Interview: Arun Blair-Mangat on the power of paving your own path - CelebMix (2023)

Vonfelipe logan

When the world went on indefinite hiatus in spring 2020 due to the global outbreak of COVID-19, actors, musicians, artists and writersArun Blair-Mangatsuddenly he found himself at a crossroads.

After landing the most moving role of her career to date, inDavid West Leenovo musical, a coming-of-age show featuring music by legendary Swedish pop composermaximum martin, Mangat was a hit - earning rave reviews and gaining a legion of new fans for her portrayal of 'May', Juliet Capulet's wildly wild and gender-nonconforming best friend. A ban on all large West End gatherings was imposed just four months later. The production began to stop the spread of the virus, which has plunged millions of theaters and concert halls around the world into darkness.

Unable to continue living the childhood dream that has now become his reality, but also unwilling to walk away from an industry he worked so hard to be a part of, Arun wisely took a deep breath to look back, reflect and start over. .

Arun Blair - Mangat e Miriam - Teak Lee -I'm not a girl, I'm not a woman yetand juliaOriginal London Cast Recording)

“Life has suddenly become super-regulated, which I know has been very difficult for a lot of people, and that's understandable, I think.allour world seemed to change overnight, didn't it?” reflects Arun in his apartment in Los Angeles, where he has lived since the beginning of winter. "But for me... I don't know, I was really lucky because that free time gave me a sense of freedom to think, play and just be.Perhaps.“

It was during a peaceful moment of clarity a few months after the initial shutdown that Arun said he realized what his next step should be and instead of reprising the role of 'May'and julia, Mangat decided to take a leap of faith and embark on a new adventure that would explore his art in a completely different way. And while he's not sure what his immediate future holds, the firstfancy bootsstar says he was determined not to waste the luxury of "free" time unexpectedly granted him worrying about the stuff of everyday life, choosing to harness the power of the unknown and'dive'into a new world of creation and endless possibilities.

"For the first time in a long time, I feel like I'm finally seeing myself again, and that makes me happy because it's been so hard to get through the fog of the last few years," says Arun of his current state. of mind. "I feel hopeful when I wake up in the morning and I like that, it feels good."

That break in time during the first lockdown gave me a sense of freedom to think, play and be fair.Perhaps.

Arun on how a forced moment of isolation leads to personal and professional transformation.

"There's something different, more exciting in the air..."

For all the uncertainty and fear of change that hangs in the air, there's no denying that the quiet of 2020 has given our world a brief respite from the fast pace we've all become accustomed to. Freed from our daily commitments and without school/work/family or real social commitments to keep, now was the time to ask ourselves questions, review childhood memories, recall forgotten aspirations and ourselves to recall the visions of people we once dreamed of. we were

"At school I really wanted to be a pop star!" Arun laughs when we ask him what his younger self wanted as a child. “A pop star who made movies; that was my goal and that's what i told myselfeto do! He didn't know how he was going to get there and he knew it wouldn't be easy, but he believed that if he worked hard enough, he would eventually get where he wanted to be. This kind of approach to following your dream can be quite scary for some and I might have thought it could be for me too, but for some reason there was something inside of me that allowed me to be happy in every moment and feel content. different life adventures until I reach my goal without really comparing myself to others and without worrying about whether I'm achieving it or not'On the right'Timbre."

Mangat looks back on that period of his life, adding: "Don't get me wrong, it wasn't easy sailing, there were so many near misses and mistakes and I had a lot of opportunities that I thought had the potential to become something, but ultimately never did. At 16, I almost got put in a boy band and almost dropped out of school, then I got cast on a bunch of reality shows and did a few developmental workshops, but it was almost like there was always an obstacle that kept me from going over the line. arrival."

"One of the main problems I encountered was that a lot of times in meetings people wanted me to act a certain way or do certain things to fit a stereotype, and I didn't want that. I always had a very clear idea of ​​what what I wanted to do and, more importantly, who I wanted to be and I never wanted to commit to it because when I did it, I felt like I was the one making less money.. I always felt there is a fine line between commitment and collaboration: sometimes you have to of a little of both, cannot prevail.emof time, and there will be times when you need a little guidance. But I think if you feel like you're losing your art because of the direction others might be taking, then I feel like things can do more harm than good.

