In the spotlight: Bombay Bassment charts their decade of growth
Reggae-dancehall outfit Bombay Bassment steps into its 10th year in 2020; formed in 2010 as a four-member band, Bombay Bassment has experimented with sounds and music cultures consistently in the last decade. In the last few years, the band has also leaned towards the clearly emerging digital boom in the country.
We caught up with the band to talk about the evolution of their soundscape, their new single Reggae Over India, and future plans.
Bombay Bassment celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2020. How has your sound evolved in the last decade?
We have become a lot dancehall/reggae, Afro beat-influenced over the years. We were initially mostly hip hop, but today we’re about even in the split of the two styles.
On the production front, we’re a bit more digitally-driven now because that’s just the nature of the industry today. We seek an in-between blend of sounds.
Tell us a little about your new single Reggae Over India
The song was Major C’s idea, as we were gearing up for our first Goa Sunsplash performance in 2019; he suggested we make a track paying tribute to the budding reggae scene in India. The festival is the biggest thing in reggae in this part of the world, so we made something we felt was fit for the occasion and it worked like a charm.
The band has really diverse influences, from reggae to alt-rock to hip hop...
We easily walk the tightrope between reggae and hip hop and everything in between because these two genres and cultures come from Afro-Caribbean culture, influenced by American, Caribbean and African sounds. Bobkat has a hip-hop background, Major C brings the reggae vibes and Ruell grew up on that funk/rock diet, so we just blend all of our ideas and create music.
Where do you think reggae stands in the country, especially when it comes to live music?
At the moment it’s still a fledgeling culture and genre, but so was hip hop when we started. However, we definitely have a dearth of live venues at the moment, so there’s no denying, that’s a problem. Reggae is very message-driven, so don’t expect to hear it a lot in nightclubs, but however, a local adaptation of it can be very powerful because we have a young generation that’s often detached from their surroundings, not out of nonchalance, but such is the reality of the digital world we’re living in today. Music has a way of penetrating the digital divide and bringing reality into our digital castles and ivory towers.
Can you tell us about what you're working on next?
We have our next single ready, a powerful dance oriented one. We want to keep dropping good music consistently for a long time to come. It’s been an awesome decade, now on to the next one. We’re also pushing our Rasta Gulley Jams (Just held one in Kurla and another in Kalina this month). We’re trying to build a community of hip hop, reggae/dancehall talent and lovers in our neighbourhoods’ because any music genre or culture is only as powerful as the people it inspires, its audience.