Reggie Zippy and Bollie Babeface, are better known as Reggie N Bollie.
In 2010, they moved to the UK, from their homeland of Ghana, where they both had successful solo careers. It wasn’t until 2015 that they came to the UK’s attention, when they respectfully came runners up on the twelfth series of The X Factor. They brought boundless energy and infectious enthusiasm to the show, and they were an instant hit with the viewers and the audience.
The past two years have been very busy for them, and their lives have changed dramatically. They are pleased to announce that that they have established their own independent record label, called F.R.O.D Music Ltd. And they also have a new single out, called Bumaye. Bumaye is a fun, high-energy summer song, which has their unique sound stamped all over it. This is a very exciting time for them, as they prepare for the release of their debut album.
I caught up with the duo to find out more about Bumaye, their popularity in their native Ghana, and life after The X Factor.
Hello Reggie and Bollie, how are you both today?
Reggie: We are both doing amazing, thank you!
Your latest single – Bumaye – is a very happy, feel-good song, with a fresh, summer vibe to it. Was that your intention for the song?
Reggie: We actually did not plan the style for Bumaye. We just booked the writing and recording session, decided on the topic with our writing team and we went with the flow. It came out really natural and quick.
Bollie: It was the last song that we recorded for our album, but we all felt a connection with it and rushed to actually get it out for the summer.
Can you tell us exactly what is a Bumaye?
Reggie: Bumaye is that particular, unique and killer thing about a person that attracts you to them. As it is hard to define and put into words we decided to name it Bumaye.
Is the song written about anyone in particular?
Reggie: Not necessarily, but it depicts the attraction and lust at the early stages of any relationship.
It sounds like you’re going back to your roots with your new musical direction, was that a deliberate choice?
Bollie: Yes it was. We want to keep bringing out our true sound. We draw influences from different genres we are and have been inspired by. The Reggie N Bollie sound is a fusion between afrobeats, dancehall and pop. A true cultural mix.
How has your Ghanaian background influenced and helped to shape your sound?
Reggie: Our cultural background is at the core of our sound. The music in Ghana has shaped us. We grew up as artists with that influence, and matured our sound by incorporating our other influences.
Bollie: We listen to a lot of genres, including classical music and country music, and we draw inspiration from them all.
We heard that there were a lot of fans waiting for you at the airport when you last visited Ghana?
Reggie: It was surreal seeing fans waiting and cheering us at the airport! We were making music in Ghana before relocating to the UK and had already a great fan base in the country. But the experience of seeing them all at the airport was a massive surprise for us and definitely the highlight of our trip to Ghana!
Ghana is known as the land of smiles, and we certainly feel that way when we see you perform. Can you tell us what makes you feel truly happy?
Reggie: This is very true. Life makes us happy. Being able to wake up every single day doing our dream jobs which allows us to provide for our families makes us happy. The pride and happiness in our kids eyes, watching us and admiring us is everything.
Bollie: We love music, we grew with music and being able to take people out of their worries even for a second and get them into that happy state of mind is everything for us. That’s what we want to give with our sound.
What has life been like for you, after coming runners-up on The X Factor?
Reggie: It has been very life-changing. The X Factor was a massive platform for us and it gave us a lot of exposure and catapulted us from normal, working family men with a dream, into hard working family men that are now actually living our dream.
Bollie: We will forever be grateful to that experience and all of the people involved on the show.
How did you handle the level of attention that you received, following the show?
Reggie: We’re still not used to it, but we are both very grounded and down to earth so we don’t let the attention get into our heads.
Bollie: We appreciate and feel humbled by the love we receive from our fans on a daily basis.
We understand that you’ve just finished work on your debut album, when will it be released?
Reggie: Yes, the album is fully recorded, but we are just making some adjustments on a couple of the songs.
Bollie: Not long left. We will announce a release date soon.
What kind of songs can we expect to hear on your forthcoming album?
Reggie: With our diverse cultural background and multi genre influences, you can certainly expect a very diverse album.
Bollie: You will surely have the feel good songs but with different twists, and then also more emotional songs as well. We can’t wait for everyone to hear our music.
What was your favourite moment of making the new album?
Reggie: So far, it is the whole creation process. Being independent means we are self-funding and we make all of the decisions ourselves.
Bollie: You don’t fully understand how hard it is until you are actually in it but we embrace it and are putting our everything into this album. We really can’t wait for everyone to hear it.
What have you got planned for the rest of the summer?
Reggie: We have decided to take a couple of weeks off this summer, to go on holiday with our wives and kids. I will be going to New York and Miami.
Bollie: I will be going to Slovakia. After the break, we are back on the road and back into the music business.
What is your ultimate dream – music and career wise?
Reggie: We want to make music that inspires people, and we are very interested in the business side of things.
Bollie: The ultimate aim is for the record label to grow and for us to also be successful in what we do.
Reggie N Bollie’s new single Bumaye is out now. Watch the lyric video for the track below: