Introducing Balu Brigada, making hip-hop so cozy you’ll want to take a bath in it

A New Zealand-based answer to Winston Surfshirt or Rex Orange County, Balu Brigada make music that’s so warm and smooth you’ll want to take a bath in it.

Blending a few in-vogue sounds has landed them in a perfect middle ground for mass fandom; the rhythm of contemporary hip-hop, a razor-sharp pop hook here and there, plus instrumentals cherry picked from the handbooks of R&B, dub, and electronica. The result is a cocktail you’ll be ordering seven of.

balu brigada medicine new zealand happy mag
Image: ‘medicine’ cover art

Introducing Balu Brigada, the New Zealand hip-pop duo making tunes that drip with sunshine. Their latest track medicine is a prescription for all your worries.

Late-2019 single medicine marks the latest move in a string of successful releases for the pair, including a debut mixtape named Almost Feel Good which dropped last May. That’s as good a place to start as any, a rapid-fire introduction to their festival-ready anthems and addictively sunny songwriting.

Named Henry and Pierre Beasley, Balu Brigada are also brothers, which explains their chemistry on stage and on screen. The clip for medicine is simply cool; packed with retro charm that edges into cheesy territory but never quite takes the plunge.

To date Balu Brigada have rubbed shoulders with a few buzzy acts – from New Zealand and Australia both. They recently wrapped up a tour on main support for Golden Vessel, and the tail-end of 2018 saw them embark on a massive Australian tour with pop group GLADES.

As for what 2020 holds for Balu Brigada, we’ll have to wait and see. Until then, soak up medicine above.


Medicine is out now.