About

asifheadPG Diploma in acting- East 15 Acting School, University Of Essex, UK.

Beginnings:

Asif Ali Begs’ professional career as an entertainer began way back in 1982 as a singer on an international cruise liner. Subsequently he sang regularly at a nightclub with his own band ‘Jukebox’ and then joined a popular gig band ‘Aqua Flow’ doing cover tunes. Tired of being what he called a Xerox machine, he started his own band ‘Mantra’ and in 1997 he released his debut album of original Hindi pop songs called ‘Jantar Mantar’. As ‘Mantra’ he has regaled audiences with his performances all over India and abroad.

Theatre:

It was through his music that he developed a passion for the stage and he believes that “Deep down inside, every singer has got to be an actor as well.” Asif has played key roles in

Othello(directed by Alyque Padamsee),

Tara(directed by Alyque Padamsee),

Alibaba and Baablu the Bear (musical-directed by Raell Padamsee)

Jaya(musical-directed by Lillete Dubey),

The Big A (musical-directed by Madhulika Verma)

Rendezvous with Guess Who (musical-directed by Poonam Sareen)

The Soldiers Tale (musical-directed by Mahesh Mahbubani)

Jesus Christ Superstar (musical-directed by Rahul Dacunha)

Platonov (directed by John Gillett- UK)

The Gut Girls (directed by John Wood-UK)

Machinal (directed by Paul Lampert-UK)

Widows (directed by John Gillett-UK)

On the Street where you live (musical-directed by Etienne Coutinho)

The Ballad of Bandora (directed by Etienne Coutinho)

Zen Katha (directed by Lillete Dubey),

Sammy(directed by Lillete Dubey),

Room No.420 (directed by Narendra Kumar)

Once Upon A Tiger (musical-directed by Jaimini Pathak)

The Day I met the Prince (musical-directed by Jaimini Pathak)

The Alchemist (musical-directed by Mahesh Dattani)

A Slight Ache (directed by Salim Ghouse)

CSW  diversity management through interactive theatre.

Kennedy Bridge (directed by Khalid Mohammed)

He also leads the cast of ‘On Broadway’ a musical production featuring the hits of Broadway.

All in the Timing (directed by Faezeh Jalali)

A Kind of True Story-(directed by Kalyani Hiwale)

Jesus Christ Superstar (2014 revival-directed by Alyque Padamsee)

Charge– directed by Yuki Ellias

The Merchant of Venice-directed by Vickram Kapadia

The Dancing Donkey-directed by Lilette Dubey

Loretta-directed by Sunil Shanbag

Asif has also worked as an actor in ‘corporate training programmes’ through theatre with

CSW (an American based corporate training programme)

STEPS (UK based corporate training programme)

Theatre education:

He was awarded the Charles Wallace scholarship from the British Council in 2001 to study acting in the UK. He graduated from the East 15 Acting School, University of Essex in July 2002. After his graduation he was even selected for a role in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical production ‘Bombay Dreams’ but could not take it up because of stringent immigration laws. However, Asif was happy to return home to India and since then has been scripting and directing plays for schools as well as coaching young talent. He has collaborated on scripting and directing productions for various schools and corporates including

The Bombay Scottish school,

J.B.Petit School,

The Apostolic Carmel school,

Learners Academy,

The St.Paul Society,

Hill Springs International,

Dhirubhai Ambani International School,

Cargo Service Centre,

Podar International School

Snehasadan

YPO (Young Presidents Organization)

CCDT- (Committed Communities Development Trust)-an NGO that works with underprivileged children

 

Voice animation and dubbing:

Asif has lent his vocal talent as a dubbing artiste for the voice of ‘Winnie the Pooh’ and several other Disney characters on the Disney channel.

