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“I’m not sure impatience is a virtue. but I’m not sure patience is a virtue either. You have to know when things are just not working and find a way around that.”

Describing his goal in life as “being around artists and getting a sense of sharing in the music,” he took up performing with his rap collective Collapsed Lung. After limited success, Nihal chose to depart before the group went onto record the famous ‘Eat My Goal’ football theme. “At that time, no one wanted to hear British hip hop,” he reflects. “I could spend my whole life plugging away or use the contacts I’d made to try something else. I’m not sure impatience is a virtue. But I’m not sure patience is a virtue either. You have to know when things are just not working and find a way around that.” With such pragmatism and an easy charm, Nihal soon found work as a DJ, music journalist and publicist for big name artists as diverse as Mos Def and Elton John. But Nihal was not content on the business side of music and made a conscious decision to get out. In 2002, he joined BBC Radio One after being tipped off that they were auditioning for hosts for a new Asian Beats show. The last of 20 to audition, Nihal was teamed up on

16 THE DREAM FACTORY

air with Bobby Friction and this unique coupling spent the next three years showcasing new Asian music, changing mainstream perceptions and helping people appreciate that Asian music was “not just Bollywood and Bhangra”. Though he and Bobby Friction parted ways in 2005, Nihal has remained on Radio One, hosting both mainstream and specialist Asian music shows. His motivation is simple. “I don’t feel like I’ve heard the best music yet,” he explains. But even dream jobs are not without their challenges and Nihal is quick to recognise the responsibility that comes with such far-reaching and influential broadcasting. “It’s like someone saying, ‘Here’s Old Trafford, here’s a ball – every week, score,’” explains Nihal, about the responsibility he feels to deliver new music to his audience, while nurturing the talent he discovers along the way. “I’ve got 100 per cent responsibility to give people a realistic idea of who they are and what they are doing. I want to make sure artists are given the right amount of respect and advice. Artists don’t have a right

The Dream Factory  
The Dream Factory  

The Dream Factory

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