Nihal - Promoting Asian talent
By Easwaran Rutnam
He is a Sri Lankan born radio presenter breaking the airways on
international radio with his unique style and repertoire.
Nihal Attanayake, better known as DJ
Nihal, is a top notch radio presenter on BBC Radio One, presenting a
weekly urban music program titled 'The Nihal and Bobby Friction
show' together with his co-host Bobby Friction, which is fast
gaining popularity in Britain.
The show, which picked up a prestigious
gold Sony Award for 'Best Specialist Radio Show,' spotlights a mix
of the hottest Asian beats and flavas which has made them the
hottest and most in demand names on the scene in Britain.
A true patriot is Nihal, who makes
every attempt to give deserving Sri Lankan talent publicity on his
show and the biggest sensation in Colombo, Iraj, is among those
featured. Nihal told The Sunday Leader there is lot of excellent
talent in the Sri Lankan music industry which is just beginning to
gain ground after Bathiya and Santush and now Iraj opened the gates.
The Sri Lankan born DJ, who is all set
to tie the knot in August, has always worked in the music industry
initially as a performer in a band before becoming a highly
respected and knowledgeable music plugger with his own business. He
is regularly sought after to make guest appearances on music based
shows in Britian where he can share his expertise and communicate
with the audience in his funny and informative way.
Among the top notch British shows
presented by Nihal is 'The Drop,' which was a funky hip hop show
filmed for MTV and 'Webwise' with Emma B, a live youth and popular
culture show for BBC2. In addition to his broadcasting skills Nihal
is also an excellent music journalist, writing for a number of music
magazines in London and is now working on his record label.
"I'm gathering up some Asian
talent in Britain for an album that will be out very soon,"
Nihal revealed. He has also promoted leading international acts such
as Judge Jules, Mos Def, Beanie Man, and Elton John.
With his funky image Nihal has done a
bit of modeling and in his spare time DJs at several night clubs in
London. He has been to Sri Lanka several times over past couple of
years guest DJing for open air gigs in Colombo, the most notable
being 'Party in the Park.'
Nihal, who has been on the BBC Radio
One show with Bobby since it was launched in October 2002, says he
wants people to understand that Asian kids can produce great music
just the same as black kids and white kids. His heartfelt ambition
is to bring Sri Lankan hip hop music to the international arena and
give it the recognition it rightly deserves.
"With lots of hard work and
dedication, hopefully you will see a Sri Lankan track or two on the
UK and US charts," Nihal said with determination in his voice.
Bobby Friction is a DJ / artist who
pioneered the club Kizmit, a leading London club, and was a
resident DJ at another well known British club which showcased
new Asian talent and sounds.
He was also a DJ at the equally
renowned Shaanti in Birmingham, the first Asian club outside
of London which completely redefined the British Asian musical
experience. He is now in the middle of finishing off his debut
album under the guise Bobby Friction & The Infinate Scale.
Bobby has also recorded tracks with the
Mercury Music Award nominated Black Star Liner, starred in the
BBC documentary This England and most recently launched his
new monthly club night which showcases breaking new Asian
acts, and is described as a desi and underground musical
Bobby just finished various remixes
with studio partner Infinite Scale. Their latest remix was the
infectious Bhangra Knights track (from the Peugeot advert)
currently riding high on the British national charts.
eyes' all set to rock Sri Lanka
By Dr. Thushara Senanayake
Engelbert Humperdinck, the king of
romance will be here in Sri Lanka on June 11,
at Water's Edge
for a one-off performance.He is being brought down by Sound Station
Entertainment Ltd., the latest promoters in town.
Engelbert was born on May 2, l936, in
Madras, India as Gerry Dorsey. He spent 30 years of his life there
along with his nine brothers and sisters and was raised and educated
in Leicester, UK and worked as a factory engineer after his
education.Then he served in the army before his arrival in London
where he lived over a furniture shop in pathetic circumstances - and
eleven months occupying a hospital bed.
Then in 1960, he met Gordon Mills, the
man who discovered and managed Tom Jones.
Mills, who hailed from Wales was a member of the Viscounts
and he abandoned the group when he discovered Tom Jones. Mills had
faith in Dorsey and signed him on.The first thing that Mills did was
change Dorsey's name to Engelbert Humperdinck as a tribute to the
A few records released by Humperdink in
the early and mid 1966 sunk without trace but Humperdink was not
deterred by this failure and he kept on cutting records.Then at the
latter part of the year, Mills suddenly remembered Ray Price's
country-style version of Release Me, which he heard when he visited
America a year earlier. Price's version of Release Me was virtually
unknown in England at that time. Mills suggested that Engelbert
should record this song, so he did it.
History was about to be made.
Engelbert's Release Me skyrocketed to the charts at the number 39
position in the UK on January 26, 1967.Within a few weeks, it was at
number one and stayed on top for six weeks. Release Me altogether
stayed on the UK singles chart for 56 consecutive weeks, a record
that no one has broken so far. In addition to this, in the UK,
Release Me stopped Beatles from having a number one with what is to
be their best 45 rpm record Strawberry Fields Forever / Penny Lane.
