On tonight's show: Hongza, Phantom Isle and Sarpa Salpa
Behind the nickname ‘Hongza’ stands singer, songwriter Sam Hong who grew up in North London in a Vietnamese household where his pursuit of music as a profession has been frowned upon. However, being rejected by his inner circle has only fuelled his passion for music and desire to follow his dream. Hongza previously fronted shoegaze band DAZE till 2018 sharing stages with the likes of Cassia, Larkins, Judas. Keen to e0mbark on a new chapter, Hongza returns as a solo alternative artist determined to reignite the worlds of indie, pop, and shoegaze.
Phantom Isle @phantom.isle
"Peter Marchant (singer and guitarist), Joshua Guy (keyboards), Jonny Longland (bass) and Sam Thorne (drums). Founding member Matt Marchant passed away in 2019 after a brave battle with cancer. Losing Matt has been devastating, but the band are more determined than ever to keep on their upward trajectory and continue making cutting edge, visceral and memorable songs. Late 70's New Wave, Disco and Krautrock influence much of the music, topped with Marchant's vocals which are often compared with flamboyant and melodic singers such as Suede's Brett Anderson.
The band's most recent singles, 'MAR V' and 'Whip' have received masses of support from Jack Saunders and Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1, Tom Robinson on BBC 6 Music and John Kennedy on Radio X as well as Record of the Week on BBC Introducing in Northamptonshire with Adam Winch-Furness, who has also tipped the band as one of the region's Ones To Watch in 2021. 'MAR V' was used on hit Channel 4 series, Made In Chelsea to soundtrack Zara McDermott and Sam Thompson's breakup, one of the year's most dramatic scenes in the show. Just before lockdown in March 2020, the band played in front of a sellout crowd of 950 people on the closing night of MaNo-Musikfestival in Germany. The band have recorded their upcoming EP which is due for release this year.
Sarpa Salpa @sarpasalpamusic
Juxtaposed with their quiet midlands hometown of Northampton; Sarpa Salpa craft upbeat alternative bangers designed with the indie dancefloor in mind.
Following the release of BBC Introducing Radio 1 Track of the Week 'Casanova' in 2019, Sarpa Salpa have hit huge milestones ever since. Follow up single 'Before It Goes Dark' was used on Made In Chelsea : Series 18. Their debut EP 'Say Something' (2020) was chosen as Jack Saunders' 'Next Wave' on Radio 1 and received support on 6 Music, Radio X and on SRA / Spotify's Students' Union and Lotus playlists.
Despite lost opportunities to COVID 19, Sarpa Salpa used the lockdown to begin work on their new EP 'A Feeling You Can't Replace'. Written about the band’s life through the pandemic, missing live music, the breakdown of relationships and learning new ways to create together over the internet instead of in a rehearsal room. Multiple tracks from the EP have continued to receive support on national radio including Forwards Backwards as Jack Saunders 'Tune of the Week' as well as Another Life landing on the Radio X playlist.