Back to the F**kture: Ryan Lanji

type - podcast
In the third episode of our Zoomcast and podcast, The Future Laboratory’s co-founder Martin Raymond talks to queer curator, dj, club organiser and influencer Ryan Lanji

Ryan Lanji has tattoos in all the right places – and probably some of the wrong ones, especially if you are Ryan’s mum. 

Ryan is a queer curator, dj, club organiser – more on the fabled Hungama later – archivist, influencer and all-round Instagram personality with his own show and a pretty massive following. But when it comes to his mum, Ryan is simply, well… Ryan – but no tattoos darling! Or that’s the impression I got when I interviewed him for my latest outing of Back to the F**Kture, the podcast and Zoomcast where I put fellow futurenauts on the spot about how they forecast and engage with tomorrow. 

It’s also about what they have learned from those great forecasting faux pas all of us make now and then. I wanted my show with Ryan to be different – and true to Ryan, he wasn’t just different, he was brilliantly so. 

First up, I didn’t want a forecaster, and he isn’t one in the strictest sense, but rather one of those innovators that bring tomorrow into being, ‘capture the zeitgeist’, as I once overheard somebody at Dalston Superstore describe him, while the rest of us watch and learn from him in terms of what’s new and what’s next. 

Consider his origins: he’s Canadian, he’s South Asian, he’s queer (mum, I think, didn’t like that one initially, but like all loving mums…), and he now lives in East London, where one fine night-into-late morning at The Glory, he founded Hungama, a mad, queer, glittering, wholly over the top Bollywood-meets-hip-hop, Hoxton-style living catwalk rave.  

But it was also a curated space and notional concept that gave voice, vice and permission to a whole family of marginalised voices to rewrite the future as it could and should be for South Asian ‘trans, bi, lesbian, non-binary plus fuck you for daring to ask’ people who had enough of hiding from their mums, dads and friends in the shadows of their multi-modal cultural roots. 

And yet, true to Ryan – and his queer curatorial sensibilities – the stars of what has been described as the ‘Indian Studio 54’ numbered among them two Polish witches – yep, look that one up on his Instagram feed

Published by:

17 February 2021

Author: Martin Raymond and Ryan Lanji



Hungama, in Hindi or Urdu, depending on which translation you settle on, Ryan tells me, means ‘chaos, heat or excitement’: those words and moments that swamp us all before real change and creativity begin. Which is what Ryan’s world is about, as you will hear on the show – from Hungama and his fabled Nailphilia show (still talked about at the V&A, where he was a freelance curator, as the show they should have done, and in the nail art bars and salons it gave voice to up and down the Kingsland Road), to his recent botanical non-binary queer bouquets and ‘extravagayzas’ on Netflix’s The Big Flower Fight. 

But Ryan refuses to rest on his laurels, prickly or otherwise, and has already kick-started NDYglobal, as in Not Dead Yet, a queer health and wellness initiative that provides FREE fitness sessions, sound baths – I once fell into one of these, as I explain to him on the podcast – movement classes, pranayama and mindfulness to the LGBTQIA+ community during lockdown.

He’s also running it as a new members’ online platform, which he discusses with me on the show, and says it is designed to provide slow news for the queer community with guest contributors –curated by Ryan, of course – to provide a much-needed platform for marginalised and unheard voices from our world.  

You can watch the Zoomcast below, or listen to the podcast here. Find out about Ryan and his work on his website,

You can tune in to the podcast on Audioboom, Spotify and Apple or watch the full Zoomcast below.