Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Foji - Ek Peg

Foji, the singer who staged a bhangra flash mob in Birmingham, has released the video for his latest single. Ek Peg features the vocals of Ravi Bal and is the first single from his forthcoming album.

As the title suggests, Ek Peg is a drinking song. However, unlike the usual bhangra songs about drinking, it's more a warning about the dangers of drinking rather than the enjoyment. The video makes some jokes and differs from other bhangra videos with it's lack of female backing dancers or models.

Despite these differences, I found the song a little monotonous. Ravi Bal's vocal are good, but as someone who doesn't drink to excess, Ek Peg was lost on me. Will it change the drinking habits of the Punjabi community? Probably not, but well done Foji for making an effort.  

Sunday, 1 February 2015


It’s time for Bhanguary on Sari-Clad Speakers. The whole month of February will be a special online event devoted to all things bhangra, with more dhol beats than you can shake a stick at!

Over the next 28 days I'll be digging out golden oldies, revisiting modern classics and introducing you to some brand new ones. I'll also look at the people making bhangra and how the influence of Bhangra has spread all over the world.

#Bhangruary - putting the brua into February!

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Strictly Come Bollywood Dancing

Strictly Come Dancing, BBC 1's Saturday night family show, is going round the world this week. The couples are dancing to music which reference different countries including Austria, America and Amsterdam. The pro dance is to be a big Bollywood number in collaboration with Bolly Flex. Two of the pros, Janette Manrara and Iveta Lukosiute have danced Bollywood before when they were contestants on So You Think You Can Dance. 

I'm curious as to what music will be used for the Bollywood number. Hopefully the BBC has learnt from Carmen and will stay away from old cliches like Jai Ho and Panjabi Mc's Mundiya To Bach Ke. Representing Bollywood on prime time television is a huge privilege and a good track could make all the difference.

No Bollywood songs, or music with a Desi touch are being used for the main couple dances. But if Trent, Pasha, Brendan or any other Strictly pros want to do a Latin or Ballroom routine to some South Asian music, here are some of my suggestions.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Tigerstyle - Kawan 2 Remix EP

Tigerstyle are getting ready to release the Kawan 2 Remix EP, which is out tomorrow. Bikram Singh and Gunjan's reinterpretation of their own modern classic has at last received the Digi-Bhang treatment.

The remix version of Kawan 2 is a great EDM track. It has depth, sparkle and three impressive drops. However, for me the original Kawan remix works better than the remix of Kawan 2. The vocals and lyrics are an important in both versions of Kawan. When Bikram and Gunjan sing together, it's gorgeous. But in this remix of Kawan 2, the vocals were cut substantially and I missed them.

The remix has a video. Its dark mood mirrors the track and the two work well together. It is impressive and simple, two things other Bhangra producers should be aiming for in their videos.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Looking Back At Desi Beats on BBC Radio 1

BBC Radio 1 will broadcast the final Desi Beats show early tomorrow morning. The show has been broadcasting for over 12 years. During that time, the show withstood changes in schedules, presenters and music trends.

Put together by the BBC, Bobby Friction and Nihal won a Sony Award a few months after the show launched. When it broadcast from 9pm on a Wednesday evening, the show had more listeners that the whole of Sunrise Radio or the BBC Asian Network. Bobby Friction and Nihal even launched their own compilation CD. Through the listen back feature the duo had fans all over the world.

Thanks to the brilliant Wayback Machine, track listings are available for many shows including the early ones. It's like opening a mini time capsule. Not only is it interesting to see what music was played at the time, but also which artists are still around and making music today. Tigerstyle, DJ Swami, and Tarli Digital all featured on the first show and are still in the industry.