New Queer Voices: Cultural producer Ryan Lanji

The cultural producer started the Hungama club night celebrate Bollywood in a queer space


In Attitude's 25th anniversary issue - available to download and to order globally now - we're showcasing the boundary-pushing, trailblazing talents who'll be paving the way for the next next 25 years.

Ryan Lanji started the Hungama club night which 'started as a one-off night to experience Bollywood in a queer space'. Here he talks about how his party is growing year on year...

He says: "I didn’t realise that Hungama would grow from strength to strength as it has. What started as a one-off night to experience Bollywood in a queer space quickly evolved into us queering many unsuspecting clubs and venues.

"I started playing Bollywood music from YouTube to a room with only a handful of South Asians, and now, a year later, we’re throwing parties in Soho House, Ministry of Sound, Tate Modern and the V&A, where the room is full of caramel-coloured tones of skin and culture.

"Each Hungama party is an unapologetic showcase of Bollywood music, fashion, art and culture, and uninhibitedly supports the voice of anyone who is like-minded, believes in togetherness, belonging and celebration in a club night.

"We stomp on the dancefloor to hip-hop and R&B, and nostalgically dance to songs we grew up with in Asian culture. It’s liberating to be able to champion our untamed selves.

"I didn’t want to start Hungama just for the sake of having another queer club night, I wanted it to empower people to start that change we dream about (or complain about not having) on that dancefloor and in the spirit of sound system nights and to take it to the streets.

"I want to encourage our community to drink and party, to celebrate the possibilities of tomorrow rather than to forget the troubles of today. Every time we host the party, we build our family.

"I didn’t think what we accomplished this year was possible, so to think of what we can do in the next quarter of a century fills me with excitement.

"I want to see queer South Asians who had the courage to be their authentic selves remember how liberating that is and not stop achieving until all those glass ceilings have been smashed.

"Twenty-five years on, I hope to be able to look back at this cultural quilt our subcultures are sewing and see the beauty of everyone’s hard work.

"Every stitch, fabric, colour, shape and thread intertwining to create a strong, warm blanket for the world that provides a more positive and unforgettable history. When reality ends, imagination begins."

Meet more queer trailblazers in Attitude's 25th anniversary issue, out now.

Buy now and take advantage of our best-ever subscription offers: 3 issues for £3 in print, 13 issues for £19.99 to download to any device.