so I’d rather keep most of it to myself. However, I LOVE fashion, so when opportunities have arisen I’ve taken them since I don’t want to regret it later.

TAD: Is there anything you can’t do?! Should we be looking out for you on the next series of The Apprentice?!

NS: Trust me I’m useless at SO many things! I can’t act, I can’t play a bunch of instruments I’d love to, I can’t rap (haha imagine!), I’m not as multi-lingual as I’d love to be… the list goes on! Doing multiple things doesn’t mean I’m amazing at everything I do or that I don’t wish there were other things I could do. Besides nobody multi-tasks as well as my mumI swear mothers are superhuman right?!

Natasha Sandhu

TAD: Most doctors find it difficult to juggle medicine and other personal commitments, how do you find time to balance a second career whilst also pursuing other interests as well?

NS: My dad always taught me to “work hard, play hard” so it’s down to him! Ever since I was at school, I would study but every evening I’d have a different extra-curricular activity. I just liked being busy even then. I’ve never needed 8 hours of sleep and my diary is my life – organisation is the key; you have to know when to say no and what your limits are.

TAD: How do you stop yourself from burning out? How do you relax?

NS: Spending time with family, especially my sister, and friends is important to me. It’s definitely the best way to relax – you can’t replace girly nights-in! I’ve recently tried yoga plus the occasional massage also helps! I like going to the movies, working-out, shopping, and reading.

Travelling has always been one of my favourite things in life and I have fortunately grown up going abroad to a different country with my family every year. So as manic as touring with Arjun can be at times, I do find it relaxing in itself and I want to see as much of the world as I can before I die.

Natasha & Arjun

TAD: And what advice would you give to other people out there that may have gone down one specific career path but may be thinking of switching?

NS: Actions speak louder than words so if you want to do something different even as a hobby don’t waste time! Don’t ever regret not trying something if you’re passionate about it. But take calculated risks; if you’re worried about switching careers and possibly risking everything just wean into your new path part-time. Then if you think it will work for you great, and if not at least you have tried rather than wondering ‘what if?’

TAD: What’s next for you?

NS: I will have important medical exams over the next 3 years so I can’t wait to get them done and focus on the speciality I enjoy. Arjun is releasing his first mainstream single ‘Take It Back’ very soon so I am very busy with that release (you guys will LOVE it!) and we are finalising his album and talking to international music labels. I’ll continue to travel as much as possible, stay happy, and who knows what else the future holds!

We wish Natasha all the best with her future endeavours.

Be sure to check out Natasha on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Have a listen to Kabhi Kabhi here:


If you liked this post, you may also like:

Chai & Chats with: Arjun Coomaraswamy

Chai & Chats with: Roshni Chugani

Chai & Chats with: Pavan Ahluwalia

Chai & Chats with: Malika Garrett

Chai & Chats with: Amilla Javed

Chai & Chats with: Jesbir Bahia

from Destination: Interviews

Happy Durga Puja

Happy Kali Puja & Diwali

from Destination: Celebration

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Follow The Asian Destination on Twitter: @theasiand

‘Like’ us on Facebook: facebook.com/theasiandestination

Follow us on Instagram: @theasiandestination

The Asian Destination Links

Follow The Asian Destination on Twitter: @theasiand

‘Like’ us on Facebook: facebook.com/theasiandestination

Follow us on Instagram: @theasiandestination

Chai & Chats with: Arjun Coomaraswamy

London-based singer, songwriter and producer, Arjun stands out from mainstream music. Mixing soulful R&B with his desi roots, it is no wonder his first four singles created such hype and has been described as one to watch internationally. The Asian Destination talks to him about his whirlwind of success and about being a rising star in the music industry.
Arjun
TAD: You were nominated as ‘Best Newcomer’ at the ‘Brit Asia Music Awards 2011’, chosen as one of ‘MTV’s Top 20 Unsigned Acts for 2012’ and your music has made it to global TV channels such as CNN, MTV India and NDTV, making you truly a ‘rising star’. You also won Best Urban Act at the UK Asian Music Awards in October 2012. We’re sure this is still only the beginning of your success. Tell us, how has the last 18 months been for you?

A:  I guess you could say that the last 18 months have been life changing for me.  I’ve been fortunate enough to perform all over the world and had the chance to meet and work with some amazing people.   Hopefully this has laid a foundation for the next step – the mainstream in the UK and US.

TAD: Your ever-increasing fan base means your YouTube music videos are being watched in the millions, you have the support of Radio DJs internationally and your performances are being requested all over the world. How does it make you feel to know your music has been so well and widely received?

