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The Growth of the Underground Bhangra Scene


In the past twelve months, the Bhangra industry and its fans have witnessed some exciting bhangra material coming from all corners of the world, read's Jusi Sahota views on The Growth of the Underground Bhangra Scene!

International superstar Diljit Dosanjh with his cinematic films “Punjab 1984” and “Disco Singh”, a successful UK tour performing all of his tracks with his full live band, and the smash hit tracks “Patiala Pegg”, “Sweetu”, “Happy Birthday” and most recently “Veer Var”.

B21 return to the Bhangra scene was also a monumental moment when they returned in June 2014 with the album: “12B”, which enjoyed phenomenal success by reaching number 12 on the mainstream album charts, placing above the likes of Beyonce and One Direction.

More recently, the phenomenal Jenny Johal debuted earlier this year with back to back releases. Her debut single “Yaari Jatti Di” was released earlier this year and Jenny Johal followed up that release with the anthem “Narma” which and is currently setting dancefloors alight across the world.

Other artists such as Epic Bhangra, Harjit Harman, Jazzy B, Dr Zeus, Fateh and many more enjoyed success on the mainstream market in the past twelve months.

However, it is artists in the underground bhangra scene who have enjoyed some of the biggest success in the past twelve months. One may argue that there isn’t enough talent in the underground bhangra scene to create hit tracks.

However, it’s surprising to see that there are a lot of music producers, DJ’s, rappers and singers from all across the world in the underground bhangra scene and have enough talent to deliver successful and authentic bhangra tracks. Just like the mainstream market, the underground bhangra scene is diluted with a lot of unoriginal and “fame hunting” artists trying to gain as much as popularity and attention as possible with only a minority creating music that is actually worth listening to.

Some of this “minority” actually have musical talent and their music has caught the eye of bhangra fans from all across the world. A lot of popular mainstream artists have used the underground bhangra scene as a way to grow as an artist, build an audience that enjoy their music and hopefully one day create a signature sound that will be appreciated in the mainstream music world.

Artists such as Epic Bhangra, Dav Juss, Manni Sandhu, Fateh, Amar Sandhu and JSL (to name a few) all started from the underground bhangra scene and are now making a name for themselves and are proving to be a huge success on the mainstream circuit. Artists such as Rajeev B, J Statik, DJ Intense and Binnie Marwa are artists who have all entered the mainstream circuit but release remixes, reproductions and remakes for free as a way to promote themselves, and keep their audience interested and excited about their music.

As we are in a new age of music, the underground bhangra scene is now dominated with a number of talented DJ’s and music producers, with a number of them competing against each other in a brand new competition held by DJ Scorpio, a multi genre DJ and music producer from Los Angeles who is popular in the underground bhangra scene for his diverse remixes and mixtapes. (Read More: Dj Scorpio 'Agg Banke' DJ Challenge)

As of 13th June 2015, there have been five entries. A collaborative remix done by DJ Hans and DJ Sharoon, with a remix that can be described as a “DJ Mustard meets Dr Zeus” type of remix and is a sound that both DJ Hans and DJ Sharoon have rinsed out in their previous production work.

One remix is done by the talented duo that is “DJ Twinbeatz” who create an extremely creative remix that fuses EDM and R&B together with an authentic bhangra beat. Other remixes entered by Dhol Beat International, Rokit Beats and Folk Soundz make up that small list – with a few more names rumoured to enter the competition.

The competition entitled the “Agg Banke Remix Challenge” encourages DJ’s to create their own remix to Agg Banke with the winner receiving $1000 as a cash prize. DJ’s are provided with the instrumental and vocals to Agg Banke, with the track vocalled by the very talented Harry Singh. I caught up with DJ Scorpio as we talked about the competition and how it came together.

1. How did the Agg Banke track come about between you and the vocalist?

About a year back, Harry Singh dropped a track by the name of Pachian Pindan Da with Dj Rav-E from San Francisco on his album "Back to Bhangra" which was released on Tigerstyles Record Label Soldier Sound Recordings. I thought it was a hype track and mixed it in my monthly mixtape "Bhangra Therapy."



You can check the track out around the

07:40 mark. 


Harry was contacted by one of his friends who follows me on SoundCloud and was told that I used his track in my mixtape. Harry then contacted me to thank me for using his track and he added that he liked the way I mixed his track with Hip Hop beat to give it a different flavor. We then talked about producing a few original tracks and here we are. 


On a different note, I had been traveling to India for the past 6 years, almost every year for holiday and at the same time I was trying to find a Punjabi singer. Nothing was developing and something was telling me in the back of my head that I should just wait till I come across someone who I can work with in the states. It's always better to have your artist within reach.


2. How did the idea come about for the remix competition and what is your primary aim when putting the competition together?


For many years now, DJ's have been taking original music coming out of India and the UK and remixing it with their own style and flavor. There's many DJ's in North America and Canada that drop these mixes, almost on a weekly basis.


The thought came to my mind that, DJ's are going to remix your track anyways, why not just give them the vocals and original composition and turn this into a contest. When there is money involved, it just makes it more intriguing and interesting. It gives the DJ's a bigger perk to mix the track. I don't believe in being stingy with my music.


Some producers have a disposition against others remixing their tracks. I'm different in that sense because I know it's going to happen anyways.

3. What was the reason as to why you extended the deadline for the competition?

We were getting contacted by some new DJ's at the college level and a few known DJ's in North America who wanted to drop a mix, but because of time constraints, they didn't have time to meet the original deadline. The college DJ's were expressing how they would love to submit a remix, but because of finals they haven't had time.


We decided at that moment that it's a good idea to give everyone a chance to submit and showcase their talent. We only had 2 remixes submitted at that time. Now we are at 6 remixes and waiting on additional submissions.

4. A lot of DJ's entering the competition are from the America/Canada region, are you surprised that UK DJ's haven't entered as well?

No, this isn't surprising at all. I've been trying to enter the UK market for some years now. I do get a lot of positive feedback from producers and DJ's I know in the UK market, but I personally haven't made an entrance in that market yet. I plan to continue my venture and will keep producing music till I'm recognized in UK and India.


Nevertheless, an old friend of mine from the 90's who is a DJ in the UK and goes by Dj Raj of Desi Vibe Entertainment is working on the mix and plans to release by the deadline of June 19, 2015.


Furthermore, Harry and I have completed many singles and we plan to release a few more this year. To name a few: Sitare Vargi, Nain and Dil Lutke. 

5. Who is judging the competition?

I put together a team of judges that I work with on a more regular basis. These are the guys that support my endeavor and stand by me when it comes to providing entertainment. I thought, why not my team and I when it comes to judging this competition. They are listed below:

Harry Singh - Punjabi Singer 

Dholi Amar - one of Cali's leading Dhol Players

Dholi Harp - a good friend and a leading Dhol Player on my team for many years now.

Dj K - One of Bruin Bhangra's headline DJ's 

Tej Toor - "Got Bhangra?" Dancer

6. Is there a front-runner/current favourite to win the competition?


The effort put into the current 6 mixes by the DJ's who have submitted is phenomenal. Although they all have done a great job, we haven't decided on which is our winner is. Results will be released on July 18 and the $1000 reward will be mailed out by Aug 1.

So as we draw closer to the deadline of the competition, we expect many talented DJ’s to enter and make themselves known in the underground world, some of which I hope will grow as an artist and one day enter the mainstream circuit.

With nearly one month to go until we reach the deadline of the competition, are there any bhangra fans that have a favourite to win the competition? Leave your comments below!

Written by Jusi Sahota