Stepping beyond the fields of Punjab, the traditional Bhangra beats have now become the most common sound booming out of the music boxes on the streets of Birmingham.
The journey of the pulsating folk music from Punjab to the streets of United Kingdom has been charted out in a recent book titled "Bhangra: Birmingham and Beyond," written by Rajinder Dudrah, head of the Department of Drama and senior lecturer in Film and Media Studies at the University of Manchester.
The book is an introduction to British Bhangra music, using the city of Birmingham as a starting point to map out the journey that UK Bhangra has travelled, from its folk beginnings in the Punjab, to a fusion-based music in Post-war Britain, to now having crossed over into the mainstream through American hip hop artistes and others using the Bhangra beat and sounds.
The book draws on interviews with artistes, lyricists and promoters of the scene, including analysis of lyrics and some album covers to provide an insight into the industry.
British Bhangra has now come full circle. Whereas it started off in the post-war period as folk dance and music from the Punjab, in the present it has forged a path for itself, making it quite fashionable.
People from Punjab have been one of the largest groups that migrated to Britain. They brought with them the beats of Bhangra, which over the years, has grown into a distinct genre on the British music scene. It continues to have close links with Bhangra artistes in India.
Punjabi folk music was used and transformed by the early pioneer bands and artists in Britain about four decades ago, such as Anari Sangeet Party and Bhujangy Group both from Birmingham, and the female singer Mohinder Kaur Bhamra.