After performing in front of billions of people watching worldwide, we briefly caught up with UK Based Bhangra group 'VIRSA PUNJAB' - To talk about the Olympic London 2012 Experience & much more!
They have also made available the music used in their Olympic routine as an exclusive free download!
1. Firstly, I Would like to congratulate Virsa Punjab on such an achievement. As we know Bhangra is known worldwide but here, in the UK it is fast becoming a craze, with the likes of Non-Asian British media utilising the music and dance. So, tell me how do you think your performance went?
We had a feeling it went well on the day but wasn’t sure because we was taken back by the magnitude of the event, all the cast backstage reassured us that our segment was something different and enjoyable.
2. How was your team selected as an exhibition act?
We approached the Olympic casting team and were selected; they were looking to create something different. And after seeing what we had to offer they were blown away.
3. How long did rehearsals take and was it to be top secret?
Rehearsals started way back in April and went from an hour long audition to 10 hour days at dress rehearsals, and yes indeed it was secret, known to all cast as ‘save the surprise’.
4. Tell me the history of Virsa Punjab, when was it established? Who founded the group?
Gurdeep and Prabjeet being friends from university both shared a passion for their culture; they decided to establish a Bhangra group to portray our Punjabi heritage: Virsa Punjab Bhangra was established in 2002, currently known as VP Entertainments.
5. What made your team members practise bhangra as an art form form?
All of our members have an interest for the Punjabi culture hence learning and teaching our culture to the next generation is an important and enjoyable experience for us, our passion is what keeps us wanting to progress from strength to strength.
6. What do you understand by the term "UK Bhangra"?
I think you can distinguish between UK and India Bhangra in terms of the sound and flavour, which differs from either country. UK Bhangra has taken an influence from western music and fused the two together to tailor for a more western audience.7. We hear you have a single coming out soon, can you give us any more information on this?
Brothers Gin and Rees also apart of Virsa Punjab Entertainments (VP Ents) have always had a love for music and production. They have produced their debut single “Sanu the Changa”, set to release on the 23rd August 2012. Please check out our website www.GinandRees.com.
8. What part does your Bhangra group play in shaping how Bhangra is perceived here in the UK?
Having already performed on some of the biggest and most prestigious events in the UK. We have also hit a worldwide platform after the London 2012 closing ceremony I think we have pushed Bhangra to a commercial audience and will continue to do so to create a positive impact for the Bhangra culture in the UK.
10. Has Virsa Punjab ever competed in Bhangra Competitions before?
We haven’t as of yet, but we may do in the near future.
11. What makes your team "stand out" from all other UK Bhangra groups?
We pride ourselves on our costumes, style, and originality.
12. In your opinion where do you see the future of UK Bhangra?
In terms of Bhangra music we believe that it will combine into the UK commercial mainstream market sometime in the not to distant future.
13. Any final words for the worldwide readers of SimplyBhangra.com
We would like to thank all the readers that have supported us and most importantly helped to spread the Punjabi/Asian culture to the masses.
GIN and REES - VP Bhangra Soundtrack London 2012 by ginandrees