Swing Ting's Balraj Singh Samrai releases new solo project exploring grief
'Someone Died Today' features voice excerpts from his friends, family and regular collaborators
Swing Ting’s Balraj Singh Samrai has launched a new audiovisual project focusing on his personal struggle with grief.
Supported by MIF Sounds, Singh Samrai’s work covers loss in a South Asian household during the pandemic. This audio-visual project results in a snapshot in time of a family dealing with loss yet able to see new beginnings.
With previous acclaimed work for ‘Opera North’, ‘Manchester Museum and Season for Change’, performances at Manchester International Festival, spins on BBC 6 Music (Jamz Supernova/Mary Anne Hobbs) and support from Mr. Scruff and Bandcamp Weekly - this new work builds on new territories for Singh Samrai.
The story features Singh Samrai’s Mum and Grandma as well as friends and collaborators Farah Ahmad Khan, Shanique Marie, Vikaash Sankadecha and Simmy Singh.
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Beginning with a voice-note from Samrai he explains that he has just heard the sad news of his grandfather's passing. From this, his grandmother "Bibi" shares how she has felt the lockdown has affected her alongside the loss of her partner for many decades.
Swing Ting’s Farah Ahmad Khan also collaborated on the project by adding verses between intimate voice notes from Balraj’s Mum “Pinder” describing how she has felt during the pandemic.
Complementing the piece are the tones of Shanique Marie, with Tabla rhythms from Vikaash Sankadecha and Simmy Singh’s violin.
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Proceeds from the audio-visual project will go to Taraki, a non-profit working organisation for Punjabi communities to help reshape approaches towards mental health.
The hardest thing I've worked on - this project features my Mum and Bibi & deals with a loss during the summer of 2020 *Content warning on this in advance*— Balraj Singh Samrai (@deejaysamrai) November 23, 2021
Proceeds to @_taraki__ who work with Punjabi communities to reshape approaches to mental health https://t.co/YpfQEGxYDn 💚 pic.twitter.com/UZPsGatU66
This collaborative project comes only days after news broke that Swing Ting will host its final event: “Following this event, Swing Ting productions, promotions and label releases will come to a close in 2022.
“It’s been an amazing 13 years and we never knew how much we’d be able to achieve! We feel now is the right time to bid farewell.”
Balraj’s project is available now via Bandcamp.
Becky Buckle is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter