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Preeya Kalidas (born 21 June 1980) is a British singer and actress. She previously played Amira Masood in the soap opera EastEnders. Having done so, she returned to her career in singing, with her single "Shimmy" being released in July 2010 taken from her debut album (I'm Over It) Constant Craving, supposed to be released in September 2010.
Preeya was born to Gujarati parents in Isleworth, and was raised in Twickenham, south-west London. Her father is an independent financial adviser, and her mother works for British Airways. She started ballet classes at the age of three, and tap at five. She then trained at the Sylvia Young Theatre School in London. She also trained at Songtime Theatre Arts.heritage.
Kalidas first appeared on screen in the drama Googleyes. She went on to play Usha in a short film called Jump Boy in 1998, directed by Menhaj Huda and written by Harsha Patel. After a number of parts in films and on television, including East is East, Bollywood Queen, My Family and Casualty, in 2002 she appeared as Monica in Gurinder Chadha's film Bend It Like Beckham. She then played the female lead Priya in the Andrew Lloyd Webber-produced show Bombay Dreams, written by A.R. Rahman, Meera Syal and Don Black. She also appeared in the BBC Television series Bodies as Dr. Maya Dutta.
In 2007, Kalidas landed the female lead in a West End revival of Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Appearing as the narrator, she performed with Lee Mead, who won the title role of Joseph in BBC One's Any Dream Will Do talent search series. The same year, she appeared in the multi-award-winning Channel 4 miniseries Britz. In 2009, Kalidas appeared in the second series of BBC One's Mistresses, and joined EastEnders in April of that year as Amira Shah, the girlfriend, and later wife of Syed Masood. In January 2010, she decided to quit EastEnders to pursue a pop career. Her final episode was broadcast on 26 April 2010. In July 2011, Kalidas revealed that she would be returning to EastEnders in the latter part of 2011. Kalidas, then left the show in March 2012. In September 2012, it was announced that Kalidas was returning to EastEnders briefly to conclude with the departures of Marc Elliott and John Partridge who play Syed Masood and Christian Clarke respectively.
Kalidas appeared in Hotel Babylon as Aisha Chaudhri, the daughter of a rich Indian hotel owner. She also appeared in the music video "Love Is Blind" by Ramzi featuring Ash King. In December 2009, she played the part of Leanne in ITV comedy drama Mister Eleven. She starred in the 2010 Chris Morris feature film Four Lions playing Sofia, the wife of protagonist Omar (played by Riz Ahmed). The film was released on 7 May.
After leaving EastEnders, Kalidas began to pursue a career in music, and managed to sign a record deal with Universal Records. Her debut single, "Shimmy", featuring Mumzy Stranger, was released on 26 July 2010. Kalidas appeared on several programmes including the National Lottery Results and Loose Women in promotion of the single. The single received mixed reviews, including BBC Newsround, who only awarded the song three stars, giving it a negative review. Ruth Harrison from FemaleFirst stated that she 'liked the single' but is not keen on the genre of music.
Kalidas stated in an interview with Digital Spy that her album will consist of a variety of genres. She also confirmed that the album would include collaborations with Bashy, Skepta, Schorcer, Ramzi and Mumzy Stranger. Kalidas' collaboration with Skepta, "Cross My Heart", was released in October 2010 as the lead single from Skepta's second studio album, Doin' It Again, however, at the time of release, Kalidas firmly stated its inclusion on her debut album.
In 2011, it was announced that due to poor sales of "Shimmy", Kalidas would no longer be releasing an album with Universal Records. In the same month Kalidas was awarded the Best Female Act award at the UK Asian Music Awards, where she performed a new song, "I Like You", alongside "Shimmy" and her collaboration with Skepta, "Cross My Heart". In July 2011, Kalidas signed a new record deal with All Around The World. In September 2011, Kalidas' second single, "It's A Problem", premiered on YouTube. The single features vocals from rapper Scorcher, who had previously been rumoured to appear on the album. The music video for "It's A Problem" premiered on 3 October 2011. The digital package of the single was released on 10 October, containing "I Like You", as well as a further new song, "Dirty Kissin'". Kalidas announced the album's third single, "A Woman Scorn" during an interview on Lorraine in November 2011. However it was never released. In June 2012, Kalidas eventually released her third single titled; "Love Between Us" which featured British producer, DaVinChe, on backing vocals. Her debut album is due for release in 2013.
