Read our artist's biographies below to find out more about each of the Glasgow Mela 2019 artists.
The Bhangra Beatles
The Bhangra Beatles
After completing the Laughing Horse comedy course in 2013, she has become a regular face on the Scottish comedy circuit. Lubna has gigged in the UK as well as USA.
Bhéara looks to explore the rich tapestry of ancient lost Scottish culture in conversation with the tales of ancient India. ‘Bhéara was at once creator and destroyer, gentle and fierce, mother and nature’ In song and dance we will tell the enchanting story of Bhéara, the supreme female energy and mother of gods and goddesses, seamlessly alongside the tales told of the formidable goddesses of ancient India who also bore strong links to the land. Compelling and accomplished Bharatanatyam dancers Kirsten, Gargi, Gaby and Karen will perform alongside the captivating voice of Ankna, accompanied by Riko on Clarsach , Emma on Viola fiddle, and Sodhi on Tabla and who will all sing and perform live.
Deepa Nair Rasiya
Deepa Nair Rasiya
London-born vocalist and composer Deepa Nair Rasiya has been making waves on the World Music platform internationally and is being increasingly recognized as a pioneering and innovative composer with a deeply soul-stirring vocal style. She is the first British Asian artiste to have won the coveted Artist Aloud Jury’s award in India for her acclaimed 2015 Sufi album DESTINATION. Having been a concert performer and recording artiste for over two and a half decades in the UK and Europe, she commenced her first ever concert tour of India in October 2018, performing at the prestigious Mahindra Kabira Festival, Paddy Fields Festival and Zee Jaipur Literature Festival with several more performances scheduled in 2019. Building on her foundation training in Carnatic classical, Deepa has also pursued training in Hindustani music from the eminent vocalist Smt Veena Sahasrabuddhe, of the Gwalior gharana and is currently receiving further guidance from Dhrupad maestro Pandit Uday Bhawalkar.
She has had the unique and immense honour and privilege of recording her vocals with two legendary musical giants of our times: the late George Harrison of the Beatles and the late Pandit Ravishankar on their spiritual album ‘Chants of India’ Deepa has worked as a concert performer and session musician in the UK since 1991. Deepa’s vocals have featured on numerous albums across the globe - eg with: the Japanese Band ‘Chari Chari’ in the album ‘In Time’ (2001/2); Jose Padilla in ‘Bella Musica’ (2003); Craig Pruess in ‘Temple of Spice’ (2002) and ‘Language of Love’ (2003) and the Buddha Bar compilations such as Maja Cantoma (BB –X) – to name a few. Deepa’s vocals have also featured on British film background scores and TV adverts – her film work includes hits such as ‘Bhaji on the Beach’, Bride and Prejudice’ and ‘Mistress of Spices’.
Deepa is regularly invited by the High Commission of India in London to perform at cultural events both in Britain and abroad and opened the prestigious India-UK Gala performance at the Royal Festival Hall in 2017; in August 2015 Deepa was extended the honour of being a special invited guest of the Indian Ambassador to Latvia and Sweden and performed at the Embassy’s special Independence Day event; she has also performed at the prestigious Kulturfest World Music festival and at WOMAD. Deepa works extensively on collaborative cross-cultural projects; she features regularly with London Contemporary Voices, a prominent British choir and is a member of the Songlines award-winning band Kefaya. She also heads a vocal trio by the name KauRaS specializing in spiritual music across genres. Deepa continues to perform Indian classical, semi-classical, World/ New Age/Spiritual music including Sufi, Sikh Shabads, and Bhajans to audiences in the UK and abroad.
Gtown Desi has been created by an enthusiastic team of talented individuals each having raw musical talent and a passion for entertainment, fused with their years of experience in touring the globe to further enhance their skills as musicians, producers and DJs.
Every member of Gtown Desi derives from a differing background musically, which in turn allows them to combine and create new forms of music. With influences ranging from eastern traditional sounds to contemporary western-based urban themes, the overall collection of DJs and Music Producers can simply fuse sounds unlike any other musical unit presently out there.
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Jhankar Beats- Registered Charity (SC046024) is a Glasgow based registered charity, formed in 2009, and registered as a SCIO in 2015. We delivers several weekly Indian dance classes based on Classical, Modern and Creative Dance forms to community groups from age 4 – adults, and these classes take place at Glasgow Hindu Mandir, Newton Mearns Parish Church & St. Anderston Kelvingrove Parish Church. Our groups have performed at various community events in Glasgow, Cumbernauld & Ayrshire.
