Coventry’s Godiva Festival will be treated to some of the best South Asian music artists from the UK and beyond as part of the build-up to UK City of Culture 2021.
The Coventry City of Culture Trust has commissioned a special programme of music featuring a stunning line-up of international acts, British Asian stars and local talent that will take to the stage in the Rhythm Tent on Sunday, 2 September, as part of the free festival.
The Trust is working with London Mela to present From Bhangra to Bollywood: The Sounds of Asian Britain, which will include Asian Dub Foundation, Apache Indian, Zack Knight, Jasmin Walia, H Dhami, Raxstar – who will perform alongside Coventry-based Sunit - Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi, Sanwal Esakhelvi and Abi Sampa.
Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “We are pleased to be a major supporter of the brilliant Godiva Festival 2018.
“We have supported a new stage, Bhangra to Bollywood: the sounds of South Asian Britain. It’s a great line-up with some of the best musicians and artists from the British and international scene, to add to the festivities and bring the party to Coventry.
“Building a partnership with London Mela and the National Mela Network is an opportunity to bring a host of different acts to the city. As Cov’s biggest free outdoor music festival, we hope that there will be something for everyone to enjoy.
“This year promises to be another festival to remember – I hope to see you on the dance floor!”
Headliners Asian Dub Foundation have been performing together for over 25 years. Their unique sound is a combination of hard jungle rhythms, dub bass lines, industrial, energetic punk rock guitars, sitar and haunting sounds sampled from traditional Indian music, supported by militant, fast and burning rap-ragga lyrics.
Celebrating 25 years since the release of his most famous hit Boom-Shack-A-Lak, Apache Indian has written songs about serious issues and was awarded an Ivor Novello for his contemporary song Arranged Marriage. He will perform his well-known ragamuffin hits and his latest single.
Zack Knight is a singer, songwriter, composer and music producer who has been making waves in the British Asian music scene. He has recently broken in to the worldwide market with his song Bom Diggy in which he performs with British Indian reality TV star and singer Jasmin Walia who also makes a special appearance in the line-up.
British-Indian Bhangra singer H Dhami is the son of Palvinder Dhami, lead singer of the prominent 80s Bhangra group Heera. He released his debut album in 2008 and has won both best newcomer and best male act at the UK Asian Music awards.
Raxstar is a British Asian rapper from Luton who rose to fame with his single Keep It Undercover in 2005. He will perform alongside local Coventry-based music producer Sunit with whom he collaborated on the 2005 hit.
Pakistani born Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi is one of the most popular folk singers in the world. He has recorded over 50,000 songs in seven languages, was awarded Pakistan’s Pride of Performance award in 1991 and received a lifetime achievement award from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Attaullah will perform will perform with his son Sanwal Esakhelvi who is a rising star in his own right and has an extraordinary voice which contrasts beautifully with his father’s.
Vocalist Abi Sampa grew up in London with a passion for music, learning to play the saxophone and veena from a young age. She trained to be a dentist but put down the drill in 2013 to audition for BBC’s The Voice where she was chosen to join Danny’s team. The show changed her life as although she didn’t win, she has been performing ever since.
Councillor Abdul Khan, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Events, said: “This year the Godiva Festival will celebrate its 20th anniversary. Part of its success has been offering something for everyone which is why I believe this will prove a popular attraction in the Rhythm Tent on the Sunday.”