Category: Asian Network
BBC Asian Network has announced the appointment of British-Asian music pioneer Mark Strippel, aka Markie Mark, as the Head of Music for the national digital radio station. Strippel (32) takes up the appointment immediately.
Markie, who broadcasts on the Asian Network and on BBC 1Xtra, is a well-known figure within the music industry and amongst the public from being a member of Punjabi Hit Squad (PHS). The group formed in 2001 and have been at the forefront of taking British-Asian music to a wider audience through a fusion of bhangra with hiphop.
Mark Strippell said: "I welcome the opportunity to be able to bring some real depth and cutting edge to the playlist at Asian Network - both in daytime and the new specialist shows.
"Like many British-Asians, my own tastes aren't restricted by genre or ethnicity, ranging from desi beats to leftfield breaks, drum & bass to Bollywood, and the new music policy will certainly reflect that.
"There will be a noticeable change in tone of the station's music policy, with a greater emphasis on homegrown talent, providing a platform for unsigned or independent British-Asian artists, and greater year-round support for live music.
"Asian Network has a key responsibility to play in uplifting the British-Asian music scene across all its genres."
The Head of Music role was created by the station late last year - along with the Head of News, Network Co-ordinator and new Assistant Editor roles - as part of the evolution of the station under Controller Bob Shennan's management.
The final decision was made by a panel including Bob Shennan and Vijay Sharma, Managing Editor of the Asian Network.
Bob Shennan said: "Mark's appointment is crucial to the new direction of the Asian Network, and the final part of a very very strong management team. He has an important role in reviewing our music policy and connecting with the talent in the thriving British-Asian music scene."
Key tasks for the Head of Music is to make music on the Asian Network more cutting-edge; to build and maintain relationships within the mainstream/Asian music industry; and to build on the station's commitment to live British-Asian music.
Being white and a specialist in British-Asian music, Mark Strippel breaks stereotypes and preconceived ideas about the type of people who listen to Asian music.
Mark's interest in Asian music stems from his upbringing in Hounslow, west London, and his role in the British Asian music industry can be compared to Tim Westwood's role in hiphop music.
Looking at Mark's career history, it is evident that a career in music and management is a natural progression.
Renowned for his in-depth knowledge of British-Asian music, Mark presents regular music shows Desi Beats on 1Xtra and Breakdown on the Asian Network.
Mark has been involved in the scene for more than a decade. In the early Nineties he made his mark as Editor of Apna Beat Magazine, moving on to setting up the UK's first weekly Asian club nights, Bombay Jungle at The Wag Club and The Limelight Club, where he cut his teeth as a successful DJ; and in 1997 he set up the Asian Underground club Kizmet.
Radio experience came in the late Nineties when Mark gained his first experience at BBA and Panjab Radio before joining the BBC in 2002 as part of the launch line-up of 1Xtra.
In 2001 Mark launched successful DJ collective Punjabi Hit Squad - leading to a major-label signing to Def Jam and productions for Mariah Carey, Bobby Valentino and Sway.
Markie also has a background in commercial law, artist management and Internet start-ups.