BBC’s Pump Up the Bhangra to have London premiere at ZEE London Mela

ZEE London Mela is delighted to be screening the London premiere of the BBC’s new documentary Pump Up the Bhangra: The Sound of Asian Britain on Saturday 18 August.

This is the story of how British Asians came of age as they found their voice and celebrated their identity through Bhangra music. And of Southall’s central role in the tale.

Fronted by BBC Asian Network DJ Bobby Friction, the film recounts how a simple folk tradition from India was transformed in the 1980s to become a unique part of the British club music scene, outselling many mainstream UK acts.

It’s a story of cassette tapes, corner shops and glitter-clad musical heroes – of teenagers bunking school to attend secret daytime gigs and music that soundtracked battles against racism and discrimination.

Through a series of entertaining encounters with Bhangra legends and those they influenced, Bobby reflects on how thousands of second generation British Asians like him became comfortable with their heritage and their place in Britain through Bhangra music.

The film will be personally introduced by Bobby Friction and screened after the Sounds of Southall performance, featuring Kuljit Bhamra, Channi Singh OBE of Alaap, and Kumar and P Dhami of Heera, all of whom appear in the documentary.

Pump up the Bhangra is a documentary for BBC Four. It was commissioned by Emma Cahusac, Commissioning Editor BBC Arts and produced by Richard Bright, Executive Producer BBC Studios. This film was produced and directed by Ashok Prasad.