MELATOPIA Line-Up

The London Mela has an exceptional reputation for presenting the most exciting artists from around the globe, and 2020 is no different.

Keep checking this page or follow us @thelondonmela on social media for latest line-up updates.

Raja Kumari

Raja Kumari ('The daughter of the king’ in Tamil), is an Indian American songwriter, rapper and recording artist. A Grammy award-nominee, she is best known for her stellar collaborations with artists such as Gwen Stefani, Iggy Azalea, Fifth Harmony, Knife Party and Fall Out Boy, receiving a BMI Pop Award for her song writing in 2016.

MIDIval Punditz

There’s good reason the New Delhi-based duo are known as the Chemical Brothers of India. For 18 years their pulsing, driving electronica has pulled from an eclectic variety of sources across the planet. With sturdy roots in DJ culture, on Light (Six Degrees Records), their fourth full-length studio album, they’ve created their first performance-based concept record, rooted as much in Western rock as the diverse folk traditions of India.

 

Their accomplishments in creating a unique and refreshing genre were recently honored when winning their first GIMA Award, Indian’s equivalent of America’s Grammys. 

 

Recently, they were invited by Alicia Keys to perform alongside Norah Jones, Will.I.Am and Usher in New York City. Known predominantly as electronica innovators, the duo decided to up the ante by creating a fuller, live sound, evolving their craft as songwriters and performers.

Apache Indian

Born into a Punjabi family, Kapur was raised in Handsworth, Birmingham, UK, a racially mixed area with large Black and Asian communities, home of reggae bands such as Steel Pulse and UB40, and by the early 1980s he was working with local sound systems and grew dreadlocks. Apache recorded his first single in 1990, "Movie Over India", initially a white-label pressing, until it was picked up by the reggae distributor Jet Star. The single mixed ragga and bhangra sounds and was hugely popular among audiences of both genres. Two further singles followed in a similar vein, "Chok There" and "Don Raja", bringing him to the attention of the major labels, and in 1992 he signed a recording contract with Island Records. Apache Indian has recorded with Wreckx 'n' Effect, the United States chart topper Sean Paul, Maxi Priest, General Levy, Brian and Tony Gold, Shaggy, Yami Bolo, Boy George, A. R. Rahman, Sameera Singh, Asha Bhosle and Pras of the Fugees, Malkit Singh, and with Jazzy B on the album Dil Luteya, StereoNation, Bally Sagoo, Raghav, and Jim Beanz. "Boomshakalak" is featured in several Hollywood movies.

 

DJ Ritu

Pioneering international turntablist & former BBC Radio presenter, DJ Ritu hosts/produces A World in London at SOAS Radio, University of London, and at Resonance 104.4FM. In the ‘90s she co-founded Outcaste Records, signing Nitin Sawhney and Badmarsh & Shri. She has toured extensively in over 30 countries with her bands Sister India and the Asian Equation, performing at major venues and festivals including The Big Chill, WOMAD, The Royal Festival Hall and Trafalgar Square, and ioining BBC London in 2006. Ritu manages London’s longest running club nights: Kuch Kuch and Club Kali. Her repertoire includes Soul, Disco, Motown, Pop, House, Drum n’ Bass, as well as Turkish, Greek, African, Latin, and Middle-Eastern sounds. She is also renowned as a Bollywood & World Music specialist.

Celina Sharma

Celina Sharma is an Australian with Indian/Italian heritage, who started singing at the age of 7. Now at just 18, she is enjoying a meteoric rise to fame having signed with Virgin EMI and sung the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup anthem We Are One with Bharat Army. She was a BBC Asian Network Future Sounds Artist in 2019, and collaborated with Emiway Bantai on her track Lean On in the same year.

Panjabi MC

Panjabi MC a British recording artist, producer and DJ, internationally renowned for his career mixing and merging traditional Punjabi music with hip hop, R&B and dance.  Widely known for his Iconic Bhangra hit  ‘Mundian To Bach KE’ which sold 10 million copies worldwide; one of the best-selling singles of all time.  