Arjun

A: To be honest, it is still a shock to think that anybody other than myself and my mum could be listening to my music!  I consider it a blessing to be able to make the music I like and find that there are other people out there who like it too.

TAD: What would you say was the turning point that has marked your growing success over the last couple of years?

A: The turning point was definitely the moment when I decided to do a remix of the Tamil film song “Why This Kolaveri Di?”  That was a complete experiment and no-one was more amazed than I was  when I woke up the next morning and found that it had gone truly viral.

TAD: When did you first become interested in music? Were you always passionate about it as a career or did you (or your parents/family) have other plans for you? When did you first become interested in music? Were you always passionate about it as a career or did you (or your parents/family) have other plans for you?

A: From a very young age I used to play in various school bands, on instruments ranging from the flute to the drums.  I always dreamt of being a musician, though initially I went a more conventional route and studied Architecture at University.

TAD: As well as singing and playing a variety of instruments (including guitar and the flute), you also studied Music Production and Sound Engineering at college. The music business is a tough industry to make your mark in, yet your online popularity seems to have given you an advantageous edge. Would you say your versatility is what makes you unique?

A: I’m not sure how versatile I am!  Certainly it has helped to have had a varied musical background.  I definitely enjoy exploring different musical genres and am constantly experimenting with different options to try to come up with different sounds.

TAD: Who are your musical inspirations? If you had the choice, who would you love to collaborate with one day?

A: My main inspirations have been R&B artists like Craig David, Ryan Leslie and Donell Jones.  Right now if I had to pick a couple of artists whom I would like to collaborate with, I would say Frank Ocean and Miguel, because they are pushing the boundaries and forging a new R&B sound.

TAD: Your song about ‘Aishwarya’s Eyes’ made it to The Times of India! Are you a big Bollywood fan? You were born and brought up in the UK, how strong a connection do you keep to your desi roots? Your version of the popular Bollywood song, ‘Chaiyya Chaiyya’ includes covers of Nicki Minaj’s Superbass. How much does being a British Asian, influence your music?

A: I have become more interested in Bollywood music recently.  Earlier I used to watch the films for their own sake, now I am interested in them more for their soundtracks! I try to keep abreast of all the big Bollywood releases which come out.

I came to the UK at a very young age.   My parents are very Westernised, but I have a lot of British Asian friends.  I think I am fairly in touch with my Desi roots through music and through my friends.   Being a British Asian is the main factor which has influenced my music, because the music I listen to is derived from two different worlds.  This has led me to create music which resonates with other Westernised Asians around the world who represent a fusion of two cultures; this is what makes us unique.

TAD:  How do you handle criticism and rejection?

A:  The more success you have, the more people are exposed to your music and the more criticism you will face, especially when you remake classic songs.  It is important to take on board constructive criticism; you have to be strong-willed enough to take what others have to say without being put off your own course.

TAD: What advice would you give to individuals wishing to embark on music career or those that are struggling to get signed?

A: The advice I would give to individuals who want to embark on a music career is: make sure you learn how the industry operates.  You should not make getting signed your main objective.  You should develop your own sound & brand, and always try to be unique!  Focus on making music and on being you, and let labels come to you.   Use the basic tools available to you in this day and age (i.e. social media) to your advantage and get your music out to the world.

TAD: How do you react to people calling you a role model for independent music artists?

A: It is flattering if anyone considers me a role model.  Having gone the independent route thus far, I can say that one good thing about being independent is that you have complete creative control and can do everything on your own terms, without anyone telling you what to do.  It also means you can connect directly with your listeners/fans.

TAD:  Could you tell us a little bit about your new mainstream single, which is set to be released soon? Will it be available internationally? How do we make sure we know when and where to get our hands on a copy?

A: The mainstream single I hope to release soon is called “Take it Back” and is basically a tribute to old school R&B, since I would like to see R&B brought back in the mainstream.  Rather than follow what is trending and sonically in fashion at the moment, I thought it would be more interesting to carve out my own niche and make music which I genuinely believe in.  If you stay tuned to my social media sites you’ll definitely know when it’s coming out: hopefully it won’t be long now!

Arjun

Make sure you are following Arjun on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Soundcloud!

Still can’t get enough? Here’s his website for more details!

If you liked this post, you may also like:

Chai & Chats with: Roshni Chugani

Chai & Chats with: Pavan Ahluwalia

Chai & Chats with: Malika Garrett

Chai & Chats with: Amilla Javed

Chai & Chats with: Jesbir Bahia

from Destination: Interviews

Happy Durga Puja 

 Happy Kali Puja & Diwali 

from Destination: Celebration

The Asian Destination Links

Follow The Asian Destination on Twitter: @theasiand

‘Like’ us on Facebook: facebook.com/theasiandestination

Follow us on Instagram: @theasiandestination

The Asian Destination Links

Follow The Asian Destination on Twitter: @theasiand

‘Like’ us on Facebook: facebook.com/theasiandestination

Follow us on Instagram: @theasiandestination

Chai & Chats with: Jesbir Bahia

I’m a glass full kind of guy’

Jesbir

Graduating in 2012 and already climbing the corporate ladder, Jesbir Bahia (J) tells The Asian Destination (TAD) how he still keeps up his passion for music and what he hopes the future has in store.

