Congratulations on a decade in the entertainment industry! What is “Bhangrology” and how did it start?
Back in 2005, a bunch of like-minded friends decided that we would like to play/perform music together. The name “Bhangrology” was chosen as our preference was to play modern Bhangra music produced outside of India, as we felt the genre of music had evolved and defined us as well as our characteristics.
Fast forward 10 years and we are now a full fledged entertainment company, with several different divisions including event management, artist management, professional DJ services and branding/marketing services.
We have created a number of niche brands that we hold on a rotational basis on our annual calendar. These shows usually coincide with public holidays and culturally significant dates, for example we host “Vaisakhi Bhangra” annually in April, and we host a show called “Unity” to mark India & Pakistan’s Independence Day celebrations in August each year.
How has the desi music scene changed in Australia over the years?
Well the first thing to acknowledge is that a decade ago the production quality of music from the British Asian scene was miles ahead of Bollywood, and hence most of what we used to play, as well as the artists we would tour would be from the UK Bhangra scene. Now Bollywood has taken the world by storm and the cream of the crop of British Asian producers such as RDB, Dr Zeus & Bally Sagoo have all moved on to work in Bollywood because of the much larger audience there.
The demographic of the desi crowds at events in Australia has changed over the years too, with far more Indian born young people out and about and looking to have fun. This has also impacted the music selection over the years, and instead of our events being “bhangra nights” they are now an equal mix of all music.
We also often have a greater mix of cultures appreciating desi music now. Credit must be given where it is due, to those who facilitated taking the music to the masses. In 2005 Panjabi MC’s “Beware Of The Boyz” hit the mainstream charts across the world, and became a household hit. The AR Rahman collaboration with the Pussycat Dolls “Jai Ho” also received airplay across all radio stations across the world.
I think the major achievement for the desi music industry, is that the most popular artists of the US music scene have identified Bollywood as a critical target market for them. Just to name a few, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, Akon & Kylie Minogue have all now had their vocals featured in Bollywood films, which I think is a true reflection of how just far desi music has come over the past decade.
Tell us about your most memorable events from the past decade?
I’ll speak briefly about two in particular, one outdoor and one indoor.
My first ever DJ experience was at the Fremantle Festival Street Bhangra party in 1999 (way before the inception of Bhangrology), which was a free event held by the City of Fremantle in conjunction with Maya Fremantle. Every year the event grew in popularity and by 2009 it had reached it’s peak. No less than 5000 people came out to watch Bhangrology perform on stage; one of the craziest atmospheres of all time!
In terms of the events that we’ve organized, back in 2011 we signed a long-term agreement with a venue called “Metro City Concert Club” which is actually one of the largest club venues in the Southern Hemisphere. This was a major boon for us as they identified us as the market leaders of our industry. Our first ever show at Metro City featured Holland’s Imran Khan, as well as DJ Shadow from Dubai.
From there we’ve never really looked back, hosting multiple annual shows at Metro City which have all been equally as memorable as each other. Most recently we held our ‘Unity 2015’ concert there with RDB as the headline act which attracted no less than 1000 people. It really is a sight to behold, when the venue is full and the music is pumping up the audience.
10 Years quite some milestone – what are you doing to celebrate?
November 27th is going to be an extremely special night for us. We’re hosting our 10 Year Anniversary Concert at the venue I just mentioned, Metro City Concert Club. We’ve got all of the most popular new age urban punjabi music covered by one of the most in demand young artists in our industry right now, Mickey Singh from USA. We’ve got Bollywood music covered with DJ Nawed Khan in India, infamous for his residency during the Sunburn Goa festivals playing an Electro Bollywood set. We’ve got an all female Bhangra dance performance from West Coast Bhangra, and the event is going to be hosted by Miss Maxim India 2014 – Chandrika Ravi.
What’s in the future for Bhangrology?
We’re at the tail end of completing our own rebranding project, so we’re very excited to launch our new logo and website this month. In terms of events, expect much of the same with the addition of some new up and coming artists that we will be touring across Australia in 2016. We’ve had a lot of demand to release music once again, so a whole load of our remixes will be available for download through our new website portal. The other really exciting news on our side is that we are launching our East Africa division in 2016, which will be run by ex-Bhangrology staff based in Nairobi, Kenya. Stay tuned to http://www.bhangrology.com for all of our events & music updates, and hope to see you all at Metro City on the 27th November!