Known for their good vibes and fun-loving music, the Saskatoon-based band Parab Poet and the Hip Hop Hippies has much to look forward to in the coming year.
Consisting of nine members, PPHHH is a collection of unique talents that, when combined create an amazing sound. Chady Nasr, the poet, sat down with the Sheaf to discuss their sound, new album and upcoming tour.
Beginning as a solo endeavour, Nasr collaborated with DJ Chaps and began to add percussion to his set, and from there PPHHH was born.
“I really wanted to collaborate with live instruments and started to jam with a few folks and we gradually became the hippies. It was kind of an experiment to begin with that organically grew into a vibrant collection,” Nasr said in an email to the Sheaf.
PPHHH are no strangers to the Saskatoon music scene — they opened for Dehli 2 Dublin at Louis’ Pub on campus in October, played at Ness Creek Music Festival in summer 2016 and hosted a video release party at Amigos this past November.
“We had an amazing party at Amigos. The place was packed and the crowd response was high energy … All around it was fabulous. We couldn’t be happier. We’re still vibing from it,” Nasr said.
The video release party was for the group’s first music video entitled “Just Breathe.” Filmed in less than three hours, “Just Breathe” was the natural choice for their single.
“The music video was super refreshing. After we picked a song we wanted to do, we began visualizing what we wanted captured. We wanted to give people a visual of who we are and how we roll together … It’s getting lots of love,” Nasr said.
It’s hard to imagine the process of writing songs with nine members in the band, but Nasr explained that the synergy between individuals helps them come together and write.
Beginning with songs Nasr wrote, the group comes together to re-interpret the music and create a whole new sound, with only the roots of the original song left.
“The creating process has had a lot of growth over the past few years and we are exploring and playing with it and are wide open to its evolvement,” Nasr said.
Since releasing their new single and music video on Nov. 5., PPHHH will be releasing their full-length self-entitled debut record on Dec. 16, followed by a Canadian tour. Kicking off with a show in Saskatoon at the Capitol Music Club, PPHHH will play various spots in Canada all the way from Winnipeg to Banff, adding shows as they go.
Students can expect one thing from the new album — positive vibes. PPHHH wanted to capture how people feel and how they respond when they see them live.
“Folks who listen to our music always come back at us saying they are happier and feel better about themselves [and] about life … We’re super happy with its reflection, it carries us well,” Nasr said.
The sound of PPHHH is rooted in hip hop, but ultimately is a mix of genres.
“We bend genres and colour outside the lines … so you’ll get bass and drums with folk-inspired violin and mandolin. Raps and scratches but reggae-style percussion. Soulful trumpet and gutsy guitar licks. And the vocals, well you will just have to listen; our ladies sound so good,” Nasr said.
Music has proved to be a safe place for Nasr — it is the root system of his life.
“Music helped bring me out of a negative upbringing that resulted in crime and addictions all around me. Music helped raise my consciousness that inspired me to be a positive conduit in this world,” Nasr.
For the group as a collective, music acts as an escape and a chance to be colourful, magical and have fun.
“We’re in it for the ride. We want to bring these vibes all over the places we play. We want to spread the love,” Nasr said.
For more information, visit the PPHHH’s Facebook page.
Bridget Morrison / Culture Editor
Photo: Supplied / Parab Poet and the Hip Hop Hippies