Besides this he also dubbed for the voice of Roger Rabbit in ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’, Pleakely in ‘Lilo and Stich’, ‘Ice Age 3/4’, ‘Happy Feet’, ‘The Smurf Movie’, ‘Madagascar’, ‘Cars’, ‘Frozen’ and several other productions. He received the AVA award for the ‘most innovative use of voice talent’ for his rendition of the voice of Edna Mode in the Disney animation feature “The Incredibles” starring Shahrukh Khan. He was the English language supervisor for Indias first animation blockbuster ‘Hanuman’ and part of the vocal supervision team for another animation serial entitled ‘Little Krishna’. He is actively involved in translation, direction and dubbing of animation serials and features for ‘Cartoon Network’ and The ‘Disney’ Channels.

Asif also regularly conducts workshops in voice culture and voice modulation, where he trains people from various walks of life to maximize their vocal potential by proper breathing and improving their articulation, placement of vowels and consonants, intonation, projection, etc. He regularly works with “Sound and Vision India” spearheaded by Mona Ghosh Shetty and “The Learning Curve” led by Dr.Manju Sampat. He has also taught voice at the Drama School Mumbai.

 

Lyricist:

Besides being a talented singer and actor, Asif is also a master with lyrics having written for his own band Mantra as well as artistes such as Mehnaz, Viva, Ganesh Hegde and Himesh Reshammiya. With the current ‘Hinglish’ trend in Bollywood, it wasn’t long before Asif’s talent as a lyricist was recognized and as lyricist, his hit songs include:

Dhoom Machale (English version by Tata Young)-Dhoom 2 Yashraj productions

Dhoom again-Dhoom 2- Yashraj Productions.

I just wanna spend my life with you-Neal’n’Nikki-Yashraj productions

Show me the Money-Apna Sapna Money Money-Subhash Ghai

Mahiya-Awaraapan-Mukesh Bhatt

Victoria no.203-Victoria No.203-Kamal Sadanah

Dance With me-Aja Nachle-Yashraj Productions

Break Free-KRAZZY-4-Rakesh Roshan

Dil Mera Jumbo– Jumbo –Percept Picture Company

Tandoori Love- Indo Swiss Production directed by Oliver Paulus (all songs)

Bollywood Lasst Alpen Gluhen– a German tv film directed by Holger Haase (all songs)

Luck- starring Shruti Hassan daughter of  South Indian star, Kamal Hassan.

Teen Patti-Title Track-Serendipity Films

Kites– (5 Tracks)-Anurag Basu

And Once Again– directed by Amol Palekar.

Rakhta Charitra-directed by Ram Gopal Verma

Queens-Dance of Destiny- directed by David Atkins.

Chatur Singh-Chatur Singh 2 star-directed by Ajay Chandok

Sons of Ram-an animated feature directed by Kushal Ruia

Viswaroopam-directed by Kamal Hassan

Bhaag Milka Bhaag-directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

 

Adfilms :

Cherry Blossom shoe polish

Vicks Cough drops

Dishnet

Four Square cigarettes(press)

Childrens program on POGO channel

HT-Hindustan Times

American Fruits

Claro Pens

Sita Paan masala

McDonalds

‘The Suite life of Karan and Kabir’ for the Disney channel

Vodafone

Colgate toothpaste

Snapdeal.com

Cadbury’s gems BFF pack

Pureit water purifiers

Airtel Twin pack

Red Label Tea

Luminous Fans

Manyavar Clothing Store

Mentos

 

Feature Films:

Shamitabh-mainstream Bollywood feature directed by R Balki

Basmati Blues– (to be released) directed by Danny Baron (USA)

Taj Mahal- (to be released French film) directed by Nicolas Saada

Saving Tiger India– (to be released Independent American film) directed by Lena Khan

Viceroy’s House-(to be released British feature film directed by Gurinder Chaddha)

Trapped-Bollywood feature film directed by Vikramaditya Motwane


From music to acting to ad films to lyrics, Asif believes all the world is a stage and unabashedly challenges the old cliché ‘Master of all, Jack of none’. For whatever he chooses to undertake, he gives it nothing but his very best. Asifs’ mantra echoes the words of his acting coach in the UK “Generality is the enemy of art, God is in the detail!

 

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