Bhangra X Hip-Hop

Posted: 24th September 2019

This summer, Pie Factory Music collaborated with Cohesion plus, and the Gulbenkian to put on a unique series of workshops for a project called ‘Bollyhop’.

Cohesian Plus is community project focused on promoting positive community relations and cohesion in Gravesend.

Two brilliant musicians ran the Project: Ollie Seager, and Bill Singh.

The aim of the BollyHop project was to create a fusion of Hip-Hop and Bangra music, and to give the opportunity for different communities to work together on a shared project.

Ollie is a Rapper, Singer, Song-writer, and producer who runs music workshops for young people.

Bill is a renowned Bangra drummer, with a passion for Hip-Hop, who works regularly with young people teaching Bangra drumming.

The project started at Pie Factory, with Bill and Ollie working with Rhys (AKA ‘MOOSE’) and myself, to begin building a beat that would form the base for our song. Rhys began writing Rap Verses and the structure for the song quickly fell into place.

Next, the project moved to the Gulbenkian in Canterbury, where Reece and myself met with Bill’s Bangra drumming group. We shared what we had worked on so far, and all began improvising over the beat, and sharing ideas for the song.

Everyone had something to contribute, and the surprise discovery that one of the boys from Bill’s Bangra group could beat-box added another element to the piece.

By the end of the two days at the Gulbenkian, everyone was happy with what was produced, and so we returned to Pie Factory to professionally record the finished product with Matt Smyth. Like with the rest of the project, the recording process was a collaborative effort, with everyone contributing their own ideas to how the BollyHop track should sound. Everyone’s different ideas and influences are reflected in the finished piece, which is really unique blend of the two genres.

The Project culminated in a group performance at ‘Boing’ festival in Canterbury, where Reece, Ollie, Bill, and the Bangra drummers performed our BollyHop track live.

The project was a great success, and provided a really unique and enjoyable experience for everyone involved and was a great example of what can be achieved through collaboration.

Written by Evan Williams – Music Programming Intern