 

Continuing to make hit singles: Jogi, Moorni and Snake Charmer, Panjabi MC has become a sort after producer going on to work with influential artists such as JAY- Z, Beyonce, Kuldeep Manak and Spike Lee. He continues to innovate and generate new music,  sharing it with new generations on a global level. 

Bobby Friction's Fake News Orchestra

Bobby Friction is world renowned for his specialist knowledge of British Asian Music & South Asian music from the Indian / Pakistani Sub-continent. As a DJ for nearly the last 20 years he's preached the Desi Music gospel across the continents as well as written about it extensively. He's also an accomplished & award winning broadcaster & documentary maker for radio & TV specialising in Music, Politics, & Society.

Panjabi Hit Squad

Panjabi Hit Squad Aka Dee and Rav, have been filling our airwaves for nearly 20 years, the collective originally forming back in 2001 with Dee, Rav, Markie and Amo, blending Bhangra with urban street music ‘desi beats’.  

 

They went on to be signed by Def Jam UK, and produced for the likes of Mariah Carey, Beenie Man, Ashanti, and even having their work used in the Jay-Z song Higher. In 2006 Dee and Rav released the hit track ‘Pyra Hogiya’ giving birth to the new genre ‘Bollyhood’. Shortly after they joined the BBC Asian Network where they have been reaching into our ears for 13 years, they continue to produce and mix, and we look forward to them joining us at Melatopia 2020. 

Juggy D

Juggy D is performing alongside Sangeet College. Five Tabla players taught by Sachin Khetani and Dr Frances Shepherd. The Tabla players will be performing classical Benares tabla alongside Juggy D's greatest Hits.  

 

Southall born Juggy D has been performing from the age of 14, breaking out with Jay Sean, and going on to work with the likes of Madonna, Mary J. Blige, Britney, and Missy Elliot, the list goes on.  

 

Giving life to Urban Desi Genre, Juggy D has continued to write and perform, collaborating and sharing his talents, last year wining him Best Collaboration at Brit Asia TV Music Awards for "Dance", with F1rstman, H Dhami, Mumzy and Raxstar.

DJ Shraii

DJ Shraii is a presenter on

BBC Asian Network and is also Arjun‘s official Tour DJ.

Shraii is an international DJ who was born and raised in London where he has held residencies in the main room at some of the Worlds most renowned nightclubs including Ministry of Sound for Milkshake aged just 18. Throughout Shraii’s journey he has DJd alongside an extensive list of celebrities including Guru Randhawa, WizKid, T-Pain, Usain Bolt & many more.

Khanvict

Surrey / Canada based producer Khanvict is an escape artist. His love for lush strings, cinematic swells, and a West Coast bass music punch instantly transports the listener – conjuring visions of desert expanses and dense jungle paradises. ‘Heavy’ is his most sophisticated effort yet on Snakes x Ladders. Deep and contoured 808 bass tones are held in juxtaposition with soaring strings and vocal samples - and a clever chord change in the breakdown. ‘Heavy’ is a crucial piece of the story Khanvict has been telling for his last 2 years of releasing music. In these troubled times, his sets of original music are medicine – connecting the audience to his deep roots.

Roma Sagar

Roma is a London based singer songwriter, singing in Punjabi, Hindi and English, starting her career with ‘Tere Bin (I Just Want)’ ft. Rishi Rich and going on to become a trending artist on YouTube with ‘Rooftop’. She will be sharing a performance of her latest release ‘In The Club’ exclusively at MELATOPIA!  

Rio Jai

Indian singer Rio Jai is best known as the protege of Vee Music. Having worked behind the scenes in writing and creating music for 3 years, he rose to an incredible level of recognition on his debut singles Aaja Soniye and Body On Me (featuring both Tasha Tah and Raxstar). Rio was also then scouted by record managements and lables after signing alongside other artists who featured on his own show, 'The Rio Jai Show'.

Indian Man

Indian singer Rio Jai is best known as the protege of Vee Music. Having worked behind the scenes in writing and creating music for 3 years, he rose to an incredible level of recognition on his debut singles Aaja Soniye and Body On Me (featuring both Tasha Tah and Raxstar). Rio was also then scouted by record managements and lables after signing alongside other artists who featured on his own show, 'The Rio Jai Show'.

