Ahmad Rubani, Asha Gold and Bilal Shahid are among the acts to make BBC Asian Network’s Future Sounds list for 2021, as the station’s celebration of new music enters its fourth year.
Folk singer Rubani, R&B newomer Gold and Bangla act Shahid are joined by R&B newcomer Hana Malik, Leicester rapper Jay Milli, East London’s Nish Asher, Pritt, who blends R&B with Carnatic melodies and UK Punjabi breakout Raf-Sperra.
The follow in the footsteps of alumni including Joy Crookes, Nayana Iz, Rvheem and more.
Ahmed Hussain, head of BBC Asian Network, said: “Asian Network represents the best of British, and our 2021 Future Sounds stars are just that! These are the artists who are not only celebrating their culture but championing it, all whilst in Lockdown! I look forward to seeing each individual’s journey, with the help and support of our presenters, DJs and the whole network!”
Presenter Bobby Friction, who will be joined by all eight artists on his show tonight (January 13), said: “Once again Asian Network Future Sounds delivers a fresh class of new and emerging British Asian talent to watch out for this year. I've spent my entire career promoting new British Asian music & I think it’s fair to say the artists coming through now are some of the most exciting in many years!”
Ahmad Rubani said: “I’m very glad I was selected as a Future Sounds 2021 artist. I’m excited for the year to come, I have huge plans lined up and I’m working on lots of material. I’m really going to show fans and all lovers of music how much we can do, let’s bring some positivity to the year!”
These are the artists who are not only celebrating their culture but championing it
Ahmed Hussain, BBC Asian Network
Asha Gold said: "Being selected as a Future Sounds 2021 artist by BBC Asian Network feels like a real landmark moment in my artist journey, it feels like an affirmation that my music is connecting with people and growing in the right direction. I’m excited to put out new music and features this year, that showcase the development of my sound and writing since my debut EP. We’re starting the year with lots of motivation and grand plans… So stay tuned!"
Bilal Shahid added: “I am grateful to have been selected as part of this year’s Future Sounds list. I want to use this platform to share my story and musical journey so more people within the industry and supporters alike can appreciate the work that has happened in the background. I am one of a handful of British Bangladeshi's pushing a whole new wave and I really hope that I can use this opportunity to put my culture on!”
Hana Malik said: “I’m so excited to be a Future Sounds 2021 artist! It’s sick to know my music will be heard by more and more people this year and I can’t wait to share everything planned. I’ll be releasing my song “Woke Up” this month to kick off the year which I’m gassed for, so keep both eyes peeled for some fresh visuals.”
Jay Milli said: “Being a British Punjabi artist I like to integrate my culture within my music. With my mixtape dropping soon, people will be able to see the versatility I bring to the music scene and how I can integrate different styles in the music I release. 2021 will be a big year and I plan to drop a bunch of music that I have been working on for the last year or so and I'm super excited.”
I want to use this platform to share my story
Nish Asher commented: “I’m extremely excited to be selected as a Future Sounds 2021 artist. Along with that, I’m looking forward to carrying out my plans as a singer in 2021, I have a lot of new things planned, big projects that I can’t wait to share with the world! Special thanks to BBC Asian Network, looking forward to this year!”
Pritt said: “2020 was a year of lessons, 2021 is the year I put those lessons into practice. As a Tamil woman, it is hard to come up in a male-dominated industry but with the odds stacked against me, I would love to get rid of that stereotype and add some substance to what I do with vim. 2021 will be my year, God willing.”
Raf-Saperra added: “As a cultural shift takes place globally within South Asian youth, Future Sounds allows me to crosshatch a new stroke into the existing, rich and seminal canvas of UK Bhangra music. I'm excited to be selected as I intend to spend 2021 bringing the spotlight on to the soon-to-erupt, underground, youth subculture, which marks the dawn of UK's Punjabi new wave movement. This is art. This is culture.”