June 15th marked the celebration of BBC Music Day 2017 in which 47 historic Blue Plaques were unveiled by BBC Local Radio stations including Asian Network to honour iconic musicians and venues. Amongst those honoured included David Bowie, John Peel, the Grimethorpe Colliery Band and Delia Derbyshire (composer of the Doctor Who theme tune).
BBC Asian Network and the British Plaque Trust have awarded three blue plaques to commemorate people or places from the past that made a significant impact on the wider musical landscape. Asian Network DJs Bobby Friction and Dipps Bhamrah formed part of an advisory panel to select the first British Asian artists ever to be honoured as part of the scheme.
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (October 1948 – August 1997) will be commemorated with a plaque in Birmingham around the 20th anniversary of his death on 16 August.
Haroon Shamsher is the founder of pioneering collective Joi founded in the 80s with his brother Farook, whose father – a Bangladeshi immigrant – ran a traditional tape shop in London’s East End. The group’s initial aim was to fuse traditional Bengali music with the energetic funk attack of James Brown.
Saifullah ‘Sam’ Zaman, a London-based DJ of Bengali heritage has been creating music as State Of Bengal for over two decades. He first rose to prominence off the back of a couple of tracks, Flight IC408 and Chittagong Chill on Tavlin Singh’s seminal ‘90s Asian Underground compilation Anokha. He’s also gone global via a tour with Bjork and remixes for high profile artists like Massive Attack and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
2017 really is proving to be The Year of South Asian Culture. Keep up with your experiences by using the hashtag #UTSAV17