Mayor of London hosts BR-AMA press Launch at City Hall
Top UK Mainstream stars attend sensational BR-AMA press launch
Text by Ashanti OMkar
Photos by Akin Falope
Always under promise and over achieve, that’s the obvious motto of the Br-Asian team, who have done just that – by keeping quiet to all the rumours and not responding to those who did not believe in them, the Br-AMA launch has certainly given heed to all, by being a classy event, which showed the power of collaboration and that which has made the word Asian something that has hit the mainstream big-time – the unity that has shown Asians to become a force to reckon with, in the UK, making multi-cultural Britain more and more successful.
Most impressive, was the venue of the launch was the venue – City Hall, the offices of London’s Mayor, Ken Livingstone, which are situated in London Bridge, with a beautiful view of the River Thames and Tower Bridge. Well attended is an understatement, as everyone who was anyone in the Asian music circuit was there – representation from the major radio stations BBC and Kiss, ITV and various other sponsors have shown their support, as this event is the definitive, in bringing Asian music to the forefront. After last years successful Asian Music Awards show, which was watched by over 1 million people in the UK and to 80 countries worldwide, via B4U TV, this year sees this show being taken to another level. With a prestigious panel of judges and a Radio 1 tour, which will go around the country, in search of the ‘new Jay Sean and the new Raghav, not leaving out the ladies who have huge musical and visual potential’, the awards show, which will be in February 2005, is set to be simply sensational. The website itself is impressive; find out updates and the announcement of categories on www.brama.uk.com from the 22nd November, with public voting commencing on 25th November.
Br-Asian also took this opportunity, to jointly launch their Br-Asian Mobile service, in tandem with The Pocket Group. They are working on “desi-fying” the mobiles of young Asians, who are apparently the biggest users of mobile phones by delivering high quality content of ring-tones, video clips and such ‘blingtones’ to their phones. Working with all the top Asian record companies, this is set to be a massive venture, as even at the MOBO awards, the best ring-tone category was the talk of the town, showing how much is changing in the music world, where some consumers would prefer a good quality ring-tone, to actually buying a single – this is a step to help stop piracy of the music, in this way, just like clampdowns are being done on the web, to stop music file sharing.
The Br-Asian mobile side is also introducing many exciting technological developments, in line with the long awaited 3G mobile phones, where the BRAMA will have cutting edge technology alongside the actual artistes development e.t.c – this means that exclusive collaborations, backstage footage and much more, will embellish the mobile phones of the revellers and those who wish to be up-to-date with the happenings on the night, who couldn’t be there. This is certainly where innovation comes in, Asian style! Anu, of Br-Asian Mobile will be driving this project, which is already off the ground, with exclusive ring tones from Bobby and Nihal’s compilation album and Nina Jayne’s new single.
Going back to the night itself, the launch not only had the celebrities mingling with the crowds, with eager photographers capturing every moment, but also had some off the hook performances, by Raghav, who gave us 3 of his amazing tunes, Nina Jayne bringing down the house, and a very enthralling, energy filled performance, from DJ Swami (who just released Desi Rock), which had Stereo Nation’s Taz doing an impromptu vocalisation, filled with classical twists and turns, incorporating essential Bhangra flavours – quite astonishing.
In terms of the who’s who, on the night, UK’s top stars of R&B, Hip Hop, Bhangra, Nu Soul were all present and enjoying the short evening at City Hall. Deeyah, flew down from Norway for the event, Zena was there, looking gorgeous as usual, Iceberg Slimm, Dr Zeus, Taz, DJ Swami, Hardkaur, the lovely Envy Roma girl group, Rouge, of course Raghav, Jay Sean and Rishi Rich, stunning half Pakistani half Jamaican Nina Jayne and the most beautiful and talented Nu Soul artiste around, Rhian Benson, who thrilled guests by gracing the presence of this momentous occasion, for Asian music.
As with the new compilation album by Bobby and Nihal, which is released this week, the fabulous new single by Rhian Benson, “Say how I feel”, which features the stunning model Tyson Beckford in the video (Asian girls voted him in the top 10 of Black men, in Asiana magazine) is out this week; including a fabulous Asian remix and being given airplay on Radio 1, by Bobby and Nihal, on their primetime show, Bobby & Nihal presents. All of these releases are in tandem with Br-Asian, who are indeed going mainstream with Asian music and culture, shaping the face of Asian Britain in the most positive manner, with awards sponsored at the BrAMA’s (which will be broadcast on ITV), by the big dons, like ‘The News International Group’ (Sun, The Times, Sunday Times and News of the world), NSPCC, Panasonic, ROC UMS and many more.