DJ Nihal (born Nihal Arthanayake on 1 June 1971 in Harlow, Essex) is a British of Sri Lankan descent radio and TV presenter who broadcasts on BBC Asian Network and since August 2010 BBC Radio 5 Live. Nihal began his involvement in the music industry as a promoter of rap shows in his native Essex while studying at Burnt Mill School, Harlow, Essex. After graduating from university, Nihal began an unsuccessful career as a recording artist. He was briefly a member of alternative hip hop outfit Collapsed Lung. Nihal attempted to find fame as a rapper and worked with Fun Da Mental and Punjabi MC (in 1995), Badmarsh & Shri, Mentor, Sona Family and DJ Sanj and has worked as a freelance music journalist, having written for Asiana, Eastern Eye, The Face, Mixmag, Hip Hop Connection, Attitude, Bear magazine, Cage And Aviary Birds and The Observer. (read more on wikipedia)
Links To Peel
Peel went to see Collapsed Lung while Nihal was in the band in 1993 at the Powerhaus in Islington, London and would often play their music on his shows. In 2002 a new Bhangra show was created on BBC Radio One which Nihal joined with Bobby Friction, who gave a copy of their new programme to Peel as he felt it was broadcast too late in the night.
In 2003, Bhangra hit the UK charts with Punjabi MC’s Mundian To Bache Ke, hitting the top ten in the UK Singles chart. This led to BBC Radio One shifting the Bhangra show to a more appropriate timing in the evening, which ultimately led to Peel hearing more of the music: leading to Bhangra act Tigerstyle, getting their first Peel session in the spring of 2003. On his 24 December 2003 show, Peel felt he was still not playing enough bhangra music, however he gave his reasons as not having time to listen to many of them and also stating that those he heard in the year were mostly not good.