Jhankar Beats believes dance is a system of ideas, cultural heritage and has wonderful ability to embrace everyone despite of religion, creed, colour etc. Together with music, dance can enrich the moral, the material, and the intellectual. Together, we endeavour to make a newer beginning.
Mrs. Moyna Sethy is the Dance and Music Teacher of Jhankar Beats and she's very well qualified and trained in her profession.
Kapil Seshasayee is a polymath, and a true original talent, both as a songwriter and as a soundsmith, a one man combination of Scott Walker, Mark Hollis, Arca and Richard Dawson, creating something wholly unique.
A Sacred Bore - Kapil's debut LP and a concept album based around India’s caste system whose cultural significance has recently earned its preservation within the Sound & Moving Image archives of The British Library - is a piercing examination of the abusive treatment towards lower caste Indians. Having already been featured in noted publications Pitchfork, VICE, Rolling Stone India, BBC Radio Scotland, The Guardian & The Quietus, Kapil was recently on air with Bobby Friction on the BBC Asian Network, as a featured BBC Introducing Artist.
Kapil made festival appearances throughout 2018 including Liverpool’s Wrong Festival, Decolonise Fest in London & Glasgow Mela. Kapil will be performing at Latitude Festival, SXSW, Celtic Connections, Cardiff Psych Festival & SOLAS Festival in 2019.
Find Kapil Seshasayee on:
After completing the Laughing Horse comedy course in 2013, she has become a regular face on the Scottish comedy circuit. Lubna has gigged in the UK as well as USA. With humour that bases around her Asian heritage, Lubna attempts to both break down and play on the stereotypes attached to her background. Lubna is also a trained actor and has made appearances on stage, television and film.
She was one of the stars of Still Game at the Hydro in 2014 and has also made appearances in BBC1’s ‘Scot Squad’ and ‘Armchair Detectives’, as well as making her big screen debut in the feature film ‘Moon Dogs’. This year she was in “two doors down” with Elaine C Smith. You can see her in American film “ Christmas in the Highlands” later on this year. In June you will be able to see her on the BBC’ s new comedy programme “ Comedy Underground”.
In her previous life she was selling drugs…. As a pharmacist. She is also a motivational speaker on health and wellbeing. In Scotland that is a very busy job!!! Lubna’s new show showcases her talent for Character Comedy. Be it the sharp- witted cheek of Aunty Jee, the Asian psychic Mystic Jee or as herself, Lubna is guaranteed to bring a smile to even the most hardened of faces.
I am a Bi Racial Artist living and working in Glasgow (dad from Peshawar/mother Scots Irish).
I graduated from Glasgow Art School in 2015, as a mature student with the David Harding Public art Award. Pre G.S.A. I worked with Diverse groups as a freelance Arts Facilitator for 3 decades and received the One Award for Cultural Integration in 2007. I am the only Bi Racial Artist of my generation working on the issues of identity and belonging using textiles, personal clothing, costume, and stories.
Pooja Angra and Karan Rana
Pooja Angra and Karan Rana
Pooja Angra is an Indian vocalist with a melodious voice. Pooja was conferred with a PhD in Indian music by Delhi University India. Having performed at prestigious platforms such as All India Radio, Indian National T.V. Doordarshan, BBC Asian Network, BBC.
Solent, Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan London, Nehru Centre Indian High Commission London, Wiltshire music centre, Art Asia, Sage Gateshead, Gem Arts, Milapfest, Zee London Mela, with numerous stage shows on record, Pooja has carved an immortal imprint on the hearts of music lovers in India and across the UK.
Pooja has done National tours supported by Arts Council, England. Pooja performs various music genres ranging from Hindustani classical, Semi-classical, Devotional, Bollywood, Sufi, Ghazal to Punjabi folk. Her experience ranges from teaching individuals and groups, practising the authentic approach to Indian music as well as collaborating with Eastern and Western musicians. Pooja, a firm believer of pursuit of excellence is undoubtedly a pride of Indian music.
