Tag: urban desi radio

Trikone Members Attacked By Modi Supporters

4Oct

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Although this is not the main video, here’s a glimpse of right wing zealots who support Modi verbally attacking, harassing and pushing the members of Trikone.

The zealots took signs from Trikone members and ripped them up and some Modi supporters even got physical. Here’s a detailed account from Trikone’s co-chair Ali.

Section 377 was brought back into the law books December 2013, Modi has yet to acknowledge 377 or make any promises to the South Asian LGBTQ community that he will get the code off the law books for good.

These types of horrendous actions remind us all that homophobia and ignorance is still very much alive, even in the Bay Area.

Do you know these supporters who kept harassing the Trikone members?

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Sandip Roy interviewed the members of Trikone. Listen here.

Pyar Nishani (Forget Me Not)

26Sep

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New track from Burban Boombox Host & DJ OTinaOTina, produced by Mixman Shawn.

Check out those sexy pink stilettos… remember those? A couple of years ago when OTinaOTina came out with mixtape, she put those heels on top of her harmonium.

It was meant to be an artistic statement, but it caused controversy on her FB page.

Mixman Shawn and OTinaOTina make a great team!

Download Pyar Nishani (Forget Me Not)

FREAK: Off to a Slow Start in the Charts

26Sep

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When it comes to these three particular artists from your childhood,  you become nostalgic and flashbacks (dancing in your room in front of a mirror) to “Dance With You” come racing back.

Rishi Rish, Juggy D and Jay Sean have been hinting about a collaboration for YEARS! When the collaboration suddenly had become a reality,Freak was billed the most anticipating track of the decade.

While most of us are off during the weekends, sadly the charts (iTunes in particular) don’t get the weekend off. Freak currently (26/09/15) sits at number 86 on the UK iTunes charts.

But despite a slow start on the charts, the track echoes a labour of love for their fans. Thousands of fans across the Indian sub-continent rushed to buy the track at midnight after the announcement that Universal Music India had taken the rights for Freak in that territory.

These three artists…three best friends….three brothers. After a decade, it’s nice to see them reunite once again. Just don’t make us wait another ten years!

We Raise Our Glass to Tony Singh Pabla

26Sep

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Customers adored him… Artists loved him and the tributes painted Tony as a person who would do anything for someone trying to break into the scene – but not expect anything in return. And that’s how he will always be remembered.

That integrity and passion is so rare in the scene, Tony was truly a gem.

I never met Tony, but shortly after Punjab2000.com launched, I signed up for the message board. It was a great place to network and chat about music.

When Tony passed away – petty differences between were put aside, the UK Asian Scene came together to remember him. There were over two million social media interactions about Tony.

Sunny and Shay & Bobby Friction gave artists, Tony’s family & friends and fans of Punjab2000.com a platform to tell stories and give their condolences to his family.

We raise a glass to you Lionheart – Rest in Power Tony.

Pravini Releases New Album: Unexpected Turn of Events

25Sep

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Today Pravini releases her fifth album “Unexpected Turn of Events” but it’s not like her previous albums. Normally we’re used to hearing R&B/Soul vibe, but this time she’s switched it up. Her new album is a blend of raw rock and pop (interesting combo).

The album title not only reflects the music itself, but also the becoming of it. The majority of the songs were written not during writing sessions, but during unexpected moments in between.

Earlier this year, she released her single “Go!” and now she’s making plans to tour the Netherlands and UK.

Hopefully we can get some tracks from her album to pass onto DJ Dips and Mentor for Desi Raw Radio.

 

UK Asian Radio Diaries

25Sep

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I have a soft spot for Asian Radio and presenters, similar to the way Rich Lieberman has a soft spot for the Bay Area media. He’s one of my favourite media bloggers. But when I hear presenters being treated unfairly, I see the red. I get really angry. No one is talking about it. No one is blogging about it.

I once got really upset with someone from the marketing team (at one of our team meetings) during my time at AsianFX. The marketing team did so much for Panjab Radio…but presenters at AsianFX – we were getting sloppy seconds.

Presenters are unique creatures (whether they got talent or not) we (listeners) invite presenters into our homes, our cars, our offices and our bedrooms. Ahhh… I miss Bobby Friction’s late night show.  They keep us informed, they entertain us and they become almost like a friend. There’s a special bond between the presenter and their listeners.

UK Asian Radio Diaries… it’s not going to be something I’m going to dwell on. But when something isn’t right, as far as presenters are concern, I want them to know that they can drop me a line anytime here at UDR. This isn’t a bash session, there are some good things that should be noted. You always have to give credit where credit is due.

