Huddersfield-born Rani Kaur, also known as DJ Radical Sista, believes daytimers helped fill a hole in the cultural life of young Asians and gave them a sense of identity. A cultural hub, daytimers represented a safe space, where they could be themselves. ‘It was about creating a new identity for Asians in the UK that had not existed before,’ she says.
Hardeep Sahota, aka DJ Deepsta, remembers turning up with his music on vinyl and cassettes and playing a mixture of bhangra, hip-hop, Bollywood classic mixes, garage, RnB, and other forms of dance music to large crowds of Asian and non-Asian youths, who would skip school or college in the afternoon. Venues in Huddersfield included Ku Club in Folly Hall, Calisto’s and Beyond Beach Babylon in the town centre together with the Students’ Union at the University of Huddersfield.
‘For me it was important to identify with Panjabi music at that point in my life, whilst finding my way in the world. Bhangra music had that pulsating energy, it was driving people to come together and celebrate – Pakistanis, Hindus, Sikhs – we all came together and it felt very special,’ he says.