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There’s lots going on for Newbury multi-instrumentalist and Big Boss Man frontman Nassa Bouzida aka The Bongolian.
Big Boss Man, ‘the UK’s premier punks of funk’ formed in 1998, have their roots deep in Newbury and Nassa lives here still.
Their Sea Groove, which is at nearly seven million streams on Spotify, features in new Netflix film I Used to be Famous, launched a week ago in cinemas. The film, directed by Eddie Sternberg, has gone on to be the fourth most popular Netflix English-language film globally this week.
The plot involves Vince (Ed Skrein), who used to be in the hottest boy band around. Now he’s alone and desperate. An impromptu jam with Stevie (Leo Long), an autistic drummer with an incredible gift for rhythm, sparks an unexpected friendship and together they form a unique bond through the power of music.
Sea Groove is taken from the debut album by Big Boss Man - Humanize - on Blow Up Records and is published by Blow Up Songs, released originally in 2000. Big Boss Man were formed in Newbury two years before and played their first gig at the town centre pub The Dolphin. The band recently headlined one of the stages at the prestigious Gambeat Festival in Barcelona. https://www.netflix.com/gb/title/81426667
The Bongolian is Nasser’s solo work and he has released six albums with Blow Up Records. The latest is Harlem Hipshake which finds him deeply immersed in his lifelong love for the music of the 60s New York Latin Soul scene, particularly the music of Ray Baretto, Mongo Santamaria and Joe Bataan. It is available now in clear 180g vinyl, black vinyl,CD and digital.
Principally a drummer and percussionist by trade, Nasser has once again delivered another set of heavy breaks and percussive grooves underpinning this brand new collection of songs that he has written and produced.
On October 28 he will be having a local launch party for Harlem Hipshake at Arlington Arts.
Nasser has also been recording a Reggae/Ska album entitled The Return Of The Loafer, going back to his skanking roots and it will be released on Spanish label Liquidator music in 2023, https://www.liquidatormusic.com
Support at the Arlington gig comes from DJ Ken Brookes. Special guest Simon Currie is equally at home on flute, clarinet, and soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones. In 2001, Simon joined The Manfreds, playing alongside Manfred Mann founder members Paul Jones, Mike Hugg, Tom McGuinness and Mike d’Abo;
Roxy Storm will also be joining The Bongolian and co. onstage for some sensational acrobatic dance moves.
Nasser will be exhibiting and selling his original handpainted 60s-inspired psychedelic designs (https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/BongolianArtCompany) that take you on a “magical mystery tour of colour and shape”.