Release Me was the ticket to America
for Engelbert (and further hits there earned him a visa to settle
down there). His first album issued in America peaked at number
seven on the billboard charts and remained in the top 100 for over
two years - 118 weeks to be precise.Release Me further broadened the
horizons for Engelbert. ATV Chief, Lord Grade gave Engelbert a
chance to headline at the London Palladium and a world-wide
television series. His Las Vegas cabaret debut caused a crowd
eruption from screaming admirers and he became one of the highest
paid performers on the Nevada circuit.
In May 1967, Engelbert crashed the
charts again with one of the best ballads in the history of music,
There Goes My Everything.
This peaked at the number two position on the UK singles
The album Release Me earned him many
rave reviews and in the UK, it peaked at number six in May 1967. In
August 1967, The Last Waltz entered the UK singles chart and stayed
there for a good five weeks.
1968 dawned with Am I That Easy To
Forget and then came the number 2 single A Man Without Love in April
the albums front, The Last Waltz and A Man Without Love made a big
impact. The album A Man Without Love featured three of his much
loved songs, Spanish Eyes, Quando Quando Quando and Walk Through
This World With Me. A Man Without Love made it to number three on
the albums chart after its release in August l968.
Many hits followed after that,
including Les Bicyclettes De Belsize, The Way It Used To Be, Winter
World Of Love, My Marie, Sweetheart, Love Is All and Another Time
Another Place. Another of his songs, Ten Guitars, a staple at the
Sri Lankan weddings, couldn't hit the chart but it became a
In the late seventies, Engelbert
changed his manager. Harold Davidson, a Londoner, stepped into the
shoes of Gordon Mills. Davidson was the manager of Frank Sinatra too
at that time and still agreed to manage Engelbert. He moved to
California to manage Engelbert and became his best friend. Engelbert,
who is a multi-millionaire by now bought late Jayne Mansfield's
mansion surrounded by a heart shaped swimming pool on Sunset
Boulevard, Beverly Hills and went to reside with his wife Cynthia
and four children and stayed there till recently. In 1981 he bought
a big estate in Leicestershire, UK where he now resides.
In the late eighties, he came to the
limelight with the
heart warming Torero and danceable Dancing To The Radio.
Later on, he was seen in the Las Vegas night club circuit and
in 2004 he released his latest album Let there Be Love. Now in
2005,the king of romance, Engelbert Humperdinck is ready to rock Sri
Sound Station Entertainment Ltd. is the
arm of the Access Group headed by Jeevan de Silva and Jude de
Vallier. They are the ones who are responsible for the
concert, Air Supply - Live In Colombo which became a
big success. Air Supply - Live In Colombo was their first
project and they hope to repeat the same success with
Engelbert - Live In Lanka.
The Engelbert show would be their
second and they hope to bring down many more big and popular
acts to Sri Lanka and put our country in the music map and
show the world that Sri Lanka is a good place for live
Sound Station Entertainment Ltd. is a
100% Sri Lankan owned entity. Sound Station handles all its
projects professionally from the time of arrival of the act
till its departure. For the audience, they provide the best of
the sound and lighting systems and ensure the optimum
entertainment for the money that they spend.
Sound Station Entertainment Ltd. also
has plans of infiltrating the local music arena by organising
a few hi-energetic concerts for Sinhala music fans.
By Risidra Mendis
It has been said, "There are only
four questions of value in life. What is
sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for? And
what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same: only
However, opinion is divided. While some
believe in love fervently, others consider it a fate - believe it or
not - worse than death.
Is the mystery of love greater than the
mystery of death? And is love the only thing really worth living
Says David Lasater, "I have died
many a death in love, and yet, had I not loved, I would never have
lived at all."
To some falling deeply in love and
enjoying those moments, even if they may not last long is an
experience in itself. Such people are willing to go through days,
weeks or even months of mental trauma just to be able to say that
they like many others have experienced the wonders that love can
Falling in love is no doubt a wonderful
thing, as the power of love and the feelings that come with it make
you get caught up in a world of your own. People who claim to be
deeply in love are known to have taken irrational decisions that
have in some cases spelled doom to the relationship itself. However
for many falling in love and experiencing the pros and cons it
brings is worth the pain, heartache and distress.
"It is better to have loved and
lost than never to have loved at all" is a saying that many of
us have heard over and over again. But for those of us who have
never experienced true love the popular saying "what you don't
know cannot hurt you" would truly be a relief to hear.
Fortunate or unfortunate we may be, going through life unawares of
the feelings love and their unbelievable wonders could bring would
surely be a blessing in disguise.
For those of us bold enough to take the
chance to love and suffer the consequences would consider those
opting for death as cowards in comparison. But in reality those
opting for death would in the long run suffer less than those trying
to cope with the breakup of a strong love affair.
