What: Beats From The East
When: 12-2 p.m. Saturdays
Where: Radio 1190
More info: djash.me
E very Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. for six years, DJ Ashish B brings together music from the East and the West on Radio 1190. He's been doing it on-air there, in a different time slot, for some years longer, and it's definitely not the only way he reaches listeners.
I was just listening to your show on SoundCloud. I didn't know it was online.
There's so many international listeners on the show, so they cannot tune in. It's almost midnight in India when they're tuning in ...For them, it's artists that are on the show, and they wanna tune-in and see what's coming out.
For the uninitiated, tell me a little about what you play on your show.
It showcases the best Bollywood, which is motion-picture soundtracks that come from South Asia. Then there's Bhangra from North Asia. We also have a mix of drum and bass, and mix of electronic, and we try to feature stuff from the urban Asian and underground Indian electronic scene... We feature artists from across the globe who push the seam forward -- Australia, Asia, Canada, Dubai, even here in Colorado. We try to expose them as much as we can...
The genre is -- as much as it keeps people interested, it also keeps people sort of expecting a little more, because they're also expecting house, hip hop, drum and bass, and maybe ambient chillout, all in two hours. We try and mix it up for a variety of listeners.
So you were born in India, raised in Dubai and went to school in England. Where does DJing start to enter the picture?
DJing, I think, starts to enter the picture just before I left Dubai and went to England. My friends and everyone I was involved with we were into the music scene and we started getting gear. We were doing primarily hip-hop music. Back then, Eastern music was sort of not club-friendly. We started off playing early hip-hop music. This is around '95 to '98. I'm talking Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls ... Then there was a huge rise in the Bhangra scene. You'd hear cultural folk music mixed with Tupac ... I could relate to it coming from an Eastern culture. It was so much more fun to play that to my crowd.
When I came to Colorado, I got this opportunity with 1190. One of my friends reached out saying, 'Hey, you play a lot of this music when we hang out and they're interested in trying it out.' It was pretty radical, I thought, for a station here in Colorado. But I love it to death...[Radio 1190] is random and it's got a lot of things going on for it. They gave us that opportunity and that was huge. Since then we've been at it.
And you've had some remixes and mashups on BBC Radio 1.
They've played a bunch of my remixes that I've worked with. I've done some stuff solo. I've worked with electronic artists in India, as well. We have to overnight Dropbox our files and he wakes up and completes it and sends it back and so on ... The music scene is moving forward in that sense. They were nice enough to take my tracks. BBC Radio 1 took a remix of a big Bhangra song I did called "Amplifier" -- we did a drum and bass remix of it ... I did a mashup of a Beyoncé song with Bhangra music and that's exactly what I do on my show. It's East meets West. I want everyone to be familiar with everyone else. When someone tunes in from the East they might hear LMFAO over a Bhangra track and they'll be familiar with that and say, 'Wow what is this?'
And that's cool, that you can work from other sides of the world and connect people musically.
It is so cool. If it wasn't for the internet, I'd be collecting dust. I'd have nothing to show for the last eight years. I'm so thankful for it... Now we're the top Bollywood podcast on iTunes and the top Bhangra podcast on iTunes, and this is around the world.
Besides tuning into your show, where would you tell people to start if they want more of this?
We try and bring this every two months here in Colorado: bollywoodpartydenver.com... We take it to the next level. We go as crazy as we do on the show for eight straight hours on the dance floor. It's absolutely crazy.