Bali Rai was born in 1971 and raised as a working class Punjabi in Leicester. He grew up in a deprived area of Leicester, a city which is almost unique in terms of cultural mix and his style of writing is firmly grounded in the reality that he has seen around him since he was a child. The senior school he attended was about 80% BAME - 20% white children in terms of ethnic makeup.
Bali Rai has been writing short stories and poetry since the age of eight. As a child he made up wild and exciting stories and his imagination has been vivid ever since. At school he excelled at English language and told his teachers that he would one day be a writer.
He left school with eight GCSE’s and English was always his favourite subject. After school he did three a-levels at a local sixth form - none of which was English Literature, which he now regrets. He went on to graduate from Southbank University in London with a 2:1 in politics and since then he has had various jobs in retail, cinema, and telesales and has kept a keen, almost obsessive, interest in current affairs.