Exclusive Interview with The Rich List Singh (Bally Singh)
Have you ever wondered who the SINGH guy was in all the Rich List pics & videos with some fine looking ladies, partying like it’s 1999 (or 2012 depending on your age & musical taste)? Well, he’s been given many names over the years, Ladies Man, Player, The Singh in the Pics and a few more that we won’t mention here…
Well Look no further. He is none other than our good friend Bally Singh who is straight out of Leicester.
He’s a International party planner for the rich & famous, but also the man behind the Rich List parties.
Thanks for taking time out to talk to us Bally, we all know you’re a busy man & would rather be poppin Aces on a yacht with some hot ladies in some sunny part of the world.
Normally that would be the case, but when I get a call from you, you know I got all the time in the world for you bro, so let’s do this (and he looks at his Hublot watch).
Before Rich List was conceived, you were behind some pretty popular student nights (Soul Kitchen & Aaja Ni Aaja) back in the days that had students from all over the country jumping off coaches & queuing up to get in your nights. You were the one that brought people like Tim Westwood & Sysco (from Dru Hill) to Leicester. You had your club in Leicester too. Then you vanished for a while and we next see you partying in the VIP Section of A list clubs with Super models, glamour models & TV celebs that we know are your friends.
What we’re trying to say is, it’s interesting to see A Sikh man who has kept his identity but partying hard like no one else can (if that makes sense).
So getting back to the question above. What happened in between doing nights in Leicester to making a Famous global brand?
Ambition, Tenacity, Vision, I believed in myself and then I found people to believe in me.
An American publicly listed company bought my marketing company from me for stock and cash in their electronics company, whilst making me a Marketing Director in theirs at the same time.
I helped build their company, starting from a 0.04 cent stock and turning it into a $28 dollar stock.
How did I do that? Strategic alliances and partnerships with a number of international companies including Microsoft, ARM and Warner Bros which set the stock price rocketing giving us the capital to purchase other companies. I did all this from behind the scenes, I was the person who led the meetings but kept my name out of the marketing and publicity. I wasn’t hungry for exposure.
Unfortunately, one of the directors made some tragic mistakes in their personal life which caused the stock price to tumble and within months my stock was almost worthless. It taught me a valuable lesson though, never allow someone else to be the ‘face’ of a company that income may depend on.
I returned back to the UK with $2k in my pocket. I had lost 28 Million dollars in the space of 6 months. I immediately realised however I had to keep the lights on and bills needed to be paid, using my contacts from my nightlife days I found a job as a doorman. It was funny how people used to come up to me, shake my hand and say ‘oh now you’re a door man … what happened?’ Smiling behind their straight faces.
What they didn’t realise is that my time away had made me even more determined and hungry for success. I had seen how easy it was to break into the big time, I wasn’t going to sit around waiting for success to fall into my lap like these people, people who were in exactly the same place I had left them 5yrs ago. I had touched the life I wanted and I knew no one could keep me from it now.
I slowly and surely built my business back and that lead us to today with the Rich List Group.
Is it true that despite what we may think from watching your videos, you don’t actually drink alcohol do you?
No I don’t.
Why don’t you drink Alcohol ?
The reason why I don’t drink alcohol is a personal choice, I don’t need it to fuel my confidence, I don’t think it will ‘add’ anything to me or my experience of an event.
Additionally in my profession you need to keep your wits about you at all times. My job is to make sure that my clients have the best possible time they can, how can I manage that if I am inebriated? If you were a barrister would you go into a court room to defend your client drunk?
You’ve got companies like Ace of Spades, Crystal Skull, Weeks and Sons etc sponsoring your events, how did that come along?
It is because we have a brand that caters for high net individuals, they come to us, we are attracting exactly the demographic that these companies are targeting, they know that to sponsor with us gives them direct access to the exact people they are looking to.
It’s the same reason Nike sponsor Cristiano Ronaldo as it is a good brand association. That’s the same reason these companies sponsor our events. We have built a brand that these luxurious companies want to be associated with.
To do all of this you must have studied extensively, where did you do your degree and what did you study?
I did a degree in Life, I never went to college I never went to University.
I was never accepted at school, nobody ‘got’ me and the teachers would try and teach me the same way as the other students but I knew I was different and did not fit this system.
The problem with the British educational system in my time, dyslexic children or children with other learning difficulties were told to ride motor cycles and learn a trade such as building or plumbing. My point is I don’t accept what the educational system says, don’t let people say you can’t do something, they are creating barriers in your way.
You can do anything you want if you put your mind to it.
You have held your Rich List Parties in various parts of England in the past & you did one recently in London, but you seem to be doing more out in Dubai & Marbella why is that?
The reason for this is that I’m a sun chaser, I would prefer to work in the sun.
Fortunately my clients feel the same way too and they are more based in these regions or enjoy to travel when they relax. It is nothing for my clients to travel to Dubai for a weekend even if they do actually live in the UK, the world is truly global now, whether it be news or business or partying.
