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Anoushka Shankar enjoyed being backstage at Grammy awards

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Los Angeles: Anoushka Shankar, acclaimed sitarist, said that it was ”fun” being backstage with the people she has admired at the 58th annual Grammy awards. She also presented at the awards ceremony.

“It was really fun being backstage with people I admire and getting to be a part of what many call the ‘real’ Grammys in the daytime, where a truly global and diverse group of artists are represented,” Anoushka, had earlier shared that she is the “first ever Indian musician” to present at the ceremony, said in an email interview.

Anoushka was also nominated for an award in the Best World Music Album category for her solo album “Home” but she couldn’t grab the coveted trophy. This was the fifth time that Anoushka was nominated for the Grammy Awards.

She lost out to Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo.

“I teased Angelique to stop beating me in that category! She’s an amazing artist and woman and deserves every win though,” Anoushka sportingly said about her defeat.

However, she praised Indo-British filmmaker Asif Kapadia for winning Best Music Film award for “Amy”, a documentary on the life of late singer Amy Winehouse.

“Oh, without doubt he deserved that win. ‘Amy’ is an incredible documentary into the life of a unique artist and the trials of an addict. Recovery is something very close to my heart for personal reasons and therefore, the film impacted me greatly,” she said.

The daughter of late sitar player Ravi Shankar said that she enjoyed rapper Kendrick Lamar’s performance the most. Lamar won big with five trophies for his album “To Pimp a Butterfly” at the Grammy Awards, which was held here on Monday.

“Without a doubt, Kendrick Lamar’s visceral and politically-charged performance was my favourite. In the face of controversy around how white the Oscars have been, I felt proud in that moment,” she said.

Anoushka, who is ready with her new album “Land of Gold”, says she is going to tour India later this year to promote it.

“Yes, I will be touring, although not until later in the year. We begin the tour in North America before travelling through Europe and finally India and the Middle East late-autumn onwards,” she added.

The album, which will release on April 1, is said to be her response to the trauma and injustice being experienced by refugees and victims of war, taking inspiration from recent news images of people fleeing civil war, oppression, poverty and unbearable hardship.(IANS)(image-youtube)

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Sam Smith talks about his New Album and reveals he is ‘Insanely Single’

Sam Smith's new single - 'Too good at goodbyes' is about him and about a relationship he was in

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Sam Smith talks about his New Album and reveals he is Insanely Single
Sam Smith talks about his New Album and reveals he is Insanely Single.Wikimedia

September 9, 2017: Singer Sam Smith admits to being “insanely single”.

“This song (his new single – ‘Too good at goodbyes’) is about me and about a relationship that I was in,” the Grammy and Oscar winner Sam Smith said during an interview on Beats 1 station, reports people.com.

“I’m still very, very single. I think I’m even more single than I was when I released ‘In the Lonely Hour’ (his debut album), so I’m insanely single. People are gonna see, this one as I’ve said is about me and something that I’ve gone through,” he added.

Sam Smith said he is more optimistic, both in his love life and songwriting.

“I do feel like I’m ready for something more positive, more than I was,” the star explained.

Sam Smith said,”What I’ve been through relationship wise the last year has made me a lot stronger and I feel like I’ve learned some lessons from it.”

But Smith says his forthcoming album is “not all about me”.

“There are about four songs that are about me and the rest are about different things and different people in my life and what they’ve gone through,” he said.

“Different in my opinions on different things. I wanted to welcome people back in and I want it to be about my voice and about the storytelling of something that I’ve gone through.” Smith Smith confirmed that his next album will be released this year before Christmas. (IANS)

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How advertisements in India are defying gender cliche

Ads playing an effective medium in moulding opinions of society

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How Indian advertisement industry is breaking the gender stereotype

Feb 27, 2017: The most important part of advertisements is the story line and it gives a spur on the social media when the lessons from the story line are timeless. Needless to say, every time a free-spirited ad is released, it not only sparks conversations over the internet but also leaves a viral trail of debates. Just in the same way, some of the Indian advertisements did when they strove to change the mindset of people with regard to gender difference. We often tend to slur women not realizing the essence of being a woman, it takes strength and an indomitable spirit to be a woman. This article will talk about how advertisements in India are leading by example and discarding gender difference.