I thought about this and I know there could be consequences, but I’m not affiliated to any stations and I think people getting treated badly in Asian Radio has gone on long enough. It’s time we start talking about it and making workplaces an environment for presenters to thrive in.

If you’re a presenter on a zero hour contract… fyi you do have rights. Read here.

– It looks like Raj Baddhan and his team had a great time at the Sabras 20 year anniversary party. Our timelines and airwaves were filled with #Sabras20 promos. According to party-goers and supporters – they had a great night and I quote from one person “#Sabras20 should get the best Asian Jam award” Wow… speaking of awards… Sabras has an UK AMA nomination for “The Best Regional Station” Congrats!

– Kudos to Lyca Radio/Dil Se for their money giveaway contest. A presenter will call a listener and the listener has to say/sing LycaRadio or Dil Se. But again there’s no massive promotion behind it. The listeners seem pretty clueless.

– Keep your ears peeled a well loved and respected presenter coming soon to Sunrise

– Want to be a presenter? Lyca Radio is still hiring, particularly for the weekends and fill in shifts. It’s ideal for folks who live in and around Central London or the SE area.

– A few weeks ago…LycaRadio team hosted a scrumptious dinner with all the trimmings for their staff. Perhaps management figured “If we feed the presenters… they won’t lash out at us.” But truthfully… Presenters are frustrated, mid management feels overwhelmed and upper management has no clue what goes on behind the scenes at the Battersea Studios. It didn’t take too long for one veteran presenter with over 20+ years experience to stormed in like Amrish Puri and announced “I QUIT!!!!” He threw his station fob key at one of the managers. The   person leading the meeting didn’t seem to care and someone from station management team burst out laughing (which others watched in utter silence). Needless to say you could cut the tension with the knife. After dinner presenters left still feeling frustrated, but their bellies were full. That has to count for something right?

– Someone from LycaRadio‘s mid management was told if they were caught talking to anyone from Sunrise Radio they will be fired. Nice huh? But let’s face it, the UK Asian Radio scene is so big, yet so small. I’m not sure if presenters got the same memo, it’s one thing not to talk about confidential activities (that’s a no brainer) but not being able to say “hello” or hang out with an old colleague – that’s just bonkers.

Sunrise’s social media was in the gutter earlier this year, but with the help of Bliss PR and social savvy presenters they have done a 360. “This Is Sunrise” is a much better social identity than their old one . Dare I say… those weird late night tweets with flowers, teddy bears and cheesy joke memes are a thing of the past. They definitely increased their engagement numbers at the London Mela.

– How come LycaRadio and Dil Se were MIA at the London Mela? Our inside sources tell us the presenters don’t get paid for outdoor events. Again… they missed out on a huge opportunity to mingle with their listeners and to get their brand out there. Could this be one of the many reasons why the presenters feel frustrated?

Got a tip? Need to vent? Email us urbandesiradio[@]gmail.com

Desi Raw Radio

23Sep

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The beautiful thing about podcasting is the creative flare and freedom.

Industry Veterans DJ Dips and Mentor Beats recently launched “Desi Raw Radio” it’s a nice blend of urban/bhangra/a bit of bollywood/mainstream beats.

Dips and Mentor scored an interview with Rishi Rish.

Fans of Rishi, Jay Sean and Juggy D eagerly await the trios new track “Freak” – do they still have the magical chemistry? We shall see…

We will be featuring their Desi Raw Radio on our Soundcloud (upper right corner)

 

Taz Challenges BBC Asian Network

7Apr

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The BBC Asian Network was like the jewel in the crown for other Asian stations to look up to. Like most Radio presenters on Asian Radio …whether you admit it or not – most of us had escape dreams to join the BBC Asian Network.

I got plenty of BBC rejection letters that would make lovely wallpaper for my bedroom.

Even though I never got to present with them, I was still a listener and a fan. My favourites were Nihal (still love his debates and topics), Kayper, Sonnyji and Bobby Friction (the pre-antakshari Bobby Friction — sorry Bobby)

When the station was put on the chopping block in 2009, I sported the “Save BBC Asian Network” twitter ribbon on my twitter handle.  I also talked about the importance of the BBC Asian Network on 1170am in California.

The station was saved… presenters, artists and fans rejoiced. Until 2012 when the “Blood Bath” took place.

They changed the format to more Bollywood … less underground, Urban Desi and Bhangra (no more Friction lab)

We said goodbye to Kayper, Sonnyji, Dipps and Bobby got a co-host (which I thought was an insult to his intelligence) and when they started to do antakshari on air… I tuned out.

It’s never been quite the same and my argument was there were plenty of stations in the UK playing Bollywood all the time.

