The Undercover Hippy




“This is about as real as music gets!” – Andrew Marston – BBC Introducing

“This group are so ludicrously tight” –


“Best surprise of the weekend was Undercover Hippy, former DJ Billy Rowan’s four-piece whose modern protest songs in a reggae and rap style were just fantastic. If you’re going to track down just one of these acts make it this one.” – Bournemouth Echo

Sensing the shadows cast by tyrannical forces growing ever greater by the day – THE UNDERCOVER HIPPY – is back and on a mission to combat the sinister powers-that-be with his cunning blend of humour, optimism and hard-hitting political commentary.

Announcing operation: “Truth & Fiction”.

Mounting a new campaign with his first studio release since 2014’s ‘Monkey Suit’ plus a slew of live dates across the UK, the subversive DJ turned singer-songwriter makes his long overdue return this Summer – and not a moment too soon.

Largely inspired-by and rallying-against much that has come to grip politics and society over the last 12 months, “Truth & Fiction” is the forthcoming new record from the artist AKA Billy Rowan and will land on 20th May 2017.

Covering topics from the serious to the ludicrous, The Undercover Hippy’s latest effort sees him offer his unique take on: fake news, internet privacy and the U.S. election, nappy wearing barristers and best friends trying to snog your mum… With 10 new tracks recorded and ready to conquer all, “Truth & Fiction” is a much needed dose of passionate storytelling and thought provoking protest pieces that make for a must listen from one man on a mission.

Those familiar with Billy’s music, will already know he is definitely not your average singer songwriter. After 7 years spent DJ’ing and MC’ing on the Drum & Bass circuit, Billy switched up identities, swapping the decks for a guitar as he began a new life with a new moniker in 2007: the Undercover Hippy was born. Touring relentlessly ever since, The Undercover Hippy brings together soulful vocals, infectious reggae rhythms, and the lyrical delivery of a skilled mc, with a charismatic style and playful sound that has had audiences rapt from day one.

But making a decision to step back from the live stage, The Undercover Hippy began to focus on recording a new album “Truth & Fiction” in November 2016.

Working with producer and engineer Dean Forrest (Backbeat Soundsystem, Easy Star Records) at Cube Studios in Cornwall, they laid down the groundwork for the follow up to 2014’s ‘Monkey Suit’ album with eyes on making their most accomplished piece of work to date.  Locking himself away in his studio, Billy set about writing and developing the recordings into finished songs, before finally working with grammy nominated mix engineer Dean Barratt (Natty, Shy FX, Anoushkar Shankar) to mix, finesse and truly bring the resultant tracks that now make up ‘Truth & Fiction’ to life.

Seeing The Undercover Hippy playing to his greatest strengths, the songs on “Truth & Fiction” bristle with political and social commentary, whilst Billy’s unique delivery and canny way with words buoy the mood with optimism, hope and humour.

Speaking about the writing and recording of the new album and what to expect, Billy says:

“For a while I was a bit worried that the last album Monkey Suit might have been the best I had to offer, especially when 3 weeks before going into the studio we still only had 5 songs written for a 10 track album! But actually, the songs that have been written and developed during and after the recording process are probably my favourite tracks on the album. It’s also meant that those songs are still really topical, as I’ve literally been writing lyrics and recording vocals right up to the final week of mixing. So yeah, I’m really happy with how it’s turned out, so you can expect big things!”

With ‘Truth & Fiction’ ready to drop this May, The Undercover Hippy will also be hitting the road for a series of shows around the release. Backed by his full band, mixing guitars, keys, drums, bass, horns and backing vocals, Billy will once again be bringing UK audiences their renowned high energy, interactive and highly entertaining live show. Full list of gigs as follows:



May 03 – Komedia – Brighton, United Kingdom


May 05 – Watering Hole – Perranporth, United Kingdom


May 06 – The Junction – Plymouth, United Kingdom


May 07 – Exeter Phoenix – Exeter, United Kingdom


May 10 – The Maze – Nottingham, United Kingdom


May 11 – Gullivers – Manchester, United Kingdom


May 12 – Hagglers Corner – Sheffield, United Kingdom


May 13 – Wolves Civic Hall – Wolverhampton, United Kingdom


May 14 – Hi-Fi Club – Leeds, United Kingdom


May 17 – The Horn – St. Albans, United Kingdom


May 18 – Joiners – Southampton, United Kingdom


May 19 – The Borderline – London, United Kingdom


May 20 – Thekla – Bristol, United Kingdom


Jun 10 – Alresford Music Festival – Alresford, United Kingdom


Jun 11 – Chapel Arts Centre – Bath


Jul 15 – Jurassic Fields Festival – Bridport, United Kingdom

Combining intelligent, amusing, and often politically charged lyrics with dangerously catchy hooks and a feel good groove, The Undercover Hippy is music for the thinking man to shake his arse to. Think Jason Mraz meets The Cat Empire…on a protest march…at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Renowned for the electric atmosphere of their live shows, over the years Billy and his band have performed at some of the UK’s best festivals, including Glastonbury, Boomtown Fair, Shambala, Green Man, The Secret Garden Party, Ireland’s Electric Picnic, and many more. As their last album Monkey Suit, released in late 2014, continued to clock up over a million streams and sales, the band have been touring relentlessly, with over 80 shows and festival appearances across the UK and Europe each year. Highlights have included headlining alongside The Cat Empire, Grandmaster Flash and The Skints at Eden Festival in Scotland, playing to 1000’s of festival goers at Buskers Bern in Austria, and making a much anticipated debut appearance to a 2000 strong crowd at Boomtown Fair near Winchester.



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