I was literally counting down the seconds until I was able to post my first blog entry for 2015. I planned on starting the year off on a positive tip, and lucky for me, I met up with the delightfully optimistic, Dilshad Burman – the host of V-Mix – a weekly, half-hour program that explores the fusion of South Asian and urban music.
Dilshad is one of those rare types of people that when you first meet her, you fall deeply under her spell. Nope, it’s not because she’s incredibly friendly, stylish and has wicked hair – it’s her high energy, driven attitude that makes her a pure joy to be around. Even when I was 10 minutes late for our meeting (which NEVER happens!), she still greeted me with a big smile.
While we sipped our steaming hot cups of tea and got to know each other, the charmingly sweet TV Host spoke about her early days growing up in a bohemian household in India (psst…she calls her mom a hippie who instilled in her children that they could do whatever they wanted in life), and her involvement with all things artistic. She recalled singing, acting and dancing – all by the age of 3!
Although she is a natural in front of the camera, she didn’t set out to be on air. While working in radio back home, she was bitten by the “editing bug” and decided to learn more about the production aspect of radio once she completed her English Literature degree. It was her love for editing and production that landed her in the Great White North.
Wanna know how she became the super cool host of V-Mix? Keep scrolling.
Hometown: Bombay, India
Astrological Sign: Cancer
Years in Canada: 9 years
Fave thing about Canada: “I knew I was in the right country because there is maple syrup here.” It’s my favourite thing in the whole world!
Fun Fact: Loves to sing and occasionally performs with the group Choir! Choir! Choir!
Why did you decide to move to Canada?
When I finished university back home, I felt I wasn’t done studying. I wanted to experience a different kind of educational system. My family and I picked the Television Broadcasting program at Fanshawe College because it suited me and the price was right. My mom was more comfortable with me being in Canada than anywhere else.
What was your experience like at Fanshawe College?
Fanshawe was this amazing experience. We got to play with cameras and editing equipment. I loved that they had an amazing studio facility. We just went wild for 2 years. It was great!
How did you get your start in the television industry?
I went to OMNI TV as an editing intern when I finished Fanshawe. I had an aptitude for editing and they liked me a lot. They gave me a good grade and I kept that relationship with OMNI for a while. They couldn’t give me a job at the time….there wasn’t anything available.
Because I had a student Visa and came for school, I had to either get a full-time job in my field of study, or I had to leave the country in 90 days. Getting a full-time job in that field is almost impossible!
Luckily I was able to get a full-time job at Westbury National Show Systems. They had a video department and offered me a position that was close enough to what I had done in the Television program. It was accepted by the government and I was able to stay in Canada.
Dilshad’s Big Break
Over the next couple of years, Dilshad worked as a freelance editor for OMNI TV as well as City TV. When the International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA) came to Canada in 2011, OMNI TV [the official broadcaster for the show] needed more reporters to file stories, and asked Dilshad if she was interested. She said yes even though as she puts it, “had no proven ability to report.”
What was your first television experience like?
My first television experience was a live 3-hour red carpet for the IIFAs. I didn’t know enough to be scared. It was the best time of my life! I had sooo much fun!
How did you become a host on V-Mix?
Raoul Juneja [Producer of V-Mix ] was developing the show with OMNI for a few years, but the time wasn’t right quite yet.
Because of the IIFAs, there was this amazing momentum that had happened in South Asian music, culture, and film. OMNI TV saw the potential for another show that wasn’t just about Bollywood. While working at City TV, I was asked if I would host the show, and I said yes!
What is V-Mix?
It is a multicultural music, arts and culture show. Our core audience is South Asian, but it’s so vast the scope of what we do. We are very cognizant of our audience, but our audience is also looking for other stuff. Yes, people want to see themselves, but they also want to learn about other cultures.
We’ve had one of the foremost founding fathers of hip hop (Afrika Bambaataa), reggae artists as well as Punjabi rappers on the show. We also give a platform to anyone that needs a platform.
What do you like most about your job?
I get to meet different people all the time. I love telling stories and listening to stories. It’s great! Why wouldn’t you want to do that for a living?!
What’s up next for V-Mix?
We have our Best of 2014 special that will air on Saturday January 10th on OMNI.2 at 4 PM & 6 PM (EST) in Ontario and on OMNI at 3 PM (PST) in British Columbia & 4:30 PM in Alberta (MDT). We will feature Chris Hadfield, Nelly Furtado, Russell Peters, Jay Sean, Magic among other artists.
Just like Dilshad, I am grateful that I am able to meet people who are encouraging and show me that if you have a passion and put in the hard work, you can accomplish anything. Thanks for the chat, Dilshad.
Want more Dilshad? Click the following links to find out more.
V-Mix URL: click here
Dilshad’s Blog: Legal Alien
Instagram: click here
Facebook: click here