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Bas, Oddisee, Meba Ofilia and More Brought the Music at Levi’s 501 Day, 2019

The denim brand’s 146th anniversary took place at Mumbai’s Famous Studios last month

Rolling Stone India Jun 12, 2019

Bas performing his set at Levi's 501 Day. Photo: Courtesy of Levi's

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As part of their 146th-anniversary celebrations, denim brand Levi’s took over Mumbai’s Famous Studios last month and turned it into a mini music festival of sorts for their Levi’s 501 Day. On the bill included Mumbai singer-songwriters Mali and Alisha Pais, Queens-based hip-hopper Bas, Washington D.C.-bred rapper Oddisee, electronica artist DJ QBERT, London DJ Raji Rags, Shillong-based hip-hop artist Meba Ofilia and a set by Indo-British DJ Pia Collada.

First up were singer-songwriters Mali and Pais, who were the perfect start to the evening with their pleasant tunes. Mali juggled between guitar and piano performing songs off her 2017 debut EP Rush as well as her emotional single “Play” an ode to her grandfather. Pais with her husky vocals and acoustic guitar-driven sound played tracks such as the groovy “Up,” the poignant “Reflections” and the blissful “Purple Heart” among others. Both artists ensured that everyone in attendance was warmed up for the rest of the evening.

Over at the main stage, we caught the magnificent Meba Ofilia accompanied by her band. The hip-hop artist’s soulful rapping embellished with R&B proved to us why she won Best Indian Act at last year’s MTV Europe Music Awards alongside Shillong-based Big Ri [from hip-hop group Khasi Bloodz] for their banging track “Done Talking.” Next, DJs Raji Rags and Pia Collada both played high-energy sets with Raji Rags spinning mixes of tracks by Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West. The DJ also brought his scratching skills to the table.  

At this point, the audience was pumped and right on cue came out Oddisee. During his performance, the American rapper spoke about U.S. President Donald Trump, immigration issues in his country and even joked about the price of avocados going up if a wall was built between America and Mexico. Oddisee’s staggering set included tracks such as the glitchy “Hold It Back,” the piano-driven “Lifting Shadows,” funk-leaning songs “Want To Be” and “That’s Love,” the melodic sing-along “Like Really” and the hard-hitting “Ready To Rock.”  

American rapper Bas lived up to his name and was one of the highlights of the evening. The energy of the venue went through the roof as the hip-hop artist took the stage and interacted with the audience. Bas rolled out tunes like the pleasing “My Nigga Just Made Bail,” the lo-fi “Fragrance,” the chilled-out “Front Desk” and his magnum opus “Tribe.”  

The closing act for the evening was a set by DJ QBERT. Bas had left the crowd on a high, after which DJ QBERT showcased his trip-hop and futuristic sounds as well as skillful turntable scratching. Throughout the evening the music flowed superbly ensuring that everyone in attendance went home happy. We’re already looking forward to next year’s Levi’s 501 Day and can’t wait to see what the denim brand has in store for us.  


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