Singer, Actor, Anchor-Emcee, Poet, Performer par excellence Pankhuri Awasthi, the multi-faceted daughter of Sapna Awasthi (who delivered iconic superhit Hindi songs such as ‘Chhaiyya Chhaiyya’ picturised on Shah Rukh Khan and Malaika Arora Khan), has changed her name to Kenisha. Kenisha raps under the moniker ‘BomBaeb’.
Talking about her new name, Kenisha says, “My new name Kenisha means ‘beautiful’, ‘pure’ and ‘prosperous’. My new name defines me to a tee in one single word and that’s essentially what a name should do.”
Kenisha is a singing sensation with drop dead gorgeous looks; beauty with brains who takes up social causes such as rape, Indo-Pak border strife and world change; a poet who wants to change playback singing in Indian cinema; a non-conformist who wishes to make Nikki Minaj style of ‘rap’ singing popular in India and become the female version of trailblazers Honey Singh and Baadshah as she charts a new trail. Elaborating on the name change, she says, “I wanted to be unique and didn’t want to share my name with anyone else in the entertainment and events world. My name has to be in sync with my prime attributes.”The new name was necessitated by the presence of another TV actor who had the same name even though Kenisha is into much more elements in showbiz.
As a spoken word artiste, Kenisha is soon planning to release ‘A Border Drawn In Blood’ which is not about violence but all about peace and harmony. “I strongly believe in democracy, freedom of speech and expression. I believe in human rights, animal rights and gender rights and I believe in co-existence of man, animal and nature in perfect harmony,” she avers.
Kenisha, who debuted with Girish Kumar in a hit Bollywood romantic film ‘Ramaiya Vastavaiya’, directed by Prabhu Deva and produced by Kumar S. Taurani, is known more in event management circles and youtube channels than in Bollywood.For instance, multi-talented Kenisha is a trained singer in both Western and Hindustani classical music genres. She is an alumni of the prestigious True School of Music which is affiliated with The Manhattan School of Music, New York. She has taken private lessons from renowned voice culturist Jennifer D’Souza. She has learnt Hindustani classical under the Kumar GandharvaGharana followed by enrolling in the prestigious Gyan Ashram music school.
Kenisha’s slam poem #RapAgainstRape went viral worldwide and was featured on BBC, Vogue, Marie Claire, Huffington Post and all leading TV channels and publications. Thus kickstarting her music career with a bang! “My YouTube channel is growing by the hour and is hugely popular and loved thanks to my distinct style of singing, glamorous appearance and highly creative videos most of which I conceptualise and direct myself, “she says.
Since the age of 7, Kenisha had a penchant for singing and performing on stage and in events. Music is her life and she loves expressing herself and writing her own songs. After finishing college.she auditioned for STAR CJ and soon after bagged a hugely popular show which she co-hosted alongside VJ Andy. Post this, she hosted a fashion based show on UTV Stars called Style Addict. She is the only emcee who has simultaneously worked with top TV networks such as Channel (V), UTV Stars and UTV Bindassas an anchor as well as celebrated as a Youtube music sensation and featured on BBC London, Canada AM , Huffington Post Live and so so on.
During her anchoring stint on Channel (V) a casting director in TIPS saw her and auditioned her for the role in ‘RamaiyaVastavaiya’. Her stunning looks and talent fetched her the ‘negative’ lead role in the film. The film happened without intent and it was a surreal experience. She got several offers to play ‘dumb bimbette’ roles but she refused all of them.
Kenisha is spontaneous and has very good communication skills. She was an advertising student with a flair for languages – she knows English, Hindi and also Urdu having read (Saadat Hassan) Manto’s works. She believes she is blessed with an incredible gift of the gab. “I combine my glamorous looks with natural wit and spontaneous humor to uplift any event – be it corporate, celebratory or entertainment. With over 500 live events to my credit, I have the experience to handle any kind of audience, in any numbers and for any kind of an occasion which is coming in as very handy with respect to my singing shows now too since now shows singers are required to be full-blown performers and not just mere vocalists. My USP is my versatility as a performer. I do singing and dance shows with my troupe. I am a popular TV Host, a celebrated YouTuber and a spoken word artiste,” says Kenisha.
After the global success of #RapagainstRape, Kenisha came back with an ode to the modern day woman titled Modern Woman – Version 2016. The rap track aims to unveil the mystery of who and what a modern woman is all about while celebrating the evolution of women through the ages.
The video, inspired by American stand-up comedian and social critic George Carlin’s ‘I’m a modern man’, explains the very many attributes of a modern age woman: “A modern woman is a tomboy, a killjoy, a jaywalker, a smooth talker, a seductress and yet a damsel in distress. “I’m in sync but outlandish/ I’m a feminist who loves men/ I’m old school yet a modern great/ I’m fragile but strong willed/ I’m no sinner, I’m no saint/ High on life but not on drugs…”
Last Independence day, Kenisha came up with the Independence Rap #Winyourfreedom. “I wanted to tell people – let no one else decide your freedom. It is your right to be truly YOU. Claim who you are break yourself free from judgments, social diktats, expectations or societal norms. Win your freedom today! says Kenisha.