Featuring a host of collaborators, including Equiknoxx’s Gavsborg and Shanique Marie, as well as tabla player Vikaash Sankadecha.

Swing Ting mastermind Balraj Samrai has teamed up with Asian Dub Foundation’s Pandit G to respond to life in the COVID-19 era and the impact the pandemic has had on Black, Asian, Indigenous and Ethnic Minority groups.

Created with the support of Opera North’s artist development programme, Resonance: The Lockdown Edition, ‘I Should Have Hugged You Tighter When We Last Met [Oh what a joy]’ started life as an instrumental sketch from Samrai, who then sent the track to renowned tabla player Vikaash Sankadecha.

From there the piece was passed around a host of collaborators, with Equiknoxx’s Gavsborg responding to the instrumental with a reflective poem, Manchester-based spoken word artist Farah Ahmad Khan adding her own words to the mix and Shanique Marie lending her vocal talents.

A Zoom discussion about the impact of COVID-19 on communities of colour between Samrai and Tunde Adekoya, a community organiser and director of Manchester’s Big People Music, also features on the recording.

The video, which was created by film production company and social enterprise Rainbow Collective in the unmistakable style of a Zoom conference call, follows Swing Ting and Shanique Marie’s incredible ‘Give Thanks’, which saw Samrai and Platt checking in with friends and family during lockdown.

‘I Should Have Hugged You Tighter When We Last Met [Oh what a joy]’ is out now.

Watch next: RGBdog (Soyun Park) fragments the daily life of Princess Camel in I.F.O.M.



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