The Post That Wants to Save the BBC Asian Network!
It’s been a few months now, but the BBC have announced the proposal of bringing the axe down on some BBC Radio initiatives in order to save money. One of those initiatives under scrutiny is the BBC Asian Network. In case you’re not familiar with the BBC Asian Network, scroll down to the sidebar and see that it is the only Radio Show that I link to. Why? Because it is completely funded by the people of the UK, as well as it is the only show I go to, in order to discover new music first. Specifically, it’s Bobby Friction who leads the charge when it comes to championing new artists, and presenting us the sound of not only Asian Britain, but the world.
I’m not going to play the race card, but If you’re familiar with UK politics, you can say that it is a Conservative government led charge. In fact, the new government is stirring up a number of emotions.
I’m also, not supporting this case just to help save some jobs. The future of the presenters of the Asian Network have enough qualifications, and other ventures going for them, that they will safely land on their feet.
I’m doing this strictly for what the closure of the station would do for the future of Asian music.
The BBC Asian Network is one of – if not – the strongest platform for Asian artists to establish themselves in the world. The station is known across the world. Can you say that about any other Asian station?
Bobby Friction said it himself recently, when he said that by playing new unestablished artists on his show, he is letting them get their foot in the door to the industry. It helps them collaborate with other artists, and even find management.
Had it not been for the Asian Network, we may not have heard of such artists like Bohemia, Shizzio, JK, and Raghav just to name a few. We definitely would not have had the first Asian Download Chart Show.
Sure, there are other radio stations out there catering to South Asians. But they lack professionalism, and they sure as heck don’t help starving artists.
What do I mean by that?
The Performing Rights Society, is a royalty collection society. As a broadcaster, the BBC Asian Network pays artists that are registered with the PRS, to get paid every time their song is played.
If registered with the PRS, one play on the Asian Network is worth about £15. I was talking to an artist recently, and he has made “a few grand from one of his songs, a lot of which came from Asian Network.”
Other stations that complain about the Asian Network budget, do not take into account that the Asian Network pays PRS.
These same stations that are hitting out on the Asian Network, also aren’t paying PRS, and are matter-of-factly, breaking the law.
I’m not saying there aren’t any flaws in the Asian Network, but closing down this platform is not the answer.
In the meantime, there are things that we the public can do.
The main thing is to send in your emails to the BBC stating your opinion/displeasure/disgust at the proposed closing.
Tigerstyle, recently released a song with Shizzio about the closure, and if you check out the video description, Tigerstyle have laid out a a template for anyone to copy and email.
There is also the official facebook group dedicated to the cause, which will keep you posted on all the happenings surrounding the issue, of which 27.000+ people are already a member of.
And finally, let your voice be heard in Central London and Birmingham this Saturday, May 22, with the first ever Bhangra Flashmob to save the Asian Network.
For more details on the flashmob, go here.
Save the music!