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The Lebara Mobile UK Asian Music Awards 2012 Nominations – The Judgement

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It would only be right for us to scrutinise The Lebara Mobile UK Asian Music Awards 2012 as we did for its rival BritAsia TV a few weeks ago. The audience voted, the nominations are out, the voting period is blurred. See what we made of the nominees and categories, who deserves to be there and who doesnt?


It would only be right for us to scrutinise The Lebara Mobile UK Asian Music Awards 2012 as we did for its rival BritAsia TV a few weeks ago. Again we’ll hastily point out these nominations are all down to the public, anything that looks out-of-place is down to the audience votes or award rules. Why we state this is that we’ve just gathered these awards are rewarding acts and releases from 2011, which kind of throws us back as we are coming towards late 2012.

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The first piece of news we are very positive to report is the Lebara Mobile & Nokia UKAma Unsigned Act is Amanjot Sangha, who has been given the opportunity to perform at Wembley Arena on the awards evening on 25th October 2012. Many of you will remember her from BritAsia Superstar, where her majestic hindi vocals took our breath away, however still at a young age she has been given an even bigger platform to showcase her talent; a great coup for the UKAma Team.

Now to a breakdown of the different categories and their respected nominees, we won’t go through each and every category but will look at the standout issues. We begin with the Best International Album award which features the obvious choice of Amrinder Gill with Judaa. What we can’t quite gather is why Miss Pooja and Gurdas Maan have been nominated, when neither has released an album in 2012. Unless you include Breathless and Jogiya, which by the artist’s own high standards, were not their best work, let alone the best international albums of 2011.

A positive step from the UKAma team is to have a separate category for national albums under Best Album which focuses on UK releases in the voting process. It is unclear again what period of votes this covers as Aman Hayer’s last album Entourage was released in February 2011 where as Sukshinder Shinda’s Rock Da Party was released in July 2012. We won’t even begin to query whether the albums deserve nominations as we’d be here all day debating!

As for Best International Act this definitely will only go to one individual who is the headline act on the night in the form of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, it also reads for an interesting nominations list with Honey Singh, Mika Singh and Shreya Ghoshal all making massive impacts on the international scene, specifically in Bollywood and Punjab. Again we have the questionable nomination of the legend Gurdas Maan Ji, which may hint at ulterior motives such as a performance or appearance at the awards.

One of the most interesting categories is the Best Radio Show with each candidate having a great year in terms of quality and listenership. DJ Noreen Khan has been the stand out host in terms of audience numbers, whilst Nihal Arthanayake’s daily topical show and mainstream Radio 1 slot have enabled listeners to communicate their opinions openly on taboo subjects. All are deserved winners, one of the toughest categories to choose from!

What caught our attention was H Dhami’s nomination as Best Male, having released one track over the past 2 years when compared to the amount of quality releases Jay Sean or Garry Sandhu had over the same period. It is good to see the likes of Ash King being nominated in this category, having featured in various Bollywood soundtracks he is one artist that has snuck in, yet deserves the limelight of such a prestigious category.

The Best Female category is one we will be touching upon in the future, it does not bode well for the industry when we have to turn to Preeya Kalidas, Nindy Kaur and Tasha Tah as the best acts the UK Asian Music scene has produced over the last couple of years! This is one problem that is much broader than just an awards category and deserves to be scrutinised at in more detail.

One of our favourite nominations has got to be Naughty Boy aka Shahid Khan for Best Producer, a young man who has gone on to work with Leona Lewis, Wiley, Emeli Sande, Tinie Tempah and so on and so forth. His production skills are second to none, the impact he has made in the mainstream circuit dwarfs the other respectful nominees, who although make amazingly creative music, are  unfortunately boxed into the genre of Asian Music. If we are genuinely praising UK Asian Musicians, this nomination should definitely  go to Naughty Boy, regardless of whether he has or has not worked with an Asian vocalist or instruments.

The category for Best Newcomer seems some great talent including Shide Boss, Romy Artist and Banger who have all laid their foundations in the past few months. However where it gets interesting is the nomination of Junai Kaden, who has apparently left the Stranger Family and has been on a break from the music scene for a couple of months. An awkward situation always seems to arise where ever the Mumzy Stranger crew seem to appear!

The final category we come to is Best Video and for us there is only one winner: M.I.A with Bad Girls. What an utter freak of a video, the composition and creativity behind it is ridiculous. Filmed in Ouarzazate, Morocco it features the Arab craze of drifting yet brings the traditional Arab Dabke dance and their love for horsepower together. If this video can win Best Direction and Best Cinematography at the MTV Video Music Awards 2012, and can’t win at the UKAma’s it shows how intolerant and unreceptive Asians are to quirky concepts.

It will also be interesting to see whether either The UKAma or BritAsia TV Awards celebrate the life and works of Kuly Ral of RDB, who made a huge mark on the industry and with his unfortunate passing, he surely deserves at least a segment of performances in his honour if not a lifetime achievement award in his honour.

Let us Know your view on the nominations and whether they will actually affect how the industry pans out over the next 12 months.

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