See Bombay Bassment’s Covert Op in ‘Bam Bam (One Love)’ Video
This is the Mumbai-based reggae/hip-hop group’s first release since their 2017 EP ‘OK, Dance’
Since the release of their third record, the five-track OK, Dance two years ago, Mumbai reggae/hip-hop outfit Bombay Bassment have now started to focus more towards spreading good vibes than numbers. Bassist Ruell Barretto says, “[Now it is] less on metrics and analytics.” DJ Major C also went on to receive critical acclaim for his role on the soundtrack of the Bollywood film Gully Boy while MC/rapper Bob Omulo aka Bobkat and Barretto have both been heavily involved in the country’s live scene, with collabs and commercial gigs alike.
Now, Bombay Bassment is back with their latest offering, the club friendly “Bam Bam (One Love).” Although the track retains the band’s iconic feel-good sound, its accompanying video and lyrics lean more towards a serious note – activism for equality. “On this track we wanted some consciousness but not just a lecture, so the vibe was important. The track is against the backdrop of a new political instability that’s spreading worldwide with strongmen and populists shoving liberals off the political stage,” says Omulo.
The clip – directed by Mumbai-based Akshit Kumar and Omulo – opens with the rapper on a terrace performing the track while Barretto and Major C both dressed in camouflage set out on their mission to “neutralize human rights activist” on their Royal Enfield motorcycles. The video continues with the bassist and DJ breaking into an apartment, locating their target and eventually killing him.
On how the video came together, Omulo says, “Last year, 80 journalists lost their lives in the line of duty; activists for equity are targeted and eliminated as big brother [governments] spreads his surveillance in every corner since now technology allows it.” Barretto adds, “If we aren’t being tracked, it’s because we are already leaving enough digital footprint for anyone that wants to retrace our steps. And crucially, it’s not only the poor that are vulnerable in this new system, so no one should think it’s none of their business.”
While the video was filmed at Mumbai’s Kalina village, the song was self-produced by the band, recorded at guitarist Apurv Isaac’s city-based Aartiste Studio and mixed and mastered by Poland-based Dreadsquad.
Next, the band is readying more tunes which will be out later this year as well as an EP before 2020. On the current music scene in India, Baretto says, “We just need to be more hands-on because no one outside the community is going to do that for us. Hip-hop is on a roll right now, but that too calls for an even greater need for artists to be organized, otherwise this gravy train too might leave many at the station with empty hands.”
Watch the video for “Bam Bam (One Love)” below: