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Bobby Friction and Nihal are both well known figures in the UK Asian scene. Bobby pioneered the Asian scene in UK with great club nights such as Kizmet, Swaraj and the ongoing Shaanti. While, Nihal is a TV personality who has had his own show on MTV Base called The Drop and is currently the host of two shows for CBBC called Top of the Pops Prime and The Saturday Show Extra. Together, they have given the Asian scene in UK a whole new level of legitimacy with a show on BBC's Radio 1 - which has been going strong since October 2002.

I was able to get a hold of Nihal during his busy schedule (actually, at the time, he was helping his girlfriend shop for shoes while speaking to me on phone!) to have a conversation about the next step for Asians and the scene at large.

AV: First off, why don't you tell me how you and Bobby met each other?
Nihal: Well the Asian scene in this country is not really that big and initially we had met through Outcaste club nights. But really, for the show, Radio 1 actually put me and Bobby together. The were looking for two people to do the late night show and they actually piloted us separately. Then for whatever reason they decided to pilot both of us together and then asked us to do the show together. Initially we were both skeptical but it worked - it really worked! In all honesty, the reason I feel it worked is because me and Bobby don't know each other inside out. We have discovered each other over the past few months and Bobby is really one of life's eccentrics. He has a passion for music, he is wild, exuberant, extravagant while I, on the other hand, am the hip hop and r&b head.

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Kenz Desai, producer extraordinaire, on phone from North Carolina. YES! - the man hails from United States! Here is another commercially released artist who joins the ranks of Karsh Kale, Cheb i Sabbah and the likes. Enjoy the read.

AV: How did you get into doing musical production and working with music?
KD: I started playing the organ and bongos when I was five years old, living in Zambia. At six or seven I had already begun performing on stage - so being on stage was not an issue for me. After this I got into sound design and sound effects - obviously I was very much influenced by Bollywood so I wanted to work on film scoring and composing. So as time progressed I got into the business for myself as a music composer, producer, sound designer & DJ and started taking on some of the larger projects. Did work on some bollywood albums and some main stream work such as Bollywood Flashback 2, Dub Of Asia, Dil Hai Hindustani, Hera Pheri etc.

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AV: Let's start with the most recent - whats going on in london?
DK: I've been invited to spin an opening set at Temple of Sound's LIVE press gig + record release at Cargo feat. Michael Riley (Steel Pulse) and the fab diva of all divas Ms. Natacha Atlas. Martin Morales of Futuro Flamenco (Outcaste) is also spinning that night. I feel honored that I am on their new album alongside legends such as Jah Wobble, Natacha, Doudou N'Diaye Rose and Linton Kwesi Johnson.
LINK : http://www.mondomix.org/mix_us/reviews_us/reviews_artists/temple2.htm

AV: Actually yeah, after I saw that on your website - I went ahead and got their cd.
DK: Cool. The track I’m on with Neil Sparkes is actually a remix of my vocals the TOS gents were passed on via a DAT I had given to Ben Steadman at Splash, which they had been holding onto since 1997. Pretty amazing huh? Kismet! But in all honestly, I have to say I personally feel that my re-sampled vocals sound a bit choppy and rushed at times, but it's pressed and out there...and I hear people are diggin’ it all over the world...So I have to go with the flow...I really much prefer the Club Remix without some of my vocals that Count Dubullah has done...EarthTribe had also done an earlier mix with those vocals back in 1999. I am trying very hard NOT to be too much of a control freak and be one of those musicians who feels that "you can't just sample a sound and use it" - more and more, especially of late, I am discovering that "there are no rules with music; you shouldn't have rules in music." - to me if it sounds good and I am feeling it - Great, it's on! Let's drop it in...Got my head cocking...Make it blend dk make it blend...Creating an emotion...Now that’s the challenge...That’s what I’m working on.

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AV: First and foremost, how did you guys meet each other, how did it all get started?
MP: Well we go back a long way. We met in junior grade in school but at that time, because Gaurav's dad's job moved him around everywhere, Gaurav went to some other city outside of Delhi. However, he came back to Delhi for his architecture degree in Manipur. At that time I was doing my engineering degree. This was in 1993. So then we hooked up again. Gaurav had started djing for a couple of radio stations in Delhi and I was doing sound engineering for a lot of the studios and was being hired out by a lot of these radio stations.
AV: So your engineering degree was in sound engineering?
MP: Actually it wasn't, but I was doing part time work as a sound engineer. So having known each other for so long we just decided to put our knowledge together and went out bought the equipment and started our home studio.
AV: When was this?
MP: This was in 1994.

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Having come up together, in parallel travels through the London electronic scene. Having both been born under Jewish heritage. Having both developed an interest in Middle Eastern and Jewish music. Having both studied a musical instrument in a classical aspect. It's a wonder Zohar as a whole, both Andy and Erran, didn't fully come into being until 1997. Read below to learn about this extraordinary journey that is still continuing to many new things.

AV: How did you two initially meet up?
Z: Well there is an album before the recent one called Elokainu. At that time we had actually first met through other musician friends. During the writing of that album we started playing at big festivals in England and that let to networking with other bands and parties and then Erran jumpstarted it all and thus came the beginning of the OneThreeSeven album.

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