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Birth of the Asian Underground 1

Birth of the Asian Underground 1

The British Asian underground music scene was making small ripples in cool and trendy hot spots around London and ready to burst. Frustrated young second generation Asians were turning their backs on Bhangra, RNB, Hip Hop & Reggae and wanted to create a new sound that represented them. This was an amalgamation of Indian and western dance music from the street. Although Apache Indian had commercial success, there was a hunger and need for artists to come from the street and voice their opinions and frustration through music. There were several components that came together to start the musical journey.

Aki Nawaz – A former drummer for gothic rock band Southern Death Cult decided to start his own label and give young Asian artists an opportunity to record their own music. Based at his offices in Notting Hill Aki started the label Nation Records. Fun da mental was their first release for which Aki was a member of. Following the footsteps of Public Enemy, Fun da mental was about making political statements and voicing the anger of young Asians in Britain. Aki also had success with Transglobal Underground, Hustlers Convention, Joi, Talvin Singh and the mighty Asian Dub Foundation. ADF, were by far the most successful act on his repertoire of artists who cracked Europe. Their dub bass lines with drum n bass breaks coupled with the amazing vocals of young Deedar and their political messages was exactly what white journalists were gasping for. Also they had the ability to make their music sound more powerful performing live.

At the point when Nation Records was declining, PR guru shabs Jobanputra decided to launch his own label Outcaste and club night. Outcaste the club night became a hot spot for the weird and wonderful people of London to hang out and look cool. With a successful PR & Marketing back ground, shabs knew how to market his products and break them into main stream popular culture. Outcastes first recording was never released due to legal issues between the respective records labels; this was collaboration between Apache Indian & General Levy called new style. On the bounce, Shabs signed Nitin Sawhney and Shri & Badmarsh to his label. Nitin established himself as an international success and toured the world.

Whilst this musical journey was taking place, East London was bubbling in the back ground with Joi Bangla, Earth Tribe, State of Bengal & Talvin Singh. East London was about to come to the fore front and make their sound heard. Then along came Anokha and everything changed….

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