JellyBaby's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘6music

So the BBC have made their controversial decision to axe two radio stations, 6 Music and the Asian Network. This decision, made in order to save money, has been met with hostility from fans.

It seems that digital radio just hasn’t taken off in the UK, meaning the numbers of people listening to these stations isn’t high. However, those who do listen, love what they hear.

I for one will miss the Asian Network when it goes off the air. Being bought up in rural Wales, I’d never really been exposed to much Asian music. It was only when I bought a new hi-fi complete with digital radio that I discovered bhangra, bollywood, and punjabi tunes and I loved what I heard. These genres simply don’t exist on mainstream radio – A.R.Rahman may have hit the charts thanks to his collaboration with the Pussycat Dolls and every so often tunes with Asian flavours might make the playlist, but on the whole stations like Radio 1 cater to more western tastes.

Now, artists like Jay Sean are concerned that many artists will find it harder to breakthrough without the station.

He tweeted “This is crazy. We (Asians) have no mainstream platforms as it is.”

Sunny Hundal, editor of Asians in Media, agrees. He said: “Axing Asian Network would kill off vital media space for a lot of British Asian content and culture (documentaries, fusion music) which does not get represented on commercial alternatives.”

Bhangra singer Jassi Sidhu said: “If they get rid of Asian Network it will be the final nail in the UK bhangra coffin.”

How will Asian music reach national audiences now?

Will Radio 1 introduce more Asian music into it’s schedules? Somehow I doubt it. The Asian community is now the largest ethnic minority community in the UK and as such they need to be catered for in the media.

Go into your local HMV or log onto iTunes and Asian music is hidden away in the “World” section, making it near impossible to discover new music unless you know what you’re looking for.

I’m really going to miss Asian Network, just as I know a lot of people will miss 6 Music. However, I can see how the BBC came to the decision to axe it, as it’s simply not popular enough. I hope the axe doesn’t mean the end of Asian music on the radio. For example, they could transfer some shows to Radio 1 or 1Xtra to ensure that new artists have the chance to make their music heard. Implemented well, this could still give Asian music a platform and perhaps even a wider audience. Cut it completely, however, and an entire community is swept aside in pursuit of a larger audience.

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