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In touch with fame

brunch Updated: Apr 15, 2013 09:36 IST
Navleen Lakhi
Navleen Lakhi
Hindustan Times
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His website proclaims him to be the ‘King of media,’ and his clientele boasts of names such as Akon, Snoop Lion, Drake, Russell Peters and 50 Cent. No wonder California-based Mannie Sadhra is a proud man. His company, Kalikwest Media Group looks after all possible angles of promotion of these music giants, including web designing, merchandise marketing and even photo shoots.

In city recently to attend an award function, Mannie shared details about his work and brush with celebrities. A tweet by rapper Birdman says ‘@Kalikwestmedia got my twitter looking real fly’; while Jamaican-American rapper Sean Kingston tweets ‘@Kalikwestmedia Hottest Graphic Designers on Net Period’. “They put their trust in me,” says Mannie, adding that his clients have given him the liberty to take creative decisions on their behalf.

The 35-year-old hails from Nawanshahr in Punjab, though he was born and brought up in California. “In 1997, when I was 19 years old, I came up with a company called Kalikwest, which was initially a clothing line. But I had a quest of finding talent in California and so the company changed from being a clothing line to a media group,” explains Mannie. The man, who started with the belief that California has more talent than Europe, got his first project for Jive Records through rapper E40, who Mannie says liked his ideas of promoting the artiste.

In 2005, Mannie thought of expanding and travelled east to his place of origin. From singers-musicians Jazzy B, Sukhshinder Shinda, Honey Singh, Sharry Mann, Gippy Grewal and Vinaypal Buttar to actor Neeru Bajwa, Mannie and his team work hard to work
on the artistes’ online popularity.

“I socialise with people quite often. In fact, I don’t wait but go and get the opportunity,” Mannie adds, saying years of experience and numerous clients has turned Kalikwest into one of US’s leading media companies. “I have a brilliant team that makes our work a success. For instance, one of my talented designers — Vitamin V — designs CD covers for Akon and Pitbull and they love his work,” says Mannie, who has deployed innovative methods such as ‘vehicle wrap’ (covering a vehicle with promotional images of the artiste) in his strategy.

Since online media is continuously growing, Mannie’s work profile is enlarging as well. “From Twitter, Facebook, MySpace to WordPress, we do it all. Since Punjabi celebrities usually counter numerous fake profiles, they approach me to get these accounts deleted. When fake accounts run in hundreds, it’s not easy to get them deleted. It therefore requires a recognised company like ours to do the job,” he signs off.