Reggae with a bit of everything, the incredible Soom-T is swinging by Studio 2 this Friday.
Liverpool is becoming a city of reggae.
Much of this is thanks to Positive Vibration – from Big Youth, to Horace Andy and their annual festival which in just two years has become one of the stalwart events of Liverpool’s ever-growing artistic calendar – they have flown the flag for reggae in the city more than anyone else.
Their mission seems to be working. We’re currently seeing a huge upswing in reggae taking Liverpool’s finest venues by storm.
Tomorrow night sees Soom-T take the stage at Studio 2 along with a monster bill that also includes the likes of Bolshy, Sammy Rednex and Dub Defenders.
It probably isn’t fair to list Soom-T as pure reggae. Her style encompasses hip-hop, soul, pop, rock, dub, punk, house, dancehall, jazz, metal, rocksteady and bhangra, but it’s the reggae influence that comes through strongest. Aside from the love of reggae, she lists Michael Jackson, Tupac, Celine Dion and Bjork among her influences.
Perhaps this is to be expected given her multicultural background. Soom-T was born Sumati Sharma Deol Bhardwaj to a Sikh father and Hindu mother in working class Glasgow. Her parents raised her on Bollywood soundtracks, while punk and death metal blared out of her older brother’s bedroom while mid-90s chart toppers hypnotised her on Top of the Pops.
At 12, her father began worrying about the western influence on his children, and briefly moved the family to New Delhi. After their return to Glasgow, Soom-T ran away from home, ending up at a Christian Fellowship halfway house. It was then that she started gigging in punk bands, rapping with crews, trip hop groups, and even getting to work with The Orb and Asian Dub Foundation.
Now solo, she has worked with several reggae producers, making tunes with Mungos, with the 2010 album Ode 2 A Carrot proving to be a massive underground hit.
Her first solo album dropped recently. Titled Free As a Bird, it finds Soom-T spreading the word of peace, truth, justice and the Gospel, while sticking a middle finger up to convention.
Her gig at Studio 2 is bound to be something special.
Soom-T plays Studio 2 on Friday 22nd September. Tickets are available now.
- Image:artist’s Facebook page