I still mourn for their old platform where ALL TYPES of genres were featured from Desi artists. That’s what made the Asian Network unique.

This past weekend I scrolled through my FB timeline and saw a long statement posted by Taz.  His track “Shake Ya Body” is currently at number four on the BBC Asian Network’s Download Chart.

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But even though his song is number 4, allegedly AN refuses to put this in their playlist rota.

“My new single ‘SHAKE YA BODY’ has been Nos.1 in the iTunes download charts for 4 consecutive days last week as well as entering straight into Nos.4 in your very own BBC ASIAN NETWORK CHART this morning. YET the so-called Asian Network has REFUSED to playlist the single. BUT WHY? WHO and which FOOL is making these decisions?

THIS clearly says to me that THESE DECISION’S ARE BEING MADE by someone completely BIAS or simply ignoring the fact that the playlist should be made up of POPULAR MUSIC that is decided by PUBLIC DEMAND!!! Otherwise we would be not be in the charts at NOS.1 position.

Without naming names WHEN WE ASKED a member of their team WHY WE WERE NOT PLAYLISTED the reply was – “We did not like TAZ’S chorus.”

Shouldn’t the results of chart positions be simply down to popular demand and that should the basis upon which you put your chart together?”

In my personal experience, if I worked for a station that had a top 10 or 20 list – those songs would be constantly rotating throughout the day.

I forward Taz’s statement to the BBC press office and a BBC spokesperson issued this comment. I would encourage other media publications to press for a statement.

We wouldn’t normally issue a statement to another radio station. We only usually deal directly with press on any queries/complaints.

Therefore you should go ahead with your blog posting as planned, and if we are to issue a statement I shall let you know.”

**A BBC Spokesperson emailed me a statement

BBC Asian Network’s Playlist committee make the decision on whether to add a record based on two things: relevance and merit. When making these decisions we take into account a range of information – with the most critical element being our listeners. An artist or record should be relevant to BBC Asian Network’s primary target audience of 18-34 year olds. 

 Chart position on The Official Asian Download Chart (independently compiled for BBC Asian Network by The Official Charts Company) is just one factor that we take into account. A high chart placing does not guarantee a place on the BBC Asian Network playlist. There are always more contenders than spaces each week and we cannot add every record that gets released, irrespective of the artist.

 BBC Asian Network’s Playlist process is exactly the same as on Radio 1, Radio 2, 1Xtra and 6Music, with a Playlist committee comprised of a range of experience and input from across the station. Every station makes decisions that are informed by a range of editorial and audience factors. We recognise that music taste is subjective and we do not expect everyone to agree with every track on our playlist. But it is these decisions, along with unparalleled support for new British-Asian artists, that sets the BBC Asian Network apart from other stations and has helped us to deliver record audiences. Our audience enjoys the distinctive range of music that we support each week.

Taz is an artist who has been heavily supported by BBC Asian Network in the past, for almost 20 years, and because his new track “Shake ya Body” is not on the current playlist this does not mean that BBC Asian Network won’t play another Taz record in the future. 

An inside source told me he feels this was a political decision and the Asian Network has lost their identity.

“They have intentionally allowed the UK Asian music scene to slip because they cannot be asked to support. There is a conscious split of 75% Bollywood and 25% UK Asian music. UK Asian scene is getting marginalised,” the source revealed.

Artists like Ravi* who come from an Urban music background feels Asian Network tends to ignore artists from different genres.

“They are not interested in integrating, but truthfully they are segregating the scene.”

After Ravi’s calls and emails fell on AN’s deaf ears, he got the opportunity to go to America to meet a mainstream record label.

“Funny enough as soon as they heard this label took an interest in me, they acted like they supported me from day one. It’s a joke.” Says Ravi.

Ravi feels he doesn’t experience much backlash as before from presenters and producers, but he admits things could be better.

A DJ who has secured top 10 spots in the past on AN has had his tracks put in rotation.  He questions the chart making decisions because on the iTunes charts, he was at number one – but AN put him at number two.

But unlike Taz, his track was put in the playlist.

“If Taz made it to number four, he should be put on rotation.  If our fans are downloading our tracks and securing a spot for us on the AN Download chart – clearly they want to hear our music.” states the DJ.

Envy Worldwide who released “Shake Ya Body” stressed they’ve received good support from all media platforms, however they feel since the track is on the chart it shouldn’t be ignored on the playlist.

And like other artists that I’ve spoken to, Envy also feels the “Bollywood Fatigue” the dire need for a stronger platform to support British Asian artists and music made here in UK.

Perhaps BBC Asian Network should consider to have a town hall meeting for artists/DJs/Producers hosted by Bobby Friction (I still like you Bobby) regarding how the Download Chart process works.  It would help mend bridges and give artists a clear insight on the download chart.

