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The Story of the Dhol Enforcement Agency

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Not many can say they have performed for the likes of Kuldeep Manak, the Queen, Lehmber Hussainpuri, Jazzy B and Surinder Shinda, whilst in the presence of Kylie Minogue, Shahrukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai and Kulvinder Ghir. One man can though. Indi Singh Soor, the founder of the Dhol Enforcement Agency (DEA), can say he has done all those things above.


Not many can say they have performed for the likes of Kuldeep Manak, the Queen, Lehmber Hussainpuri, Jazzy B and Surinder Shinda, whilst in the presence of Kylie Minogue, Shahrukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai and Kulvinder Ghir. One man can though. Indi Singh Soor, the founder of the Dhol Enforcement Agency (DEA), can say he has done all those things above.


It all started for Indi when he was just 13 years of age, and received a Christmas present that “changed my life”, as he put it. The ‘Shava Shava’ album by Kala Preet was what initially sparked Indi’s interest in playing music.

I wasn’t even interested in Indian music to be honest with you…that particular album really pushed me to get into it.

It wasn’t until 1996 when Indi started his own dhol classes in Leicester, spreading his musical talents to the youth of the east midlands. Within 3 to 4 years, the very best students along with Indi started to produce and put together beats, and expanded their range of operations to live performances. It was at this point, that the DEA were truly born.

Deciding that they needed more recognition, Indi sought the help of a professional web designer to put together a website for the DEA, capitalising on a time when the internet boom was hitting its peak. From there, the band was being noticed more and started getting frequent bookings. The success led to the progression of the group, allowing them to invest in costumes for a more professional image.

The group has gone from strength to strength since then…

Of the countless performances the DEA have done, one highlight that sticks out for Indi is when they performed in front of the Queen, Kate Middleton and Prince Phillip during their visit to Leicester in March 2012. A performance of such magnitude is a testament to how far Indi has brought the band.

We were approached by the Leicester Cathedral who were organising the whole event. We were actually officially booked to perform for the Queen. It blew me away…she was standing right next to us while we were doing what we love the most, and that’s performing our live music.


The Queen wasn’t the only high profile performance the DEA have done too. In 2004, they were booked to perform at steel billionaire Laxmi Mittal’s daughter’s £70 million wedding in Paris. The booking, which came through the website, was a shock to Indi and his team, given that the likes of Kylie Minogue were also performing, along with the presence of Bollywood superstars Shahrukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai.

It was out of this world, we couldn’t believe we were performing there at this wedding with all these people!

Amidst all the performances with the A-listers, it’s easy to forget that the DEA have also mingled with the heavyweights of the bhangra industry too, having performed with the likes of Lehmber Hussainpuri, Jazzy B, Sardool Sikander and Surinder Shinda. However, none quite compare to the magnitude of having performed with the King of bhangra, Kuldeep Manak. When Manak was in the country, the performance was initially intended for the local taxi drivers in the area, but it wasn’t long before many others had amassed too. Despite having not done any rehearsals with Manak before, Indi and the rest of DEA put in an unforgettable performance.

It was the most amazing experience.

Escaping from the realms of music, the DEA have now made the crossover into the film industry, featuring in the forthcoming movie, ‘Jadoo’, starring Kulvinder Ghir, set for release this year. The comedy centres around two brothers who are cooks, but end up falling out with each other. It isn’t until they have to cook for a wedding, one brother with the sweet dishes and the other with the savoury dishes, are they reunited again. Filmed entirely in Leicester, the DEA feature during the movie’s ‘Holi’ scene on Melton Road. Coming from the makers of ‘Bend It Like Beckham’, it’s sure to be a hit, and will add to the diversity of the DEA’s repertoire.


More recently, the DEA group also had the privilege of performing live in front of hundreds of thousands of people during the Olympic torch parade, spanning 7 cities across the UK from Skegness to Leicester. In addition to this, the team also had the honour of performing at Loughborough University; in front of Team GB who were staying and training at the facility.

It was very special, a huge honour to perform in front of these athletes who were representing our country at something so global.

Part of the DEA’s success lies in a mindset that Indi Soor said to me:

Don’t do something that’s there, do something that’s not there.

This has certainly shown through in their live performances on the wedding scene; the epicentre of what the DEA do, with live folk renditions of the Eastenders theme, as well as children’s nursery rhymes that go down a treat with audiences. Indeed, they have carried this over to their music too, with last year’s EP release, ‘Drum & Disorderly’, which was accompanied by a music video too. This has set the tone for where Indi has taken the group since then, with their second EP, ‘On a Serious Note’ having been released in May, accompanied by another video. Pushing boundaries even further, the group has also launched a range of iPhone apps, where users can play the traditional Indian musical instruments dhad, sarangi and algozey.

Their latest project has seen Indi Soor collaborate with the legendary singer Surinder Shinda, in a remake of the classic revenge tale, ‘Jeona Morh’ releasing on 18th April 2013. The collaboration appealed to Indi as the song is one that resonates deeply with him, not only because it features the algozey prominently, but it is also one that he grew up listening to. The experience was not just a very special one for Indi and the rest of the DEA, but it has also been a big learning curve too, having to deal with international copyrights for the original song, and also managing time effectively to bring together the people required to record the single and shoot the video.

It’s been a very, very lengthy process, but when the chance to do something like this comes, it’s all worth it.


With aspirations in the near future to take their sound to continental Europe, and considering how far the group has come since its inception, it is almost certain that the DEA will continue to break new ground and innovate in ways no other live band can for years to come.

You can stay up to date with the DEA by going to, or on Twitter @TheD_E_A and @Algozey_Player
Both the ‘Drum & Disorderly’ and ‘On a Serious Note’ EP’s are available on iTunes now.

Jeona Morh’ featuring Surinder Shinda will be available on iTunes from 18th April 2013

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#MUFC, #Sikh, #bhangra #gym freak, graduate at @bcumedia & communication, free-thinker, #writer for @chakdeydotcom, chilled out and easy to talk to guy! =D

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