Karan stepped into the world of music at a very young age of 5. He is an extremely able musician who has been trained in Hindustani classical singing by very well renowned musicians from India. He made it to the “Bal jagat” of All India Radio (AIR), Jalandhar, when he was just 12. His bhajan recitals at Jalandhar Doordarshan started when he was 16. Karan is a versatile singer and is blessed with a beautiful voice. From the Malhaar Utsav organised by the Harballabh Committee or winning coveted positions during the 125th and 128th Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan, the melody of his strains has earned him accolades in the musical circles. Karan lives in Edinburgh and has been performing at several well renowned festivals and concerts throughout the U.K.
Mitel Purohit is currently one of the most sought after Tabla percussionists in the UK.
His rigorous training in the Benaras style of Tabla twinned with his passion for world music, are evident in his expression and versatility. Accompanying the likes of Jagjit Singh, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Pandits Rajan Sajan Mishra and performing at the personal invitation of the legendary Sir Paul Mccartney, Mitel's diary reads likes a who's who of musical glitterati!
Ricefields (Arts and Crafts)
Take to the skies with Ricefield Arts! Visit the Picnic Hill and learn to make your own kite, using bamboo and following traditional Chinese methods. You’ll then be guided to fly your new creation. This is a family workshop, suitable for all ages.
Rupa Mooker (Compere)
Rupa Mooker (Compere)
A lawyer by day, Rupa has extensive presenting and hosting experience in radio, events and media work. She hosted Scotland’s first ever dedicated Asian radio show on BBC Radio Scotland for 4 years, has her own Sunday evening show on Awaz Fm (Scotland’s largest Asian community radio station) and has appeared as an expert guest on radio shows for Bauer media.
As well as hosting various large scale fundraising and charity events for the Scottish Sikh community, she has presented numerous prestigious events over the years including the annual Scottish Asian Business Awards, the Scottish Diversity Awards, Mela at the Green for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and of course, the Glasgow Mela!
“The Music Man” and his work need no real introduction.
Winner of the PTC Punjabi Music Awards 2015 ‘Best Non-Resident Punjabi Album’ for his album ‘Collaborations 3’ and countless others over the past two decades, Sukshinder Shinda continues on his quest to learn, educate and deliver the very best form of Punjabi music possible. As a live performing artist, Shinda has entertained fans with his live stage show around the world with
outstanding successes in the UK and India on a regular basis.
From the start of his musical education alongside his older brother Late Mohan Singh Nimmana in Birmingham, UK, to the stages of world music scene, Shinda’s love for music and his quest to excel as
a multi-faceted artist still burns strong to this day. As a percussionist, keyboardist, producer and singer, Shinda has become a global Punjabi icon himself.
Formed by Harvinder, who is universally known as Herbie Sahara - the lead singer of the group.
Herbie was born in the UK, and is a very confident vocalist with a powerful voice. He started singing to Hindi film tracks when he was only (3) years old, and also at an early age was singing at local Sikh temples. For as long as Herbie can remember he always wanted to be a singer. Herbie’s first recollection of bhangra is hearing Alaap and Heera. At age of (10), alongside his brothers ‘Kully’ and ‘Gurps’, they became members of the bhangra dance group ‘Nachda Punjab’.
Herbie served his apprenticeship playing keyboards and singing for local bands. He did his first ever stage performance
at the age of (11).
In the year 1993 Herbie and Kully formed the band Sahara and released an album
‘In temptation’ which exceeded their expectations and shot them to national fame. Then came the albums ‘Let Loose’ (1994, produced by Johnny Zee) and ‘Blue Print’ (1997), but it wasn’t until 2001 when Sahara released ‘Access All Areas’ that they became internationally recognised.
The album sales were phenomenal and the song ‘Soniye ni Soniye’ became the bestselling song of the year.
Sahara have toured in Canada, Norway, Denmark, India and Pakistan, Kenya, America and Dubai where they performed at the Dubai rain festival.
Sahara have many fans abroad as well as in the UK.
Then in the year 2005 came there biggest ever album Undisputed which took Sahara to greater heights and featured the anthem track "billo ni tera lal ghagra" appreciated around the world the song is huge - not just in the UK but countries like India, Kenya, Pakistan, Dubai and many more.
The latest two singles titled ‘Billo Hai’ & ‘Shake it’ have yet again proved to be a huge success for Sahara!
Whenever we hear the Name
Roach Killa, we already know
something fresh and unique is on the Horizon.