Hyphen

Hyphen had an usual start in rap music - he worked in finance. Depressed and feeling a lack of purpose, Hyphen was looking for a way to express himself. His new found love of rap music helped him deal with depression and he found a new sense of purpose. He is now one the BBC Future Sounds artists for 2020. 

 

Uniquely in the world of rap, Hyphen performs alongside a 6-piece Jazz band. His performances caught the eye of BBC Introducing, who selected Hyphen to perform at Reading and Leeds Festivals this year.  He has also taken the stage at legendary venues such as Ronnie Scott's.

Chand Ali Khan

Chand Ali Khan Qawwal and Party are the leading UK-based Qawwali group, established under the Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Memorial Academy UK, headed by Haji Muhammad Iqbal Naqeebi, the ex-manager of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. The lead Qawwal, Chand Ali Khan, is widely credited for performing the sacred art form with his mesmerising vocals and virtuoso talents that create a powerful resonance encompassing the most complex techniques of the 700-year old tradition. 

Pooja Angra

Pooja has carved an immortal imprint on the hearts of music lovers in India and across the UK. She performs various music genres ranging from Hindustani classical, Semi-classical, Devotional, Bollywood, Sufi, Ghazal to Punjabi folk. Her experience ranges from teaching individuals and groups, practising the authentic approach to Indian music as well as collaborating with Eastern and Western musicians. Pooja has a PhD in Indian music from Delhi University. 

Yash

Yash started learning in 1993 with the Dhol Foundation and performed across the globe and supported Faithless, Lilly Allen, The Prodigy, Pete Tong, Natasha Bedingfield, The Fugees, Page and Plant, and Jamiroquai to name a few. He had to quit drumming in 2009 due to a spinal injury but after years of fitness and strength building got back to it in 2019 fitter as ever.

Jay Kumar

Jay is a West London based Bollywood choreographer and dance entertainer who has been associated with the London Mela for over 15 years with colourful Bollywood dance performances with his DanceAsia and Jai Ho dance teams. His USP is his unique style of interactive Bollywood dancing which involves mass audience participation in his fun Bollywood dance routines.

Over the years, Jay has been involved in the programming and hosting of the Love To Dance stage. Jay has been instrumental in giving many community based groups and talented individuals opportunities to showcase their talent to the large appreciative London Mela audiences. His "Mela's Got Talent" section always draws great interest and has become a firm favourite as young and old audience members get a chance to be part of the London Mela. You can catch Jay performing with his dance teams in Melatopia. 

Sanju Sahai

Sanju Sahai, also known as Vishnu Sahai, is world renowned and one of the finest Tabla artists. A phenomenal Tabla Player well known for mesmerizing and captivating his audience with his virtuosity and complete spontaneity.  

  

He has worked with some of the world's most legendary artists including Pandit Birju Maharaj Ji, Smt Sitara Devi Ji, Natraj Gopi Krishna Ji, Michael Nyman,  Akram Khan, Ustad Sultan Khan to name but a few. He has performed in more than 25 countries in some of the world’s major concert halls such as Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall and the Sydney Opera House. 

  

He continues to collaborate with flamenco, jazz, African and other genres of music and dance. He is currently touring with Anoushka Shankar performing to music written by Pandit Ravi Shankar Ji and Philip Glass and also for the silent film score Shiraz composed by Anoushka Shankar. 

Jaymini Sahai

Jaymini Sahai is one of the most exciting artists to emerge from the new generation of UK based South Asian dance artists. Beginning her Kathak training in the UK in 1983, Jaymini gained her diploma in Kathak in 1995 and since then she has been performing nationally and internationally in both professional productions and community events. She regularly conducts school and community related dance work.

She set up her company, “Aradhana”, to present Kathak in it’s original pure form. In addition to performing and choreographing her own productions, Jaymini is a teacher of Kathak and holds regular classes, lecture demonstrations and residencies nationally and internationally.

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