TAD: Tell us a little bit about your new band. What’s the name of your band? How many band members?

J: The new band is a 4 piece, drummer, 2 guitars and a bass. No name as of yet – still working on one.

TAD: What sort of genre of music?

J: Indie, blues, jazz, rock and a bit of funk.

TAD: Do your Asian roots have any influence on the band’s music?

J: Asian roots don’t really influence the band’s music but you never know I might whip out the dhol for a song or two!

TAD: How long have you been a keen drummer? (We seem to remember you trying to teach some Uni friends in the halls library…!)

J: I’ve been drumming since I was 16 so not that long really.

TAD: Did you ever want it to become a career for you?

J: I would have loved for it to turn into a career but unless you get famous in a band or similar– there’s not much money in it. Equally, there are a lot of amazing drummers out there.

TAD: Where is your band performing at the moment? What does the future hold?

J: Not got any fixed gigs planned at the moment but it is still early days. The band has only been together for a few months but hopefully the future will go like so:

  1. Practise and become amazing (overnight if possible)
  2. Play a few gigs – get noticed – then signed.
  3. Get a number one hit within a year.
  4. Have a best-selling album.

-I think that might be a little optimistic but hey I’m a glass half full kind of guy!

Glass half full or not, we’ll be keeping a close eye on Jesbir’s band so stay tuned for regular updates!

If you liked this post, you may also like:

Chai & Chats with: Roshni Chugani , Chai & Chats with: Pavan AhluwaliaChai & Chats with: Malika Garrett and Chai & Chats with: Amilla Javed from Destination: Interviews

Destination: India and Destination: Bangladesh from Destination: Travel

Happy Durga Puja and Happy Kali Puja & Diwali from Destination: Celebration

The Asian Destination Links

Follow The Asian Destination on Twitter: @theasiand

‘Like’ us on Facebook: facebook.com/theasiandestination

Follow us on Instagram: @theasiandestination

Facing The Fear Everyday…Love without limits!

So I’ve been meaning to post a blog that is a bit more personal. A bit more vulnerable. A bit more me.

But the one thing that has been stopping me, is fear.

Fear of being judged, fear of expressing myself properly.

I felt like this the very first time I published a blog post. That scary few seconds before I hit send, my stomach was turning…yet after I had clicked ‘publish’, I got a buzz afterwards. Why? Because I love to write. I wouldn’t blog if I didn’t. I haven’t done many ‘written’ posts in a while (this is hopefully the beginning of more!) But, as some of you may have noticed, each day, there is a new quote hoping to inspire you all on your way through this crazy world we call life.

I love my quotes. I relate to the spoken word in a way like no other. I am one of those rare specimens that require a pen and paper just to make sense of all the thoughts competing for my attention and focus. Many of you reading this will agree and find comfort and inspiration in these quotes, as much as I do. I love hearing how each quote has had a positive impact on your lives; it makes me happy to know that someone’s day has been brightened just by a quote that I’ve found and posted. However, not everyone likes them. Some find them ‘cheesy’ or ‘soppy’ and have given me negative feedback over them. Initially, I took this feedback personally. I hesitated before uploading more, I found shying away from certain quotes I used, just so that I would get more positive feedback and for my content to be liked and accepted.

In doing so though, I realised I wasn’t being true to who I was. Some of these quotes have helped me through some of my toughest periods and denying their impact on my life and my writing, would be denying a part of who I am. What I have come to realise is that you have to do what you love, regardless of the negative feedback. Your passion is worth any hate you receive. Why?

Because when people hate, it’s not because they actually have a problem with you. Whatever they appear to ‘hate’ about you, is actually a reflection of what they ‘hate’ about themselves. The first time I heard this concept, it confused me. Yet, as I thought about it, everything became clear.

In addition to this, every single one of us is trying to forge our own path – we’re doing the best we can given our own unique circumstances. A person is the way they are because of their own individual experiences and so we have no right to judge. All we can really do is to love without limits.

So today: Love & respect & smile. Celebrate being you and keep facing your fears everyday #FAFE!

Love & respect,
Ana at The Asian Destination xo

 

The Asian Destination Links

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What can you do?

P

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