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Britain’s double agent

Actor-rapper Rizwan Ahmed, also Freida Pinto’s co-star in Michael Winterbottom’s Trishna, is in the city . To perform songs from his debut album tomorrow.

music Updated: Apr 14, 2011 14:00 IST
Sharin Bhatti

Many might not know actor Rizwan Ahmed aka Riz MC, but for the British-Asian underground scene, he is the new torchbearer.

The award-winning actor made his debut with Michael Winterbottom’s The Road To Guantanamo (2006) and is best known for playing a British Muslim who tries to join a terrorist group in 2010’s hilarious satire, Four Lions. In the country to shoot for Winterbottom’s Trishna with Freida Pinto, Riz never thought he’d end up showing off his music skills as well. “I like to keep my movie and music careers separate, but I ran into some nightlife promoters in the city who’d heard of my music and offered me a gig,” says

Riz, who will be performing songs from his just-released debut album, MICroscope on Friday. Lyrically explosive, MICroscope is an amalgamation of Riz’s thoughts on his life as a double agent —British Muslim actor and musician. The songs, steeped in dubstep and electro and laced with whip-smart lyrics, dissect everything from identity, credit crunch and the state of urban muslims post 9/11 west world. “London is a lot like New Delhi, the way the Capital is described to me. It’s a little rigid, cold and with closed energy. I write about what I observe in the society around me. I also go to a lot of stand-up comedy shows, gather stuff off Facebook and meet people to know what they’re thinking, what’s going on,” says Riz, who has also performed as a slam artiste in London’s underground Spin The Mic events.

“I like freestyling and making rhymes as they come along. That’s what I’m hoping to do in Mumbai over the weekend,” says Riz, who, after spending six weeks in the city, has fallen in love with it. “I’d like to come back and perform here again. It has a fluidity, quite like New York,” says the artiste, who has performed alongside Massive Attack and Asian Dub Foundation internationally at the Glastonbury and Great Escape Festivals.

Meanwhile, Riz has also released an interactive video game website of MICroscope, from where people can download his tracks and enjoy a sci-fi experience.

To catch Riz MC live in action, get down to Zenzi, Bandra on April 15, 10 pm onwards. To play and download MICroscope, log onto