Lila – The New Initiative for South Asian Music in UK

Music producer and entrepreneur Vikram Gudi has launched Lila (Sanskrit: divine play) with a mission to bridge the gap between South Asian talent and inclusion in the UK music industry. Lila believes that South Asian artists and industry professionals should be able to thrive at the forefront of the UK music industry.

Lila’s willingness to confront inequities and uplift artists directly has helped deliver the first-ever dedicated South Asian space at Glastonbury’s Shangri-La, the festival’s radical area known for celebrating underrepresented art and culture. The ‘Arrivals’ stage, programmed by cultural organisations Dialled In, Going South, and Daytimers, will showcase over 50 hours of South Asian live music and DJs including Bobby Friction, Anish Kumar, Nabihah Iqbal, Raji Rags and Nikki Nair. Lila is a proud funding partner of Bobby Friction’s Going South’s showcase of South Asian creativity. This collaboration represents an important first step towards platforming South Asian voices and talents within the music industry.

Increasing diversity in the music industry has been a refrain for decades. However, the gap in representation remains, particularly for South Asians. Lila’s founder, Vikram Gudi, is tackling this issue head on with the passion of an artist inspired, and a global team of experts. In partnership with the international nonprofit Center for Music Ecosystems, Lila will develop research-backed initiatives to narrow the participation gap. Increasing access to professional development resources, scholarships, recognition, and collaborations will enable South Asian musicians and industry professionals to reach new heights within the industry. The result is a more inclusive industry that benefits everyone.

Lila’s intention is to deliver:

  • Quantitative research and analysis on South Asian participation in the industry.
  • More recognition in the UK for South Asian cultural heritage.
  • A central resource and catalyst to support South Asian music.
  • Increased global opportunities for South Asian artists, including at showcase events that feature UK artists.
  • Developing research and monitoring tools to understand Lila’s impact in real-time, in partnership with the Center for Music Ecosystems.

Vikram Gudi, Entrepreneur and Founder of Lila says:

The idea of Lila has been in the back of my mind throughout my music career. I’ve always known that I wanted to do something more, after seeing a distinct lack of funding, initiatives and the infrastructure for South Asian musicians and music professionals. I had few role models from my own background to look up to, and I sensed that there was more I could do in the future. There’s an overwhelming amount of South Asian talent in the UK, and we want Lila to act as an accelerator. I’m excited to work with CME; and have the wealth of experience and passion of Shain behind us. There’s a sense of optimism around the South Asian music community and now is our opportunity to move the needle significantly.