Student Life

FEATURED ARTICLES           Friday, August 29, 2014                                Email to a Friend

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Sweaty Coverage of the Sauna World Championship
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Internship Profile: Stephanie Ullman, CTV Newsroom
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The South Asian community has always struggled for a space on the radio airwaves and for a voice in the media to express their diverse experience and culture. BBC Soundcrew, one of Toronto’s top Indian and Bhangra DJs, has sought to create a presence and medium for South Asians to explore their culture, not only in Toronto, but for Canada’s diverse Indian population. After dj-ing in the nightlife scene throughout North America, BBC Soundcrew still felt there was a void of Urban South Asian programming, especially for South Asian youth. BBC Soundcrew's "Desi Live" Radio program hit the airwaves in December 2004 after the green light was given from the Board of Directors of CHRY radio station. The show, which fills an empty space for the York University South Asian population airs Mondays from 8-9pm on CHRY105.5FM.

"It was simply the next step that had to be taken. We put the Bhangra music in the clubs, now it was time to hit the airwaves. Toronto is long over due for a solid Desi radio program from a person who knows what is going on in the urban Bhangra scene and is actively involved in the Toronto Bhangra Scene," said Desi-Live host Johney Brar.

Presently, "Desi Live" is managed and hosted by BBC Soundcrew"s DJ JoN-E (Johney Brar) and is the #1 Urban Bhangra Radio Program in North America. Artists from all over the world drop by each week, providing music exclusives. Segments such as "The Old Skool Track of the Week, Top 5, Featured Album, Use it or Lose it (where the listeners decide if a new debut track should be kept in rotation on the show), and variety of interviews, keep listeners locked in each week.

Celebrating, their 100th show this past November, the show has made great strides in its first year, with the shows popularity soaring. Each show is also made available online at so listeners can listen anytime. CHRY has now expanded its reach and Desi-Live, along with all other shows broadcast, are now available on Rogers Digital Terminal on channel 945.

Brar notes, "The United Kingdom had so many new Indian radio programs that were targeted towards youth but also grasped adult listeners. Most Indian radio programs here are very adult oriented with poor showings from the youth market. Slowly I'm trying to change that by giving young people the hard hitting tunes that they want to hear and little something else. Hopefully this is a step in the right direction for the North American Desi/South Asian music scene.”

You can hear the “Desi Live” Radio show each and every Monday night from 8-9pm on CHRY 105.5FM, Channel 945 on Rogers Digital Terminal, or anytime of day on