V-Mix puts South Asian hip-hop talent in spotlight
As one of Canada’s only national hip-hop related shows, “V-Mix” has a huge responsibility and its visionaries take the role very serious. The show, which airs every Sunday afternoon on OMNI Television, shines the spotlight on the South Asian urban music scene and continues to build a fan base. The show officially launched in October 2011 and has since been nominated for a Canadian Screen Award in 2012.
“I don’t think that there is another show that hones in on new non-mainstream talent,” says Dilshad Burman, the host of “V-Mix”. Burman, who immigrated to Canada from India when she was 21, cites Canada as one of the most accepting places on earth and credits the city’s diversity to the show’s success. With a degree in English Literature from Mumbai University, Burman has amassed an impressive resume in the media world, producing a 4-hour talk show in India and reporting from the red carpet from the 2011 International Indian Film Academy.
Although the show mainly focuses on South Asian talent, Burman says that it often extends beyond as well.
“You can’t talk about hip-hop music without talking about the origins of hip-hop and without branching off into reggae and soca artists,” she says.
Currently in its third season, and recently having filmed its 100th episode “V-Mix” always features at least 75 per cent Canadian content through a mix of interviews with some of Canada’s most recognizable artists such as Maestro Fresh Wes, international celebrities like hip-hop founding father Afrika Bambaataa or Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas, and most importantly new faces that are making a name in the industry.
“V-Mix” news host and music coordinator, Raoul Juneja, better known as Deejay Ra, shares that even as the show continues to grow in popularity, it will remain committed to showcasing non-mainstream talent.
“We give a big focus to cultural music artists and the reason for that is that a lot of times they go to the mainstream, they do face struggles as the few in their culture to come out.”
Juneja, who helps in choosing what songs get played on the show, says that the show’s goal is to be recognized as Canada’s leading hip-hop show and has called the show’s format a “multicultural mixtape.” Having worked in hip-hop culture for many years, among many other things, Juneja is known for his work as the co-executive producer of the Tupac commemorative album, A 2Pac Tribute: Dare 2 Struggle and as the founder of the “Hip-Hop Literacy Campaign” which brought hip-hop themed books to high school students across Ontario.
“Our thing has always been to support these artists from the beginning. We have a performance slot called “Take One” that features new and established artists that want to give us exclusive, behind the scenes performance,” Juneja explains.
A show that is still relatively young, “V-Mix” tries to incorporate new ideas to keep the show fresh, including a brand new website where audiences from around the world can watch Canada’s very talented artists.
Words By. Cameron Da Silva