*Names were changed

**Article revised BBC issued a statement

To support Taz and file a complaint click here

Here’s an old article I found on Media247.co.uk, keep in mind this was published in 2010. But the concept of the Chart show is stated here.  Perhaps a revision is in order?

 

Plans for 2015

11Jan

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After a two week holiday in San Francisco, I’m heading back to London today. I’ve been thinking a lot about UDR. It’s quite honestly such a waste that we’ve created this platform and we hardly blog.

I do believe the UK still has a unique vibe, especially for Urban Desi music.

I hate to see it this  site collect dust balls, my goal for 2015 is to bring you all content that others tend to ignore because in their eyes it’s not trendy or won’t get them hits on their site. They just need to think outside the box. All it takes is a little creative flare and not just publishing press releases.

That’s my renewed commitment to you, I’m hoping to punch out a blog a week. Maybe a podcast once a month? I just don’t want to make any promises to you.

It’s the 11th day of the new year, hopefully check back in with us next week to see if we put up a new blog. 😉 Happy New Year!

No longer a London Mela Virgin…

6Sep

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For over six years I’ve lived in London off and on. This time I’m settling for good. The one thing I’ve never done was go to the London Mela.

Every time I wanted to go, it was always raining. I grew up in the Bay Area, our melas consist of a parade, talent show stage and if we were lucky (or not) someone from Bollywood acting as the grand marshall.

It was normally the size of two large parking lots. We don’t have radio talent like the BBC Asian Network emceeing the talent show. We don’t have different stages catering to different types of music. We used to have a late night show (which featured Daler Mehndi one year) until a bunch thug wannabes, who might I add still lived with their mothers and drove their father’s BMWs, ruined it for for of us.

I didn’t know what to expected…

As soon as I made my way through Gunnersbury Park, my mouth dropped. I couldn’t believe the crowds from all types of backgrounds. It was amazing. As one person told me this is what the melas are like back in India.

There were tents dedicated to classical music, DJ/New talent tent, the main stage (Hosted by Bobby Friction, Suzi Mann, Noreen Khan and Tommy Sandhu) my mind went into musical drive overload.

I was bummed out I missed Rita Morar’s performance (truthfully speaking I couldn’t find the right tent) with talent like hers she should’ve been on the main stage along with TaZzZ and Doni Brasco.

The acts I caught were Asim Azhar, Nesdi Jones, Panjabi Hit Squad, Raghav and Miss Pooja.

Asim flew all the way from Karachi, which was pretty cool. It was my first time seeing him live. Nesdi Jones, quite honestly never heard of her, but she’s nicknamed “Desi Gori” and she speaks hindi and punjabi really well.

One artist I was surprised to see was Rapper MSG, I’ve showcased his music on Dance Asia FM, I was really looking forward to hear him perform live. He started to try to warm up the crowd with the Khalistan chant, but the crowd wasn’t feeling that. He saved himself by saying “Free Palestine” which the crowd responded better to. However it “appeared” there were sound difficulties, but knowing the BBC Asian Network, I know when it comes to the Khalistan topic they won’t go near it. They should’ve known that is a topic he normally raps and talks about, I don’t understand why it seem to be a big surprise to everyone, unless he was told not to talk about it.  I was disappointed he didn’t get his chance to perform. Hopefully he can come back next year.

Raghav… it was such a pleasure to see him on stage. It’s always a catch 22 when an artist performs their old tracks, but Raghav nailed it! The crowd got really excited when Angel Eyes came on, I think in 2015 we might get a new album from him. He mentioned it all started for him at the London Mela, 9 years ago. The crowd went mental when Iceberg Slimm jumped on stage.

Nihal came on stage and spoke for a bit. He’s definitely a pioneer when it comes to Asian Radio history. Bobby and Nihal always made a dynamic duo. As I get older, I have an appreciation for talk radio, I try to catch Nihal’s show whenever I can because he normally has interesting topics.

Panjabi Hit Squad – on point as always with their beats. They always produce great tracks. However they came back on stage again before Miss Pooja, I think the second time around they overstayed their welcome. The crowd was getting restless to see Miss Pooja.

Was Miss Pooja worth waiting for? I’ll you this much, I was squashed like a tuna fish sandwich. No one wanted to budge or move. I’ll be honest I’m not a HUGE Miss Pooja fan, the thing is I’ve lost count on the number of tracks she’s put out and the number of tracks she’s featured on.  Even when PHS were on stage, the crowd near me were trying to get her attention while she was backstage. But for all mega fans, I can safely say she was worth the wait.

Thanks for popping my cherry London Mela 2014.