This is Poppy Perezz

Poppy Perezz

This is Poppy Perezz

The four piece, hailing from Mexico, Trinidad and England but now resident in the suitably cosmopolitan city of Bristol, make feel-good, sunshine-happy music for cool and groovy summer nights. Described variously as pinball electro, chirp-hop or even electro-funk-folk pop, one thing’s for certain: you’re unlikely to have heard anything quite like it before. Imagine an exotic trip through Highlife-style guitar licks, Mariachi-band trumpets, percolating basslines, disco handclaps, soaring flute solos, crazy arpeggio synth lines and video game bleeps and bloops – and you’ll get the general idea.

Floating above this joyous world-pop is the voice of Northumbrian-born Poppy Villiers-Stuart, a singer whose melodies are suffused with local folk-singing traditions and “A passion for sharing the oneness in everything”. An unlikely match you might think for Mexico City’s Pablo Perezzarate, who brings a uniquely Latino perspective from his chaotic, urban hometown but in Poppy Perezz they’ve somehow found a way of meshing their divergent cultures – creating a place where the name of the game is a celebration of life, love and light.

The band began in 2007 as Poppy and Pablo set off on their romantic journey together, the songs reflecting the excitement and quirkiness of their blossoming love. Initially performing live as a duo, they decided to expand the line-up to create a more exciting stage presence. After experimenting with both brass and string players, it was the addition of a killer rhythm section that proved to be the final missing jigsaw piece. Tony Bailey, an experienced drummer from Trinidad, was invaluable to the recording of the soon-to-be released debut album; his enthusiasm and percussion skills key in taking the band’s sound to a new, more organic level. Bassist extraordinaire and native Bristolian William Hallet meanwhile, has brought rootsy bass lines and his own insane sense of humour to the (already quite happening) party.

 

Introducing the band:

 

Poppy Villiers-Stuart

Poppy

She was born in Hexham, Northumberland but spent her formative years living in an alternative farm community in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by rolling hills and white doves. Poppy has spent her whole life singing. She comes from a very musical family where all members play music and sing. Earliest memories include dancing to Santana around a bowl of flour in a strange bread-making ceremony, weeping as she carried home her frozen dead chicken on a sad winter morning and singing wildly into the Northumbrian wind.

To Poppy, singing is just a staple of life, like eating bread. She has never felt the need or desire to be part of a band or become a pop star. Instead she’d sing in people’s houses during folk improvisation sessions, with friends on countryside walks or alone in meditation. However she found Pablo’s music amazing, joyful and hilarious and as it frequently happened to be going on in her own living room so couldn’t resist getting involved…

In Poppy Perezz she brings elements of this unashamed joy of singing and sharing happiness with people, whilst at the same time communicating her sense of the sacred interconnectedness of all beings.

Pablo Perezzarate

Pablo

Pablo was born in Mexico City, where he spent most of his childhood. At the age of ten, he moved with his mum and sister to Swansea in South Wales, to live with his stepfather. The cultural shock at the time was so intense that Pablo returned to Mexico to live with his dad and the rest of his extended family during his teens. It was in this time that he began playing and performing music, having joined his school’s Mexican folk “Estudiantina” band. It was however the grunge and electronic wave of music coming from the US and Europe that inspired him most at the time. In the end, things in Mexico didn’t work out as he would have liked and he returned to the UK.

It was here that Pablo became a producer, experimenting with various electronic styles and genres, eventually going to University to study art and music. It was after this that he met Poppy and they began writing music together. Having been away from Mexico for over a decade by this time, Pablo gained British Citizenship. In a weird and haphazard way, Poppy Perezz was born from nostalgia towards his birthplace whilst looking forward into his new identity, and the merry cosmic collision between his life and Poppy’s.

Tony Bailey

Tony Bailey

Anthony Bailey was born in Trinidad and Tobago. He grew up in the Caribbean countryside able to walk into his back garden, which was in fact a massive jungle, and pick the mangos or other exotic fruit, right off the trees, that he would then have for breakfast. His father was the chief of police of his town and was not massively pleased that Tony opted for the musician life-style, yet this didn’t deter Tony. He began playing drums with famous Caribbean bands such as Red Sparrow and touring the islands during Carnival season. Through the success of this venture he was taken on tour around the world and decided to stay in the UK.
He is Poppy Perezz’s experienced and well-traveled musician who knows the ropes of the music world and what matters the most in the end. His drumming style brings to life all the Caribbean and African influences in the music, making it impossible to stand still at one of our gigs.

William Hallett

Will Hallet

Will was born in Bristol where he grew up and has lived most of his life. As the eldest brother of four males, he is a good humoured caring man with plenty of jokes down his sleeve and the right amount of madness in his brain. He has always been a lover of music and spent his teens raving till the sun came up in various fields around Somerset and the West Country.

For a long while he was the drummer of a local Reggae band although deep down his favorite instrument remained the bass. His love for reggae music is unfathomable, to such degrees that at rehearsals he will always be playing some classic bass line in between Poppy Perezz songs. Always. Luckily he does play other things and his love of music extends towards the latin and afro genres as well as early 70’s hip-hop and funk. Being the tallest member of the band, you will never miss him at gigs, nodding his head up and down in a Hawaiian shirt, straw hat and shades.

Guest Musicians:

Isabelle Bud

Isabelle Bud

She grew up in a leafy woodland nook…dressed in armour fighting her sister with wooden swords and believing there were fairies living in the rocks by the stream. Her early years were spent traveling around Ireland, gathering influence from the best Irish folk, her mum singing to her in Gallic. She began singing whilst riding her horse over the welsh mountains. She says she never sang well as she was growing up, but then suddenly she could sing and used to scare the morning birds and send them flying as she’d gallop by with Joni Mitchel soaring from her lungs.

She joined Poppy Perezz late in 2012, after seeing the band perform at Shambala Festival, falling instantly in love with the band’s rhythms, making her stomp away in the same way an Irish fiddle does.

Ollie Heath:

Back in the day when Poppy Perezz was only formed by Poppy and Pablo, Ollie Heath, an experienced percussionist from Brighton, would complement the programmed electronic beats with his amazing djembe skills. Happily wild onstage, Ollie looked particularly good with bright leggings on!

Felix Barnes

This smooth trumpeter from London was also a regular in the Poppy Perezz lineup between 2010-2011. A true gentleman with a flare for improvisation helped the band transcend into another realm of live performance. Every now and again he still joins us for the odd gig here and there.

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