Desi Music Culture in America

60 minsFirst aired 22 Dec 2016This episode is unavailable. Why?

In the first of a two-part series, Kindness examines the South Asian diaspora in the US with musicians, writers, DJs and academics.

In looking at high-profile musicians in the American popular and indie music industry, it’s striking how rarely Asian artists, specifically South Asian artists, are represented – for a variety of reasons both straightforward and less so. This episode of Kindness Meets features a number of people whose research and knowledge on the subject makes them best qualified to tell that story: Nitasha Tamar Shama, author of Hip Hop Desis: South Asian Americans, Blackness, and a Global Race Consciousness; DJ Rekha, a London-born producer, curator, DJ and activist credited with bringing bhangra music to the US; Anupa Mistry, journalist and writer currently at FADER; and Falu Bakrania, author of _Bhangra and Asian Underground: South Asian Music and the Politics of Belonging in Britain _. As a person of South Asian heritage himself, host Adam Bainbridge says of this month’s show, “This theme serves to satisfy my curiosity, via the thoughts and understanding of those who know the landscape best, and to ask where the potential is for South Asian community within music itself.”


Here, Professor Shama is referring to the 1965 Immigration Act, easing restrictions that previously made it very difficult for immigrants from non-Western nations to gain a foothold in the US.


Peek inside Nitasha Sharma’s Hip Hop Desis: South Asian Americans, Blackness, and a Global Race Consciousness, here.


The British Nationality Act of 1948 was established to rebuild the UK’s post-World War II economy with immigrant labor.


Earlier this year, the US Postal Service honored India’s Diwali Festival with a stamp.


Visit the Aerogram yourself, featuring pieces on Desi art, literature and news, with opinions and photos, too.


When the show’s over, listen to Bally Sagoo’s “Star Megamix” in its ten-minute entirety. You won’t regret it.

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