Listen to Ashanti Omkar on the BBC Asian Network with her eponymous show covering South India, Sri Lanka and the global diaspora of those with roots in Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada languages in independent and film music from the subcontinent, including pan-Indian classical and contemporary sounds via this link 👉🏽 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04mv017/episodes/player
Ashanti Omkar also serves as Indian film and Bollywood expert, for BBC West Midlands, and BBC London. She won the Croydon music prize in South Indian Classical music, as a vocalist, in her early 20s, and was a gold medallist in vocals, in her teens, via the London Music Circuit competitions. Ashanti has written over 1000 pages, on the Asian entertainment sphere, in the now defunct national newspaper The Asian Post, as entertainment editor, and as senior features editor for the glossy Asian Woman and Asian Bride Magazines, and her DesiHits South Side Show, was part of the early wave of popular podcasts on Apple iTunes.
She has worked with Aamir Khan Productions, as a consultant, and with the London Indian Film Festival, as well as with the AEG group, at The O2, on their successful AR Rahman and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan summer music events, and to SSE Arena Wembley on their Asian shows. She is a partner with the Alchemy Festival, at the Southbank Centre, has co-curated the London Mela Classical Stage.
Ashanti Omkar has worked with Aamir Khan Productions, as a consultant, and with the London Indian Film Festival, as well as with the AEG group and The O2, on their successful AR Rahman and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan summer music events, and . She is a partner with the Alchemy Festival, at the Southbank Centre, and gives talks, about her battle with endometriosis, the taboos she’s broken, in her life, from domestic violence, to interracial marriage, while also forging a career jump, from corporate fortune 500’s, like PepsiCo and Oracle, to the media scene.
Ashanti Omkar is has been a part of many firsts, as a British Tamil, from being the 1st Tamil member of the prestigious London Critics’ Circle, the first Tamil to serve as Indian cinema and Bollywood editor for Cineworld cinemas, and their magazine, to creating history with her BBC Asian Network radio show, and also getting the phenomenon that was Kolaveri Di by Anirudh Ravichander, played on BBC London, the first Tamil to co-curate and present the London Mela Classical stage, and being the first Tamil to work closely with top Bollywood names from Aamir Khan and Hrithik Roshan, to Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra, and champion talents like AR Rahman, even before his double Oscar and double Grammy wins.
Ashanti Omkar has worked tirelessly, for the last 15 years, to bring cynosure to pan-Indian cinema and music, in a very Bollywood (Hindi) and Bhangra (Punjabi) centric mainstream media scene in the UK, and straddle across the world of business with the soft power of entertainment.
Ashanti Omkar joined the London Indian Film Festival team in 2011, when she worked with Aamir Khan productions, hand picked by him and his PR team at Spice in Mumbai, on his independent films like Peepli Live, Dhobi Ghaat and Talaash, and was a part of bringing the world premiere of Delhi Belly to the festival. She comes from a corporate background, having worked for Credit Suisse, Pepsi Co, Oracle, Hilton Group, and moving into media as a journalist and media consultant, 15 years ago. She has worked with some of the top names in Bollywood and Tamil cinema, from double Oscar and double Grammy winner AR Rahman, to acting talent like Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone.
Ashanti Omkar divides her time between her BBC radio show, and film commentary, and her consultancy projects, from LIFF to clients like The O2, SS Arena Wembley on their musical shows. She studied Computing with marketing and management at Royal Holloway, University of London, and has grown up in Sri Lanka, Denmark, and West Africa, before moving to the UK. She is considered an expert in pan-Indian cinema, South Indian music, and champions these via her radio work, and burgeoning social media channels.
Follow her, out and about, on Twitter or subscribe to her on her Facebook friends page (as this maxed out in 2008 with the Facebook limit of 5000, all updates are public, so please click follow) or her Facebook Page, musing and interacting about her beloved city, London and her passions of film, music, food, travel and inspiring quotes. She also photographs a slice of her life and travels, via Instagram. Watch Ashanti Omkar giving the opening speech at BAFTA, London, for the music launch with Sony Music India, and Gautham Vasudev Menon, for the hit film Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa.