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Swing Ting's Samrai leads collaborative track documenting life through COVID-19

'I should have hugged you tighter when we last met [Oh What A Joy]' explores the impact of the pandemic on communities of colour

  • WORDS: PATRICK HINTON | PHOTO: COLIN @ HORNE CREATIVE
  • 15 August 2020
Swing Ting's Samrai leads collaborative track documenting life through COVID-19

Swing Ting co-founder Balraj Singh Samrai has released a new collaboration with Pandit G, Gavsborg, Farah Ahmad Khan, Shanique Marie, Tunde Adekoya and Vikaash Sankadecha called ‘'I should have hugged you tighter when we last met [Oh What A Joy]'.

The work was made in June 2020 with help from Opera North’s artist development programme, Resonance: The Lockdown Edition. It combines music and spoken word to document life during the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on communities of colour.

Samrai initially produced an instrumental, which tabla player Vikaash Sankadecha added South Asian percussion rhythms to. Equiknoxx member Gavsborg then penned a poem for the track, and Farah Ahmad Khan added her own spoken word contribution.

Read this next: Berserk dancehall: How Equiknoxx caught the world's attention

A Zoom discussion between Balraj and Big People Music’s Tunde Adekoya about the impact of COVID-19 on Black, Asian, Indigenous and Ethnic Minority groups and a vocal were Equiknoxx member Shanique Marie then completed the track. Asian Dub Foundation’s Pandit G worked with Balraj Samrai across the project.

Watch the video that was produced by Rainbow Collective below.

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