Billow talk: say hello to the city’s hottest new hip-hop act

When thinking about the Danish music scene, upbeat pop music by artists such as Alphabeat, Rasmus Seebach and Medina might be the first thing that comes to your mind. But dig a little deeper (or ask your hipster friend for help) and you’ll find a world of underground bands and music that is just about as varied as a Danish pick’n’mix candy bar. One of those bands is Billow, a hip-hop group from Copenhagen, who won the award for best Urban Musician at the 2012 Danish Underground Music Awards.

The band is led by Bashir Billow who, when he’s not rapping in a steady East Coast flow, croons soulful melodies with a honeyed voice that’s reminiscent of D’Angelo back in the day. Supporting him are a live band consisting of brothers Mathias and Jakob Miang, who play drums and guitar respectively, Mads Østergaard on keyboard and Anders Hellborn on bass. The final touch is given by the DJ, Sebastian Thielke, and the mesmerising Rezwan Farmi who sings backing vocals.

The band come from Nørrebro and the melting pot feeling of the area is definitely present in their music. They count The Roots, Lauren Hill and Mos Def among their influences and, although they are big old school names, it would not be unjust to compare the band to them: the music is soulful hip-hop with an enticing rhythm that’s bound to get you moving.

The band may have only been active for a little over two years, but they have been slowly building up a steady following – they released a single earlier this year, ‘Mental Picture’, which once heard is impossible to get out of your head. They’re planning on releasing another single with a video soon, but even though they are in the process of recording, fans might need to wait a little longer for a studio album. Until then, their presence on the Danish live music scene is welcome as there aren’t that many quality Danish hip-hop artists who choose to rap in English. Their decision to perform in English also allows for their deep and sometimes political lyrics to be understood by non-Danes, which is great, not only if you’re a band looking for international recognition, but also for those of us who live in Copenhagen but find the idea of learning Danish challenging (to say the least).

Billow will be playing this Saturday at the trendy KB18 in the Meatpacking District. The concert at Kødboderne promises to be a good one as Billow is first and foremost a live band. Frontman Bashir says they love to perform and interact with the audience and that, essentially, they’re all about having a party with fellow hip-hop enthusiasts. The best part? Rumour has it that some brand new tunes might make their debut at the concert, and since the band doesn’t have any other big gigs lined up until January, this is a golden opportunity to go and catch one of the hottest urban acts in Copenhagen today.

Billow
KB18, Kødboderne 18, Cph V
Saturday 21:00
50kr at the door
www.kb18.net