In March 2014, Kalidas released the single Don't Give Up and is currently in the studio for the release of her upcoming debut studio album in 2015. In April 2014 she released a new single called Can't Live Without You. Both singles will appear on the album. She has also covered a variety of tracks including Beyoncé's track Blue.
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Album|
|2002||"Shakalaka Baby"||38||Bombay Dreams OST|
|2010||"Shimmy"(featuring Mumzy Stranger)||85||Constant Craving|
|2011||"It's A Problem"(featuring Scorcher)||–|
|2012||"Love Between Us"||197|
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Album|
|2010||"Fantasy" (Bashy featuring Preeya Kalidas)||88||The Great Escape|
|"Cross My Heart" (Skepta featuring Preeya Kalidas)||31||Doin' It Again|
|2005||Broken News||Anita Ratchathani|
|2009||Hotel Babylon||Aisha Chaudhri|
|2009–12||EastEnders||Amira Masood||Regular role|
|2013||Bollywood Carmen Live||Carmen|
|1999||East Is East||Nazir's Bride|
|2002||Bend It Like Beckham||Monica|
|2010||It's a Wonderful Afterlife||Karishma|
Awards and nominationsEdit
|British Soap Awards||2010||Sexiest Female||Nominated||EastEnders||Amira Masood|
|Inside Soap Awards||2009||Best Family (for Masood family)||Longlisted|
|2010||Best Wedding (with Marc Elliott)||Won|
|All About Soap Awards||2010||Bride and Doom||Nominated|
|UK Asian Music Awards||2011||Best Female Act||Won||Herself|
|2012||Best Female Act||Won||Herself|
|Laurence Olivier Awards||2016||Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical||Nominated||Pinky|
- "20 Questions With ... Preeya Kalidas – - Interviews". Whatsonstage.com. Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- "Preeya goes from Bombay Dreams to Joseph's Dreamcoat". Daily Mail. London. 18 June 2007.
- "London – Entertainment – Theatre – Bombay Dreams, a review". BBC. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- Hemley, Matthew (20 June 2007). "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat: Lee Mead and Preeya Kalidas". The Stage. Retrieved 26 June 2007.
- [dead link]
- "Talking Shop: Preeya Kalidas". BBC News. 18 March 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- Jefferies, Mark. "Former Eastenders star Preeya Kalidas returns to Albert Square". Daily Mirror. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
- Bourne, Dianne (7 July 2010). "Former soapstar tunes in for new career". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
- "Single Review: Preeya – Shimmy". Newsround. BBC. 22 July 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010.
- Harrison, Ruth (22 July 2010). "Single Review: Preeya – Shimmy". FemaleFirst. Retrieved 22 July 2010.
- "Preeya Kalidas promises "varied" album". Digital Spy. 10 July 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2010.
- "Preeya joins Ronnie Herel in studio". RnB with Ronnie Herel. 26 July 2010. BBC. BBC Radio 1Xtra.
- Skepta and Preeya – Cross My Heart – It Will be Huge Archived 18 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine
- Jas Sembhi (10 March 2011). "2011 UK Asian Music Awards Winners". desiblitz.com. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
- "Singer Jackson tops album chart". BBC News. BBC. 23 November 2003. Retrieved 25 February 2008.
- "West End's Bend It Like Beckham Musical Casts Its Complete Team". playbill.com. Playbill. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
- "EastEnders' Preeya Kalidas to star in Bend It Like Beckham: The Musical". reveal.co.uk. Reveal Magazine. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2015.