Meet the contenders of South Asia's Got Talent 2013!
Contender #1 : Pehchaan
Pehchaan is merely a group of friends, which originated from Ryerson University, where each friend holds a unique talent within itself. Each band member of Pehchaan is a finger individually and together we become a fist. A fist of multiple talents, that holds the strength and capability of winning people’s heart. All of the band members are music enthusiasts instead of being fame loving. Our band is heavily influenced by Sir Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Junoon the band, they are both different genres but both of them are well known for presenting a perfect blend of Sufism, classical music and rock music which is what we as Pehchaan admire and follow. Having said that Pehchaan is also a very fun loving band, so we resort to Pakistani/Indian Punjabi songs to get the crowd going and leaving a memory in their hearts till the next time.
Contender #2 : Ami Smitesh Modi
The lovely Ami Modi is an ex lecturer at the historic M. S. University. A rare combination of classical training and exceptional performance, Ami has extensive wide knowledge and experience of teaching techniques and voice culture. She has gotten her Masters in Music and has several music based articles published in “Bhairavi” magazine. Ami’s passion in classical music has led her to kickstarting an academy called Suravali where she conducts workshops on various aspects on music education and performances of Indian classical music, light music, devotional music,folk music, marriage songs, Prarthanasabha, bollywood songs, Gujarati sugam sangeet, Rajasthani songs NS Gujarati traditional Raas-garba.
Contender #3 : Gujju Fusion
“Dance is a form of escape from the reality of the world to an ethereal realm of infinite artistic possibilities. Combined with the harmonies of music an eruption of joy is poured out via the artistry of dance. Dance is the center of my unending peace and happiness.” – Gira Patel
“Our group really enjoys learning all forms of dance, especially traditional folk dance, because it gives us a chance to learn more about our culture.” – Ayush Patel
GUJJU FUSION is a Dance group that has showcased their dance talent such as Bollywood, Western, Hip Hop and Gujarati Folk Dance in NAASS of Toronto Inc.’s annual community events for the past 9 years. Gira Patel has been instructing various age groups for the past 15 years. As a self-taught dancer herself, she has become proficient in various types of dance forms. Her hope is, for their and other Canadian born children to take interest in Indian Bollywood and Regional Folk Dance fused with Western style music and learn culture through dance.
Contender #4- Shawn “Dholi” Bhela
“Music is not a talent. It is a RELIGION for the ones who believe to achieve!” – Shawn
Shawn Bhela also known as Shawn Dholi, is a well known and aspiring young artist in the South Asian community of the GTA. At the young age of 12, he eats, lives and breathes music, not just playing the Dhol, but also dabbling with the Tablas, Harmonium and now, even music production. His skill and passion for the Dhol has taken him to levels beyond anything he ever imagined. Having performed at renowned stages and events such as DESIFEST at Yonge and Dundas Square (from 2007-2013), MASALA MEHNDHI MASTI at Harbourfront (from 2007-2011), IIFA AWARDS at Rogers Centre (2011), to name a few, as well as frequent banquets and conventions, Shawn has the energy, skill and charisma to ignite any stage or dance floor he sets foot on, with his Indian drum.
Contender #5- Contemporary Singer Shrija
They said man would never fly and women would never vote. They were wrong and it’s up to us to keep proving ourselves right. So dare to believe and dare to hope because change is yet to come. – Shrija Srivastava
Shrija is a young talented singer who has made a name for herself in the Canadian music scene. She captivates her audience with her unique voice and onstage performance. In 2011, she was crowned Bollywood Idol which gave her many opportunities to showcase her talent. She has performed on various platforms including sharing the stage with Alka Yagnik and Shafqat Amanat Ali.
Shrija shows her versatility by singing English as well as contemporary and Indian classical songs. She has learned Indian Classical Music for 6 years which has added dimensions to her voice. Shrija also enjoys writing songs and bringing them to life with her guitar.
Contender #6- Boss Bhangra
In 2010, a small but diverse group of students, many of which did not have any competitive Bhangra experience, decided to come together to learn the art of Bhangra. This group eventually came to be known as Boss Bhangra. Boss has primarily focused its work on giving back to the community, especially by performing at charity events and community festivals. Since its inception, Boss has expanded its team to include dancers of all ages from Toronto and the GTA. It is worth mentioning the ethnic diversity of Boss’ team, which includes dancers of Caucasian, Chinese, Filipino, Latin American and South Asian origins. Boss has also transcended the barriers of the typical Bhangra performance style by integrating ideas and concepts never seen before in the world of Bhangra. Boss will be sure deliver a unique, refreshing, and incredibly groundbreaking performance on the SAGT stage. We look forward to seeing you all there!