Music can make you think, act up and reminisce, but at the centre of it all, it’s designed to help you have fun. The urban music/reggae champs Bombay Bassment has been at it for years now, unwavering in appeal and kicking up a storm every chance they get with infectious rhythms and carnivalesque sounds.
Their latest EP, OK, Dance is no different. “It’s designed with one purpose in mind – to make people dance. That’s it,” says Robert Omulo aka Bobkat, as he takes a break to speak to us ahead of their show in Bengaluru at the blueFROG on June 24.
Performing in Bengaluru is always a treat he says. “The city has one of the most appreciative audiences for indie music. Interacting with the crowds here is always something to look forward to,” says Robert. Formed in 2010, MC Bobkat (Robert Omulo), Ruell (Ruell Barretto on the bass) and MajorC (Chandrashekhar Kunder on samples/percussion) are anything but new to the scene. The Mumbai-based trio has two albums under its belt – Bombay Bassment and Bombay Bassment X FUNC VIP – An appearance at Glastonbury where they opened for Snoop Dogg (!) being the definite cherry on top. “Our first album had a lot of acoustic sound to it, the second one was very electronic. OK, Dance represents that sweet spot in between – we can say we’ve found our sound on this release, not leaning to either extreme, just a tasty mix of both,” explains Robert. Having grown up with different influences, their sound is inspired by everything from hip hop acts like The Roots, Public Enemy, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and RHCP to reggae acts like Bunny Wailer and Bob Marley, of course. Their funk-inspired happy sounds punctuated with hip-hop, dancehall, reggae, Soca, Afrobeat have earned them quite the reputation too – not just for their rambunctious live performances, but tunes that make hip-shaking compelling. “Reggae is still at a nascent stage in India, but it’s growing. What is notable is that most people enjoy some reggae even if they’re not diehard fans. With this EP, we want listeners to remember Bassment whenever they need to lift their spirits, whenever they want to feel happy,” he adds.
A mutual friend apparently suggested to the drummer and the bassist that adding his friends (an emcee and a DJ) to the act was what would complete the sound. (And we can’t help but be glad it happened.) The urban music act is also disciplined when it comes to making music. “We rehearse regularly and write new material as often as we can. We revisit past gigs and figure if we can improve on them in any way,” says Robert, passion and discipline only taking them higher. In the midst of DJing, watching the IPL and other live acts and playing soccer, they are already throwing around ideas for their next release. “We definitely will always have another festival to dream of no matter how many we do. We also plan on regularly dropping EPs. We are also looking at potential collaborations, but let’s see how that goes, nothing concrete yet,” says Robert, already looking for the next source of inspiration.