“Vancouver is beautiful as always, I consider it my second home.” – Vinay Virmani
Vancouver: Vinay Virmani and Manj Musik were in Vancouver last week for the India Live event hosted by South Asian Family Association. Both the artists spoke with Asian Journal about their upcoming projects.
Asian Journal: Your debut film was Breakaway, how you feel about its success?
Vinay: I made my debut with Breakaway, it was made in 2011. In Canada it has become a cult film. It’s called Punjabi Hockey movie. It’s a special film because it had a very important message, it was universal message. It was loved by Punjabi community but even went beyond that, it crossed over to other communities. I am really proud of it.
Asian Journal: You have a done Bollywood movie too? Will your fans be able to see you in a Bollywood Masala movie?
Vinay: Yes, I did David. It was an amazing story. It’s was an edgy movie as far as India is concerned. The movie was directed by Bijoy Nambiar. I look for a good script, and if someone in Bollywood thinks that I am their masala hero then I will consider it (Smiles)!
Asian Journal: Does Breakaway have reflections of your own life?
Vinay: Yes, Breakaway has lot of moments that are inspired from my life and my friends around me. Lot of hockey boys in the film represented my friends that I have grown up with. It deals with issues that happen between Indo Canadian kids and parents who have migrated. The film shows the generation gap. The school boards feel that it’s a good film to show to the kids and guide them when they are going through similar conflicts of identity in home and school. Two years running now, its most highly requested film by school boards to show to kids. It deals with issues of bullying, tolerance, parents, communication, sports. That for me is bigger than any box office success. This makes me proud.
Asian Journal: Is there any film that you would like to remake? Like you wish you were part of and would like to make it again?
Vinay: Oh Wow! That’s a tough question. There are so many movies. I don’t have a film right on top of my mind which I would like to remake, but someday I will have an answer for you on that one.
Asian Journal: Now you are working in Salman Khan Production? What’s the story behind Dr. Cabbie?
Vinay: Dr. Cabbie is a journey for me that started by taking a cab ride in Toronto. The cabbie was a doctor back in India and he told me about his struggle with his residency. This and many more incidents inspired the movie. Immigrants who are doctors, engineers and professionals in their home country experience tough life here initially. The story is about a young man who is a doctor and immigrates here and how does not let anything to come between him and his dream. It’s a story about not giving up your dreams and making things work. It’s a fun film, a comedy. We want the message to be delivered in fun and light manner.
Manj: Thank you; we are releasing new music every Monday. This is another brand, different from RDB, its difficult but we are doing it. We want to establish the brand Manj Musik.
Asian Journal: You are no more performing as RDB, how do you plan to keep the legacy of RDB alive?
Manj: I can actually keep RDB alive; I can keep on performing under the same banner. But I don’t want people to point fingers at RDB when a song by RDB is not success now, after Kuly Bhajji.I don’t want people saying that RDB is flop because Kuly is not here. So it is easier to keep RDB up there where it is on the top. So if my song flops then it will be my failure, people will say that Manj Musik’s song flopped. I want to keep the RDB’s brand value intact Kuly and I worked hard to make it a brand. We wanted to stay on top forever.
Asian Journal: When you were part of RDB you were part of Bollywood in big way, so is Manj Musik going to keep the same focus?
Manj: The Bollywood has not changed, over the years Kuly and I had formed relationships in Bollywood and mainstream like Snoop Dog and in future you are going to hear more Bollywood music from me.
Asian Journal: What inspires you to make music, sing?
Manj: My inspiration is my fans. Then there are people who hate you. So both the energies keep me going, the love inspires me and hate motivates me to do better and show the people who don’t like my music that I am a winner. Singing was not my aim; producing music was my intial passion. Singing happened on the way and now I like it.
Asian Journal: What is the difference you feel when you perform in India or here in Canada? Do you select your songs based on locations?
Manj: Song selection in India and Canada is very different. In India, Bollywood is strong. But it is only the place where I can perform in Punjabi, Hindi and people will enjoy. In Surat, Gujarat, I performed Punjabi songs, the predominately Gujrati speaking audience did not understand the words but they enjoyed music for almost 3 hours. But if I am performing in Surrey, then it will be majorly Punjabi songs. I have done two new songs with Dr. Cabbie as well, one being ‘Dal Makhani’. I am looking forward to the release.