Bhangra Legends: ALAAP & HEERA
Bhangra, the pulsating, dhol drum-driven folk music from the Punjab made its way to Britain in the 1950s.
Fused over time with English and Indian spices, by the 1970's a unique concoction of tablas, tumbis, synths and electric guitars was booming out from the streets of West London, the 'Southall Sound' becoming a musical voice for first and second generation British-Asian youth.
Hosted by DJ Ritu from BBC London 94.9, we bring you two of the pioneering bands that spearheaded a musical revolution which resonates worldwide today.
Alaap and Heera have been performing for almost 30 years apiece and are the respected guardians of UK Bhangra. Amidst the flares, white shoes, and gltzy shirts of the early 80’s they captivated east-west afficionados through hit albums such as Teri Chunni De Sitare, Dance With Alaap, Diamonds From Heera, & Cool And Deadly!
Birthing a self-sufficient British Asian Music industry led by labels such as Multitone, OSA, and Arishma, they went on to export this diasporic hybrid sound worldwide! Boasting producers, composers, musicians, and guests such as Asha Bhosle(THE Asha Bhosle!), Johnny Kalsi(Dhol Doundation), Kuljit Bhamra(Spnm, Far Pavillions, Bhaji On The Beach), Nawazish Ali Khan(Fundamental), and Deepak Kazanchi(Naya Zindagi Nayaa Jeevan), Heera and Alaap are still the undisputed stars of British bhangra-beat!
The ‘next generation’ has been spawned and nurtured culminating in the offspring of the enigmatic leaders of both bands rising to the fore recently.