The State Of The UK Bhangra Scene – 5 Big Releases & Understanding Markets


The UK Bhangra scene,  Bobby Friction and the BBC produced  a documentary on the scene and how it shaped generations over decades, well the sorry truth of the matter is that we may need to call Bobby up again and ask him to document a new Bhangra documentary “2018, 12 days that shaped a month” that is how small it has become.

The previous 12 days had people talking about Bhangra music again in the UK, and the media were all over it, and rightly so, we know a lot of artists say the media does not cover the scene enough, but hey we can only cover what is releasing and even only then if it is causing a stir.

The 12 days that were, gave us lots of new material and kept the public interested, but, what will follow is a huge silence from the scene with very little being released over the next few weeks to maximise any interest stirred up in the scene, meaning any gains will plateau and the hype will disappear once again.

As good as the past few days were, it also highlighted how inactivity from the UK is seeing it lag behind other markets. We take a look at 5 of the big projects from the past week or so and highlight how artists are even now looking at other scenes to maximise growth. Songs below are in date of release order

Manni Sandhu, Special Edition

This was a big release for Manni Sandhu and highlighted how brave he is as an artist, to independently release in India is not something many will do for fear of failure,

Fan base, Manni’s UK fan base is young and from a streaming generation, sales for his products will decline simply because his music fans are from a generation of streaming, this release has highlighted this.

Special Edition was aimed mainly for a global market and it is working, the song charted in the top 10 in the India mainstream charts and also entered charts in Australia and New Zealand.

Manni Sandhu like many other artists understands that the scene is global and the digital era has made the world smaller, this release summed that up perfectly.

Diljit Dosanjh “Jind Mahi” Music Manni Sandhu

Jind Mahi had a lot to live up to in India, Putt Jatt Da, Diljit’s last release was still in the top 5 and on repeat on all TV stations and radios stations across the globe, the song was and still is on fire.

Diljit Dosanjh and Manni Sandhu had stirred up a lot of interest in the UK, as it was the first project that would feature Diljit and a UK producer since his tracks with Tru-Skool. Did it live up to the hype?

The song is still in the top 5 in India and charted in 6 other charts around the world, the sales in the UK were not as large as maybe they had hoped for, but the stream numbers were damn impressive, when you combine Manni Sandhu’s young audience and Diljit’s new fan base which support his less desi work, it was no major shock that this did not “sell” well in the UK.

Globally, this has done numbers, India’s cities and young music fans are loving this, and we are not just talking about Punjab.

Gurj Sidhu – Adha Pind

Going into this release Gurj Sidhu was on a high, his cover of “Challa” alongside Manni Sandhu had become the most viewed music video by a UK Punjabi on the BBC Asian Networks YouTube page. So the hype was real. This also gave people an insight into what Gurj’s fan base is.

Gurj Sidhu has a bigger fan base in Punjab and North America than he does in the UK, he has a solid base in the UK, but the support outside of Europe is next level, PTC and others play listed the song and it is on repeat everywhere since it’s release, the interaction on social media and via Tik Tok has been bigger than any UK Bhangra song released this year, this highlights the Gurj Sidhu’s fan base type, he may not sell units, but views/streaming set’s him apart from so many other UK acts.

Adha Pind gave Gurj Sidhu his second song to hit the India mainstream charts top 20 in 2018. Dil Yaaran De charted top 10, Adha Pind peaked at 18.

Adha pind has had fan videos from the likes of Sidhu Moose Wala, Kaur B which just goes to confirm the growth of the song outside of the UK and how it has stormed social media and the public’s imagination.

Jazzy B, Kaur B “Jatt Da Flag” Music Tru-Skool

No song had more hype on it last week than “Jatt Da Flag” and that brings an immense amount of pressure itself, will it live up to peoples expectations? The primary market for this song was the UK and it did more than just deliver in that market.

Jatt Da Flag charted in 8 countries and hit the mainstream chart in 2. In the UK the song hit number 28 which was the highest since El Sueno by Diljit and Tru-Skool.  Tru-Skool will always chart in the UK, he has a fan base that is growing in age and the bulk of those fans still “buy” music, and the emphasis from Tru-Skool is always to buy, and not stream. In India the song peaked at 23 in the mainstream chart.

Jatt Da Flag would have had to really go some to top other Jazzy B and Kaur B collaborations, and even to try and top some of Tru-Skools other work, the reaction to the song has been positive and it feels like the true success of this song like so many other songs of the artists involved will be it’s longevity, it has made a good start as we knew it would, but longevity is the key to the success of this song.

DAS Music – Danger Zone – Danger Dhami 

In addition to the releases above was an Album called “Danger Zone” by DAS Music UK/Danger Dhami, now this album came out of the blue and really did impact hard.

This highlights that the UK has so much to offer and innovation and creation are not dead. Let’s hope we hear more from this camp in the near future as this album stole a lot of thunder last week and will be on play lists across the globe very soon.

The big picture is about making noise globally, but you start of with the mentality of conquering your own city and country first, DAS Music have made noise here in the UK and North America, a great start on what will hopefully be a long journey on the road that is called the “Music Indusrtry”.


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