BALLY SAGOO Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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Born 1966, Delhi, India. Bally Sagoo is one of the godfathers of British bhangra beat, a fusion of contemporary influences with bhangra, the traditional Indian musical form. Sagoo’s family moved to Birmingham, England when he was six months old. Whilst his father ran an Indian record shop, Bally was far more interested in the soul, dance and reggae music he heard on the radio. As a teenager he made mix tapes (which he sold to friends) and also DJed at parties. He took a Business Studies course at college, although music was still very much where his heart lay. At this point he started to experiment with Indian sounds, adding beats and raps to create his own cross-cultural fusion. After college he worked as a hi-fi salesman and continued to experiment with music in his free time. He sent a tape of his remix work to the renowned Indian record label Oriental Star, who were impressed and offered him time in the studio to remix some of their artists. The resulting material was subsequently bootlegged worldwide. In 1990 Oriental Star released Wham Bam, a collection of Sagoo’s remixes of the label’s bhangra material. It became a huge hit amongst England’s Asian community.


Following this success Sagoo became the house producer for Oriental Star with whom he released a string of innovative albums, taking in elements of ragga, hip-hop, house and other urban dance styles. His work with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan on Magic Touch was particularly acclaimed. In 1993 Island Records subsidiary Mango released Bally Sagoo In The Mix: The Story So Far, a compilation of his Oriental Star material from 1991 and 1992 (including two tracks from Magic Touch). He signed to Columbia Records in 1994 and released Bollywood Flashback, a collection of songs from Hindi films given radical reworkings by Sagoo. The album proved a huge hit amongst Asians in the UK, India and around the world. It sold over 400,000 copies and with bootleg sales estimated at over a million. Two years later he was given his own television show by MTV India. He also released Rising From The East, his most mature and consistent piece of work to date, it featured the songs “Dil Cheez (My Heart …)” and “Tum Bin Jiya", both of which entered the upper reaches of the UK pop chart. A follow-up collaboration with Khan arrived in 1997, by which time Sagoo was being acknowledged in periodicals such as Rolling Stone as one of the true innovators of 90s UK dance music.