Think back five years. After a long hard day dossing at school or college, we would all come home, put our feet up and switch on Zee Music. Anyone remember Zee Music Box? In its latter days it was infested with crap from TKM and constantly playing Khiza videos, however Zee Music provided a major out-let for UK Bhangra for the majority of the time it was on air. It gave UK Bhangra a platform to expose itself and made songs into anthems via its transmission across the UK and worldwide, although in fairness it also gave unwarranted attention to a lot of horrible music.
Now all we seem to see on Zee Music are shoddy Bollywood videos or adverts trying to sell us fitness machines. Were is the Bhangra gone? Over the past few years Zee Music has systematically gone about removing all traces of Bhangra from its channel, what was once the biggest form of promotion for UK Bhangra is now a dry channel that serves no relevance to supporting the UK Asian Music scene.
There have been a few rumours to why Zee Music suddenly decided to stop promoting Bhangra; it’s hard to argue with the fact that many videos simply were not good enough to even be on TV. However not ALL Bhangra videos are of a poor quality, yet instead of introducing a system of quality control Zee Music instead ‘banned’ 99% of Bhangra videos.
Rumours of Zee Music having an ‘anti-punjabi’ policy have been reinforced many a time over the past couple of years.
- Notorious Jatt’s Medley video which featured Aish and Maarey Dil Vaaliyan De was cut short due to its being ‘too desi & folk’.
- Kuldeep Manak’s video for ‘Ranjha Jogi’ was also rejected for the same reasons.
- Gupsy Aujlas video for ‘Pegg’ was rejected by Zee Music as it had ‘too many sardars’ in the video. Their words, not mine.
For the past couple of years Bhangra has been struggling to get itself shown on TV; unless you’re signed to Moviebox it was/is near enough impossible to get your video shown on an Asian music channel, until now that is.
BritAsia TV (SKY Channel 833) has filled the void that was left by Zee Music, and is now currently promoting UK Bhangra across TV sets up and down the UK. If you want to watch Bhangra then get yourself on to this channel. Although by no means a finished article, it is a start and something that was desperately needed by Bhangra.
With Bhangra getting so much exposure recently on mainstream television via Britains Got Talent (ITV), its quite shameful that until now, there has never been an Asian music channel dedicated to the UK Asian music scene. Who knows were Bhangra could have been now with some professionalism?