"So after all these years working in theatre, it's really nice that now, after all these years in theatre, I choose to do music again because making music is a creative release for me. That way I can express myself without compromise and exploring my feelings. So when I finally got back to writing properly (songs) amidst the chaos of the pandemic, this is how I felt."ohhh... ok, that's missing".“

Interview: Arun Blair-Mangat on the power of paving your own path - CelebMix (2)

With the release of their debut single"immersion"Last October, Arun Blair-Mangat, the recording artist, was officially introduced to the world!

Co-written by Arun, along withjennifer lucie cookYpeter branco, the super-upbeat track lyrically paints a picture of what a night on the town can look like for a post-pandemic person, with its playful and seductive opening verse detailing the singers return to the social scene before transitioning into an Uber catchy, sung chorus that sticks in your mind after listening to it just once.

"I'm a storyteller at heart. I love creating images with my words and that my songs have a kind of narrative that fits my current situation in my life." Arun explains his personalized approach to songwriting. ""immersion"born from where we were two years ago and inspired by my experience coming out of lockdown in the summer of 2020. I remember going to Soho for the first time during that awkward period in the eat-to-help era and it was like! boy in a candy store! My once-familiar surroundings suddenly felt completely new to me, but also a little unsettling.In realityexciting, and I thought it was something other people could relate to, so I wanted to write about it."

As his first offering of original music, the single offered listeners an exciting glimpse into Arun's identity as a contemporary artist in hisownWell, seamlessly fusing the majestic sounds of '70s disco with sonic elements of classic '90s pop to create an undeniably high-end bop that served to perfectly reflect the playful side of Mangat's multifaceted personality.

“Some songs are born out of a feeling, so the lyrics become almost secondary to the emotion they start with, and I love that, I like a heavy baseline and a dance/party floor, weto needin our lives, right?” reflects Arun. "As important as the musical element is to any song, I think personally, as a songwriter, I'm most inspired by the thinking behind the lyrics. But I will say that I believe"immersion"it's the perfect blend of those two things, which is why I know it as my first single - it's the perfect introduction to me as a proud, independent, queer pop artist! And I'm really looking forward to performing it live because as much as I love being in the studio and being creative, I think I come alive when I'm onstage in front of an audience..."

Arun Blair-MangatDiving Back In (Vídeo musical oficial)

As a professional actor and performer who has spent the better part of the last decade under the guidance of some of the most renowned entrepreneurs in the theater world and inhabiting a variety of different characters and personalities, we imagine we now have the opportunity to enjoy the stage as your true self. authentic must be a very freeing feeling for Arun.

"Listen, I love acting and working in musical theatre," says the London native with an infectious smile. "Yes, I love everything about it! I love playing different characters, I love acting as part of a troupe with other performers, and I love singing all these wonderful musical theater songs, but... and here's a but.(laughter). It's not something that always deprives me as a creative person in the sense that you're often a bit like a cog in a machine or part of a much bigger picture of someone.on the contrarycreative vision, which can sometimes mean not having the freedom to explore or bring a character to life the way you want.

“So yes, I have to admit, it was incredibly liberating to be able to act as an artist and a performer.EU, I want to be; instead of an artist playing a role who needs to add a layer of character to every decision he makes as a performer to play a role in a production(laughter).“

Arun pauses for thought and adds, "And please don't get me wrong, this is aTollpresent and awonderfulas a challenge to yourself as an artist and I'm so lucky to have the opportunities I've had in my career and I know it! But I think I've reached a point where I may have hit a wall... and I say that because realistically, at least in musical theater in the UK, there are so many roles that I'm in.'permitted'to play. That may have changed with the racial awakening of the summer of 2020, but I still feel that while it's not necessarily an alibi, there's a sense of"Well, you could be the alternative..."But I'll be honest and say I don't want to be an alternative, I want to be cast on merit and because I can bring something different and unique to a role."

Making music is like a creative release for me; That way, I can express myself and explore my feelings without strings attached.

Arun on the deep inspiration behind his love of writing songs and creating his own music.

"You can change in a moment..."

In a society that expects to be in constant evolution, and as we, as humanity, continue to work to ensure that the mistakes of the past are not repeated in the present, there is a feeling of hope in the air as we enter the new year: united in our position equality as we look to a brighter, more inclusive future. However, it would be remiss not to acknowledge the atrocities and social injustices that many marginalized communities suffered over the course of 18 months. Passionate about righting some of the wrongs his community has faced and supporting those he loves most, Arun admits that now is a great time to speak up and make our voices heard.