Roach Killa is a house old name who has given the Asian Punjabi industry numerous amounts of HITS. He has worked with the biggest names and icons in the industry - JAZZY B, GIPPY
GREWAL, GARY SANDHU, AMAN HAYER just to name a few.
2016 had us seeing Roach Killa transition from the Punjabi industry into making his mark into Bollywood, working with the very Talented Producers Meet Bros with His Bollywood Debut “GIRL I NEED YOU” for the Film BAAGHI which starred Tiger Shroff and Shradda Kapoor.
Roach Killa teamed up with Arijit Singh and Khusboo Grewal to deliver a Romantic Urban track that mesmerised the audience and so far racked up 50 million views and topped the charts all over the world. He went on to deliver more hits for Bollywood - “MAIN TERA
BOYFRIEND” for the Film Raabta and “AA TO SAHI” For the hit film Judwa 2.
Now Roach Killa is back with his brand new single “STILL LOVE ME” produced by Toronto’s very own “DEEP JANDU” and written
by Lally Mundi. The song is about the reality of a Music Artist’s career. What if one day the money stops coming in, “WOULD YOU STILL LOVE ME?” What if there was no expensive cars, “WOULD YOU STILL LOVE ME?”
The song is something different for Roach Killa as he is singing majority of the song in Punjabi to entrain a Global audience but yet
still keeping his unique style and identity.
JK, born and raised in Derby, UK has gone from being a fan of Panjabi music to one of its hottest homegrown commodities. With his introduction to the scene in 2008 with the hit single 'Gabru Panjab Dha' followed up by the album of the same name in 2011; JK has released a steady stream of hits alongside his teacher/music producer, Tru-Skool.
JK is an artist that encompasses the sound of UK Bhangra and traditional Panjabi Folk music.
JK can be found performing all over the UK and the world at Melas, Club Events, Festivals and Wedding/Family functions.
When you witness the electric and energetic performance from JK, you can see why he is one of the UK's most loved musical exports.
Rajasthan's elite street circus, presenting the best of the region's performers from the legendary entertainment communities.
Featuring Govinda the fakir, who's jaw-dropping skills can be seen in Disney's live-action remake of "Dumbo" - released Worldwide this year.
The cast of aerialists, acrobats, musicians, slack-rope walkers, dancers and puppeteers and the eye-watering displays by their fakir, present a colourful, vibrant, fast-moving extravaganza of intrigue, drama, feats of daring, music, laughter and surprise.
Sanjay Lago is about to Graduate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He is an Actor and Theatremaker. He does work within communities, schools and Prisons. He has interests in dance and music and theatre, his work usually is a collaboration of various artforms.
His work looks at themes of race, identity, belonging, sexuality, dyslexia to name a few. In his free time, he enjoys walking, reading, writing poetry and going to the cinema.
This is Sanjay’s first large-scale hosting event. He is both excited and nervous to be hosting at the Glasgow Mela, an event he has been attending since he was a child. He would also like to thank Diljeet and Sodhi for this amazing opportunity!
Come and see Sanjay and an array of amazing acts on the Hamara Stage!
A beautiful butterfly is what inspired Abhinaya Dance Academy’s creative Director, Smt Esther Sunija Binu to design an evocative new dance for the Glasgow Mela 2019.
The struggle to transform from the chrysalis to the butterfly is the struggle of life. Don’t miss this exciting new Bharatanatyam story which is as relevant today as in ancient times where this art is culturally rooted.
This classical dance form has been taught in and around Glasgow since 2004 by Abhinaya Dance Academy led by Smt Esther Sunija Binu. Many students have been successful in the globally recognised examinations and some are now at a most senior level ready, soon, to teach others.
Their work will be showcased at the Glasgow Mela 2019 on Sunday 23 June in Kelvingrove Park. Look for them on the Main stage at 12.50 pm.
Abhinaya Dance Academy has a long pedigree of success. They have performed at every Mela since 2009. They were invited to perform at Celtic Connections this year. In Paisley, they orchestrated that city's first ever Winter Mela which looks like becoming an annual fixture in that place's calendar.
Look on Abhinaya's website www.abhinayaglasgow.org to see the latest news and actions of this well-established and highly respected company. You can also see one of their special video productions "The Longing" here: https://youtu.be/eWVTsyZ8G60