Let’s recall some of the advertisements that did away with gender difference.

Nike’s recent ‘Da Da Ding’ ad starring Deepika Padukone as one among other female athletes is a powerful ad which got the people talking about giving importance to female athletes as well. It showcased females of a real athletic figure which is not animated and has got nothing to do with ‘legs and butts’.

(A still from Nike’s Da Da Ding advertisement)

The ad portrayed women as fierce and passionate about sports. Once upon a time, Nike’s product catered almost exclusively to marathon runners and then, a fitness craze emerged –and the folks in Nike’s marketing department knew where to mark their next move, an applause for Nike for initiating a spellbinding effort.

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Whisper, Touch the pickle ad

(A still from Whisper Touch the pickle advertisement)

Whisper, Touch the pickle ad is another exemplary of breaking taboos surrounding women’s menstrual cycle. The whisper #Touchthepickle campaign makes an attempt to purge the baseless superstitions owing to Dos and Dont’s in menses. The ad showcases a young girl who dares to touch the pickle while she is on her periods. It conveys a sensible meaning to its viewers to break away these taboos. The ad was lauded internationally and awarded ‘Glass Lion Grand Prix’ award at Cannes International Festival of Creativity.

Many advertisements over the years have sold the cosmetic product but fewer have tried to change the societal conception of beauty. Even fewer have tried to do both, Joy Cosmetic is the brand that did it in India.

(A still from Joy beauty advertisement)
The ad begins with showcasing a well renowned oversized comedian, Bharti Singh asking the viewers “What did you expect, 36-24-36?”, and shuts down body shamers who presumed it to be an ideal body size. The ad conveys effortlessly that an Ideal beauty has nothing to do with body and shape.The advertisement has a sensitive message and is meaningful to its consumers.

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While there is a lot of chaos regarding section 377 in India, Ebay India took an audacious stance through its ad titled “Things don’t judge”.

(A still from Ebay India advertisement)

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Grammy-nominated Sitarist and Composer Anoushka Shankar urges Maharashtra Government to help end to Cruelty to Horses

“Especially in a car-heavy city such as Mumbai, Victorias are out of place. They not only harm animals but also put humans at risk for injury” she added

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Five-time Grammy-nominated sitarist and composer Anoushka Shankar. Wikimedia Commons

Mumbai, December 8, 2016: Five-time Grammy-nominated sitarist and composer Anoushka Shankar has sent a letter on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis urging him to put an end to cruelty to horses.

“I often stay at the Taj but have always been saddened to see Victoria horses struggling to walk on swollen joints while being forced to give so-called ‘joyrides’ which are not joyous at all for them”, she wrote in the letter.

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Anoushka added: “Especially in a car-heavy city such as Mumbai, Victorias are out of place. They not only harm animals but also put humans at risk for injury.”

Recently, following an inspection report submitted by a veterinarian and animal-welfare officers from PETA, Animal Rahat and People for Animals (PFA), the central government advisory body Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) advised the Maharashtra government to present a rehabilitation plan immediately to the Bombay High Court for the Victoria owners, drivers and horses in Mumbai, read a statement.

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This presentation to the court was directed by the Supreme Court on April 24, 2016. AWBI also wrote to the police commissioner of Mumbai urging him to stop cruelty to horses

This is not the first time Anoushka has helped PETA.

In 2011, she appeared in a print ad against keeping animals captive in zoos.

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She also appeared in a public service announcement with her father, late Pandit Ravi Shankar, encouraging the government to increase the currently weak penalty for cruelty to animals, and she performed at the Hyatt Regency in Mumbai exclusively for PETA to raise awareness of the plight of animals in zoos. (IANS)