Marina de Silva has had the fortune or
misfortune of experiencing the break up of a long love affair. Her
love affair that lasted six years ended in separation last year. For
de Silva the experience and trauma she suffered during the break up
of the affair has resulted in her not wanting to love again.
"It is hard to explain what I'm
going through right now. If you have had a strong and genuine love
relationship for many years that ended in separation you will
understand what I'm going through" says de Silva.
Nalin Abeysuriya on the other hand is
more of an experimenting sort. His belief is that if you are
unsuccessful the first time round in love you should try again.
"It may not be easy to get
involved in another relationship as soon as you break up with your
partner. But I think it is important that you try very hard to make
up your mind and move on" explained Abeysuriya.
Still, it seems that love has become
something that is feared more than death.
According to Shehara Wickramasuriya
choosing the option of death rather than suffering from a broken
love relationship is her way of thinking.
"Why would I want to suffer
mentally and even end up in a hospital for days or weeks when I have
the option death? The mere idea of falling in love gives me the
creeps. I have seen the suffering and trauma that some of my close
friends have gone through just because they wanted to experience
this great thing that everybody calls love. I don't think it is
worthwhile to go through such pain. I fear the wonders of love
because I have seen how seriously it can affect people's lives. But
in the case of death I would be caught unawares and that suits me
But strange as it may seem, for most of
us love and death are unavoidable circumstances in life.
'n roll: Alive and kicking!
The pulsating sounds of
electric guitars and the
thumping beats of drums began to fill the room full of head
banging rock enthusiasts as the battle for rock supremacy began. The
much anticipated `The Clash Of The Titans' last weekend saw two
leading rock bands in the caliber of Stigmata and Paranoid Earthling
thrash it out on stage to prove rock and roll is very much alive.
Pieced together by The Rock Company,
'The Clash Of The Titans' lived up to its expectations as an event
not to be missed as both bands played an excellent selection of rock
hits which included some original tracks that knocked you off your
Opening the event were the four
Paranoid boys from Kandy, better known as Paranoid Earthling led by
Milshad Buckman who opened with an orchestrated guitar act that
brought down the walls of the Women's International Hall.
Apart from a few cover versions
Paranoid Earthling went on to perform some of its original tracks,
which included Bringing Down The Sun, Pull Me Under and Highway and
the crowd favorite 69 (not to be mistaken for Summer Of '69).
Speaking after their performance, Buckman told Now the band was more
than satisfied with the response they got from the audience,
especially for their original tracks.
The Kandy boys also launched their EP
at the gig, which Buckman says focuses heavily on the youth of the
hill capital who are slowly but surely diverting from the
traditional cage that they were entrapped in.
"Unlike in Colombo the youth of
Kandy are still narrow minded and trapped in a lifestyle that is
surrounded by tradition and culture. Paranoid Earthling wants to
help them get out of that lifestyle and experience life to the
fullest," Buckman said with determination.
With this in mind, Paranoid Earthling
is hoping to re-launch their EP at the next Rock Saturday, which
will be staged, in Kandy on June 25.
The audience at 'The Clash Of The
Titans' was also given a chance to win a couple of CDs of the EP. To
win they had to scream at the top of their voice. After a few
demonstrations by Rock Company acts, including the vocalist from
Insanity who showed how it should be done with an excellent scream,
a member of the audience proved his ability and walked away a happy
man with a CD in hand.
Unfortunately, despite many attempts by
the compere of the show, no one came forward to make an attempt and
claim the second CD that went a begging. That brought on stage
probably the most sought after rock outfit in town, Stigmata, led by
the charismatic Suresh De Silva.
Stigmata had the audience going berserk
with its repertoire of hits including tracks from its debut album
Hollow Dreams. The occasional conversations Suresh had with some of
the audience members while on stage and his stunning stare during
his performance added spice to the mind-blowing event.
Stigmata guitarist Adrian was in a
class of his own, in more ways than one, attracting the humorous
cheers of the audience during the performance.
As the head banging continued
throughout the night, the question asked at the end was, who won
'The Clash of the Titans'? Paranoid Earthling or Stigmata?
Well, I think it's fair to say rock
music was the ultimate winner!
By Jamila Najmuddin
As a first timer at a rock concert, the
environment and the sound of the
thumping guitars got me into a funky mood.
Although at first the room was silent
with the crowds filing in at a turtle's pace, the atmosphere created
by the two bands was amazing.
Seated for over 45 minutes for the
first band - Paranoid Earthling - to begin their performance, the
wait was entertaining with band members from both the Paranoid
Earthlings and Stigmata running around for last minute preparations.
With lights switched off, it was
amusing to see someone switch them on, only to have the band members
screaming "switch off the lights."
As the performance began, the music was
intense and hard hitting but with the crowds pouring in slowly, many
chose to stand at the back initially instead of head banging upfront
- that came later on in the night, with a push from the back getting
the crowds moving towards the stage.
All in all, the concert was great and
got the crowd on its feet. And for me, it was an amazing night as I
sat back with a grin on my face, glad that I finally made it to a