Juggy Sohal, the BBC Presenter Bringing British Asian Culture into the British Mainstream
This past week we’ve had the awesome opportunity to (virtually) sit down with Juggy Sohal. Juggy is a young, ambitious presenter on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. It’s clear from his resume that Juggy has a deeply rooted love for his heritage and has involved himself in projects that bring British Asian heritage to a mainstream audience.
“Growing up in Kent was quite an experience and I really appreciate it looking back, but it was very white… I didn’t really understand a lot about my culture growing up, my parents were always busy with work, I was told I was Sikh and that I was Punjabi but all of my friends were white, I was very much a coconut”
It was at university that Juggy found the first community that really felt like his own, where he could meet up with and learn from other British Asians, a group he could more easily relate to in terms of shared experiences and heritage. Not one to be compartmentalised, Juggy also grew outside of his British Asian “identity”, tapping into the broader ideas of youth culture and making connections with people of all backgrounds, ethnicity, and religions. It was during this phase of Juggy’s life that he first noticed the disconnect between his experience of UK culture and how it is represented in the mainstream media
“As I’ve grown up I’ve learned about my own culture. I’m really happy with everything that I am and I want to showcase that, so it does annoy me that there is so little representation of BAME, and particularly Asians in the media, I don't buy in to the whole idea of just ticking a box in some areas which is sometimes what it feels like when seeking out opportunities. We (BAME) have so many stories to tell and they should be told in the mainstream media because they are British stories”
A clear success story, Juggy Sohal’s career has blossomed from humble beginnings in community radio to overseeing the local talent upload show on BBC Cambridgeshire and he isn’t done yet. We asked Juggy our top five burning questions and this is what he had to say:
Tell us about your rise from community Radio to the BBC? It must have been a fantastic journey.
“My radio journey started back in my teens listening to Chris Moyles, in my early twenties I started doing local hospital radio every Friday night with a team to get a taste of it. Then I made a move to London and brought my own Bhangra show to Shoreditch Radio, this led to me co-hosting the weekend breakfast show and getting to interview artists like Craig David. I moved on to Vibe 107.6. My big break with BBC local radio came, after many emails went unnoticed, when I decided to enter the News Voices’ competition they were running and ended up winning, opening the door for so many more opportunities.”
If you had any advice for people who would like to work on air in radio what would it be?
“Start right now and pursue it, that can be just by volunteering at your local hospital or community radio station and building your experience. Also be persistent and resilient in your pursuit as well.”
3. Where would you like to be in 5 years?
“Co-hosting the breakfast show on BBC Radio 1, you have to aim high right?”
4 What's the best Interview you've ever done?
“Best interview would have to be with Craig David, he was so much fun and very humble. We even did a rap battle with him, very glad he is back where he belongs in the music scene.”
5. What's next for Juggy Sohal?
“Next for me is to continue putting out TV reviews on my YouTube channel, I want to keep content out there on my socials during this downtime. I am script writing a lot recently so want to push forward with that and continue to build my show on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. I want to work with other people on the same journey as me, new and diverse talent. I'm always looking for characters who have the same energy and will put in the effort so we can collaborate and create something epic together."