Big Weekend: Sliime and Chowerman ready to 'rep’ South Asians in Dundee

·3 min read

A lot has changed about the music scene since Radio 1's Big Weekend last hit Dundee in 2006.

Just ask Sliime and Chowerman, two emerging stars on this year's line-up.

The festival returns to Camperdown Country Park this weekend, three years after the event was cancelled in the city because of Covid.

And the rappers are ready to "represent" the recent rise of South Asian musicians, DIY production and TikTok-driven viral hits.

"I want it to be a thing where it's cool to be South Asian," Sliime tells BBC Asian Network.

The Sheffield-based artist recently blew up with his song Lehenga, which he says was made to make South Asian women feel empowered about themselves and the way they dress.

"South Asian girls definitely deserve it. They need way more representation," he says.

"I'm glad I was able to do that with that song."

But his success has come as a surprise.

"Seeing the numbers it's done, seeing how many people are interacting. It's surreal."

And after it led to an invite to perform at Big Weekend, Sliime "couldn't believe it".

"Crazy. I can actually represent South Asians on a stage like this, where some big, big names are going to be - it's just mind-blowing. I'm still trying to process it."

From a bedroom wardrobe to Big Weekend

And Sliime isn't alone.

Chowerman, a rapper from London, is also set to perform on the BBC Introducing stage, two days after dropping his debut album.

"I'm gassed," he says.

Speaking to BBC Asian Network about his recent track Brown Boys, Chowerman says "there's just not a lot of South Asian rappers in the grime scene".

"I'm trying to rep it, for sure."

Chowerman is also representing the growing number of artists able to make an impact without expensive studios and big-budget production.

"All the songs you're going to hear at Big Weekend are recorded in my bedroom wardrobe," he says.

And despite being a long way from that bedroom this weekend, he's expecting a lot of support in Dundee.

A split picture of Lewis Capaldi on stage, looking away from the camera, and The 1975's Matty Healy on stage. Matty is pointing at the camera
Lewis Capaldi and The 1975 are two of the weekend's top acts

Who's playing Big Weekend?

Big Weekend is happening 26-28 May at Camperdown Park in Dundee, Scotland.

Dance acts like Jamie XX, Eliza Rose and LF SYSTEM take to the stage on Friday.

Saturday will be headlined by The 1975, with performances from artists like Jonas Brothers and Flo.

And on Sunday, Lewis Capaldi and Wet Leg lead the bill, with acts like Arlo Parks, Niall Horan and Becky Hill also performing.

"I asked about 20 of my mates, expecting about five of them to say yes - it's a long trip," he admits.

"They all said yes, so my mates are going to be front row, screaming on".

But Chowerman is far from phased.

"I'm ready for it. I feel like the time is right."

Big Weekend performances will be available on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds.

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