Urban Desi Radio

Hamsa Ramesha by Hamsa Ramesha

Get ready to jive to the beat of tablas while rocking out to hard metal. That is, only if you live in the Bay Area.

Since Aug. 12, South Asians in the Silicon Valley have been able to tune into KLOK 1170 AM every Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. for Urban Desi Radio. The show features music from around the world, with a South Asian focus, and plans for guest speakers and discussion topics on entertainment and lifestyle are in the works.UDR logoraster copy“There’s just something lacking in the Bay Area for people between 16 to 35,” said Peta Cooper, co-founder and co-producer of UDR. “We definitely want to bring in something that’s different from what’s currently being produced.”

UDR, whose core audience is more like 18 to 35, was created by Cooper, Mandeep Banga and Navin Tekchandani. Cooper said that although KLOK already plays Bollywood music, the show is aimed to bring various personalities and generate discussions on Desi-related topics.

On the other hand, Banga, who came up with the original concept, also hopes to shine a light on other parts of Desi culture. “I wanted to target any medium, have it be television or radio, and we came across this great radio opportunity,” she said. “A lot of people are unaware of genres like Asian underground; a lot of people are not exposed to that.

Banga confesses that the team was very much inspired and influenced by the BBC Asian Network. “Not only is the South Asian culture in the UK and Europe really popular, but they are able to balance that culture music and that cultural lifestyle as well as the new generation and new lifestyle.

Current plans include offering global sounds with a South Asian baseline, interviews of various musicians, producers and other personalities.

“It’s definitely going to be a musically different show,” Banga said. “We want to act as a cultural hub for the young South Asian generation in the Bay.”

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