“I think we need to start holding people accountable for their actions and letting them know their behavior is unacceptable in 2022,” says Mangat matter-of-factly. "But that doesn't mean you have to be aggressive or argue with people who are yelling, it's just how you approach a situation. I for one willAlwaysBe respectful, courteous and polite but just because I come from a quiet place doesn't mean I'll be afraid to voice my grievances... and ideally I'll do that face to face because I believe so it's really important to look people in the face in discussions like this."

"I say this specifically because so many people are now using social media to express their frustration, which I think can be a very brave thing to do and it's their prerogative to do that. Sometimes I worry why." the negative crowd on these platforms is often so high that your message can sometimes get lost in the noise; and I think that's why so many of us buy into the idea that social media is just a place for people to call each other names and spread hate. However, to flip that idea around, I try to think of social media as the Wild West, and one thing we always have to keep in mind is that obviously there were bad things about the Wild West, but there were also good things. ! I guess what I'm trying to say is that we should always look for the positive in life, because constant focus on the negative will only drag us down. I know it's not always easy, but I promise the positives will abound if you look hard enough."

Arun shows more of that upbeat energy, adding, "Personally, I feel quite empowered and empowered... I'm positively optimistic that change is about to happen."EsCome over! I see and hear a lot of good, wholesome conversations that I love, and I talk/ask about things with a group of people all the time; It's important to remember that we are not alone, we are together, and as I said, I am no longer afraid to speak up and use my voice to support myself.Ymy church and no one else should."

Arun Blair-MangatHazy (official music video)

Having built a wide and diverse social circle of friends and creative collaborators over his decades-long career in entertainment, Arun is part of a thriving community of young artists who are taking control of their own narrative and creating a legacy for themselves. , on their own terms.

"I will always make the people I love shine," smiles Arun proudly. "There are so many talented people out there and I want to celebrate them all and be part of a team of artists that grows together. Society loves to celebrate the person who is already here, but I say"Look to your side", support your friends in their rise and let's win together".

In an industry with a reputation for eating dogs and incredible slit throats, it's refreshing to hear the current consortium of artists actively working as a unit to rewrite the rules for a new generation.

“I firmly believe that you can learn something from every person you meet throughout your life and that what you learn should be passed on”, reflects Mangat. “When I was 6 years old, I entered theChicken Shed Theater Company, and during my time there, my professors introduced me to this new world of creativity that changed me forever. So as a student studying historyLSE University, I found myself in this international academic environment, surrounded by people from all walks of life and backgrounds. There were so many different mindsets, points of view and perspectives to learn from - I suddenly found myself in this place where there was this intersection of culture, community and thought, and while it could be intense at times, the experience was invaluable and played a big role. part of my personal development during my teens and early 20s.”

“Transitioning into the world of musical theater and learning a whole new discipline and way of working has given me a great understanding and a completely different perspective on what it means to be a professional actor and how to adapt and respond to the energy that you feel coming from you. must. of an audience to give their best possible performance.”

“Participate in programs likefancy boots,on the heightsYThe train, taught me a lot, and of courseand julia... I mean, honestly, that whole experience and my time on this show was a huge turning point for me. Not only was I immediately excited by the prospect of playing the part'He can'and having the opportunity to shine a light on his message on a West End stage in a mainstream musical, but it also inspired and pushed me to explore the worlds of pop and R&B and write my own music where I feel it meets the future."

"That person will always find their way..."

Interview: Arun Blair-Mangat on the power of paving your own path - CelebMix (3)

“My mom says that when I was born I had this super serious expression on my face and an aura of wise energy around me.” Arun recounts his arrival in the world in August 1991, when we began to project our thoughts into the future. “As a child I was always very, very shy, I remember hiding a lot behind people and finding that I felt much more comfortable and safe at home in a familiar environment. But over time and through discovering the arts and all the amazing people I met, I got over it and became the person I am today."

“Circumstances change as they should and situations present themselves as a way to help you grow and develop – these last 2/3 years have changed me; The pandemic has helped me shift my perspective so I can see my own worth as an artist, and my time in the studio has given me the fuel to move on to the next phase of my career."

Looking happy, content and at peace, Arun adds, "What I'm doing right now, writing songs and making music, is what I want to do for the rest of my life! I want to be innovative, I want to push boundaries and I want to be myself with no strings attached. !”

“I don't know where this life will take me, but I sincerely believe that happiness is found in the surprise of an unknown journey. And whatever happens... I'm ready for it!

Let us know what you think of Arun Blair-Mangat on Twitter@CelebMixNow!


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