Reggie ‘N’ Bollie were an infectious duo on ‘X Factor’ who always knew how to make people feel good.
They reaped the rewards since appearing on the show. They got signed to Syco’s record label alongside the likes of Louisa Johnson and Che Chesterman. However, despite the offer being mind-blowing of getting on the biggest labels that brought about Leona Lewis and Little Mix, the boys decided that they wanted to do things their own way, and therefore, established themselves as their own independent entity.
With this major move, they released their single ‘This Is Your Life’, taken from their album that is currently in the works. Despite their departure from the label, things are all good with Simon Cowell and his Syco Empire.
We had the chance to chat with this lovely duo. Reggie ‘N’ Bollie reveal the full lowdown about leaving Syco and whether they’re still in contact with the other contestants. Plus, they reveal a few tips for those who aspire to apply for the show and going independent.
How did you guys come together to form Reggie ‘N’ Bollie?
Bollie: Way back in Ghana I was doing my thing as a solo artist. Reggie was also doing the same but I relocated to the UK and I was still pursuing music. We used to be friends way back in Ghana before coming to the UK. Most of our conversations were always about the UK industry and things that we can do.
It became a thing whereby anytime that we talked, it was always about music. Eventually we were like ‘Instead of talking about it, let’s put it into action. Rather than what we’ve done before, let’s achieve something else.’ So I was like ‘Let’s come together and join forces because you was doing your thing and I was doing my thing. I believe in your talent and we’re on the same page in what we want to achieve internationally. Let’s get this rolling!
2. What made you decide to return back into the music scene?
Reggie: We’ve always wanted to music and do music consistently. When the chance came to just put up music, we were like ‘You know what…it used to be with a label. Now that we have our own independent label, we have more control over the timing.’
Let’s put it out there. This is the Life that we live. Being strong, putting ourselves through the hard times and having a good time. That’s what we are about.
Bollie: We’re really glad that you like the video.
3. There’s being many reports in regards to you becoming independent. What made you decide to leave the label?
R: Well…we say that it was a mutual agreement between us and the label. When we were with the label, we were in really good terms and are still in very good terms with them. We still communicate whenever we need, which is really good. BUT as artists there’s a direction we want to head and as a label they’re still businessmen and investors that want to position you in a way. So we had to compromise and say ‘You know what? We like what you’re trying to do, as it might work for you. So why not come to an agreement and see how everyone can walk out of it happy’ and that’s what exactly happened. We love Syco. We love the people there. Simon is such a lovely man…
…it’s just great that they gave us all of the experience that allows us to invest in ourselves.
B: And again we’re still in very good relations with them in as much we’ll be doing our thing. If we need anything we can pick up phone, call them and they still assist us. It’s great.
5. What’s the one thing about ‘X Factor’ that you’d like people to know when applying for the show?
B: You have to be open-minded and be ready to adjust. You might have your own identity but going on a show like that you need to be ready to adapt and adjust to the situation in order to get the best out of it.
R: Again, what he mentioned about going on a reality show like ‘X Factor’ — be open-minded, ready to work hard and make sure that you represent something unique, because that’s what will make you stand out.
6. Are you still in contact with some of the contestants in ‘X Factor’?
R: Yeah, yeah yeah. We’ve done a few shows at Wembley. We’ve just done show with Che Chesterman and we’re still in touch with Louisa Johnson. When we go to events and we happen to meet Max Stone, Alien…we become our own big family. We believe that it’s going to be our very own journey. So we just need to stay as good friends.
7. Your new track has an influence of AfroBashment/Afro-beats/Afro-Swing. What are your thoughts about the UK reception to this new sound?
R: We believe that the UK has received Afrobeats/Afrobashment/Afrofusion/Afropop (whatever you’d like to call it). The UK has really accepted it very well, because. However, in other countries it hasn’t really pop the way that it has over here…
It’s really nice and it’s such a good time for all of us that have that Caribbean and African vibe to be out there, perfect our craft and keep pushing it. Especially with songs such as ‘Cheerleader’ blowing up, Fuse ODG’s ‘Dangerous Love’ …the list goes on. This is time to keep pushing it so that it becomes well established in other countries in the way Reggae did in the Seventies.
B: I was going to say that’s how reggae started…picking up and eventually it became a worldwide thing. So it’s good to see Afrobeats take the same trend. It’s taking its own momentum and at a point it’ll probably be the thing that is taking over the music industry.
8. Do you think that the Afrobashment music will become culturally-appropriated in the next coming years?
R: Definitely no one is going to take this away from us. Again, it is our culture and the times that we’re living in is really hard for someone to come and snatch something from you because everything is being documented every now and then. No one’s repping hard for maybe a big label to come in and say ‘Yeah, we like this. Let’s take it away and do our own.’ The moment when Nicki Minaj released her single with PARTYNEXTDOOR, everyone was like ‘OOOOh, that some Afrobeat vibe going on there.’ So there’s no way anyone can take it from us.
B: These days there’s always references. Back in the day it was hard to kind of do these things but now it’s easier to reference thanks technology. If you go on Google and type in ‘where Afrobeats came from’ instantly you’ll know as it’ll tell you.
9. What advice would you give anyone that wants to become independent?
R: I’d say that you need to be brave, you need to be very strong minded, know what you want and be ready to do the hard work. It’s very important that you wake up in the morning and realise that this is your Barclays Bank. So you have to check everything is functioning well.
You need to put in the hard work and make sure that you’re getting the songs. At the end of the day, half of the job is done when you get a good song and people like it.
B: You got the know that it’s more than just saying ‘I’m independent’ and think that everything is going to look alright. Being independent in itself is a hard job to be taken upon. Therefore, you need to be ready to face challenges, BUT in the end you will make it through. You get me?
10. Are there any exclusive insights about your next moves that you’d like to share?
R: At the moment we’re working on an album. We’re just finalising on the album. We got a few collaborations on there, including a very big collaboration with a legendary artist in Africa. We’ve also done song with our colleagues like Che Chesterman….
B: We’re still working things out. The songs are ready to be targeted to artists that we want to place on each song. The album is going to be wicked, as it has every type of vibe on there. Whatever mood you want to be in skip, skip, skip — you’ll find your mood.