Talking of Dubai, you’ve also done parties in Abu Dhabi at the F1 tracks on the F1 weekend no less! How did you managed that, not once but twice. We’re sure some of the “Bigger Entertainment Companies” would love to get their hands on the F1. You’re not related to Bernie Ecclestone are you? (If you are, sort a brother out with a couple of VIP passes for the F1).
It is simple, were not the biggest but we are the best. Quality over quantity. Again and again we work with large companies and again we get the same comment ‘How did you get it done’ that should be our motto ‘We get it done’.
When hiring a larger company there is many layers of bureaucracy that need to be worked through before anything is accomplished, with my company, myself and my staff know that the result is what matters not who is thanked or who takes credit and luckily there are some powerful people out there who appreciate that.
What’s the story on the Rich List Show Stoppers?
I wanted to start a new brand of independent woman, these are now brand ambassadors for the Rich List. I cannot travel to every country and host parties everywhere so I created the show stoppers who can represent me in these venues/events….I can’t be in two places at once.
So who are the showstoppers (name, age, telephone numbers lol) & where are they from? More importantly are they single?
Haha! You really want a list of their names? Ok, Sonia, Sheniz, Sarah, Lydia, Hannah, Amy, Genna, Cally and Tamrin. They are all from England but from all over the country, a couple are from the North a few from London and obviously a couple from the Midlands. One of the girls is even from right down south in Cornwall. I can’t tell you their ages as its not polite to give a ladies age away. You can have all their numbers when you come to Marbs (Marbella) you know my phone is your phone bro, but if you really want to get to know them you are best to follow the showstoppers twitter (@RL_showstoppers) and Instagram (@richlist_showstoppers) to see what they are up to and get a feel for their personalities.
Apart from Dubai, Abu Dhabi Marbella & London, you have done your Rich List parties in some other fancy locations, can you tell our readers the places you’ve thrown Rich List parties?
Cannes, St Tropez, Monaco, Vegas, LA, New York, Miami, Stockholm, Barcelona, Goa, Caribbean, Paris, Marrakech, Geneve & Leeds.
Damn, that’s a lot of locations!!
You know how we roll bro. If there is a demand for Rich List party we will asset it & if it’s viable, we will “Rich List it out”.
Moving away from the parties for a minute, what would you say to the people who say and we know there are some who say “He gives Singh’s / Sikhs a bad name doing all his posing with girls in skimpy outfits & swimwear”?
I am an open guy, what you see is what you get, I don’t hide what I am doing so you can see everything I do on my social media. A lot of the people who are saying I am giving Sikh’s a bad name are people who are doing the same things day in day out but are hiding it, they are unhappy they have to live a lie to do the same things I do. I’m just hustling like everyone else to make a living & try to enjoy myself at the same time, without compromising my customers.
How important is your faith to you?
I’m very proud of who and what I am. I have spent my whole life fighting to be what I am, a modern Singh, I believe God is accepting and will judge that I have tried to be the best I can, always being honest to myself and others and for me, God is the ONLY one who can judge me.
I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs and I try to be the one thing that all our Gurus want us to be and that’s a good person! I don’t live a lie, I am not fake. OK, I may not be the best role model in the world but I am true to myself. What you see is what you get. I see a lot of Singhs/Sardars out there living double lives and that to me is one thousand times worse.
What saddens me is when certain people say ‘there’s no middle ground in this, it’s to be a Singh or not a Singh, if your hair is cut then you are tarred with a brush. This creates a divide of Singhs looking down on the Singhs with a haircut. I see a lot of these situations, people saying one thing, then doing many other things the gurus say are wrong, yet because they have kept their hair, they think they are so much better?
I could have sold out and cut my hair but I did not. When I was 12 years old there was a huge media story of another young Singh boy around my age who had hung himself because he was getting bullied at school due to his faith and there was no one there for him to turn to. I said to myself that day no one is going to make me stop being the person I want to be, the person I believe the Gurus want me to be, by insulting me or bullying me. I am keeping this till I die!
It wasn’t easy growing up. I was a small skinny kid. I used to get my top knot pulled daily by the bigger white children at school people who thought I didn’t deserve to be where I was, stating that I didn’t ‘fit in’… but I would not back down, I would always fight back, I always got beaten but would I never give in. After a while the bully’s just gave up picking on me, they knew I would fight back or make them look like fools and in the end accepted I was just as much a part of the school as they were.
When I left school and went out into the real world I thought it would be easier, not so childish, not so inward looking, but it turned out it was exactly the same, and I was going to have to fight the same battles all over again.
I was an Indian in Hip Hop and Hip Hop music in the Midlands which was run mainly by Black people, in their eyes once again I was an interloper, someone from outside who didn’t belong, they might not have pulled my top knot but the treatment was just as bad. It surprised me as many of the people trying to keep me out had themselves been pushed out throughout their lives. Once again I stood my ground and made my mark felt, now many of the people from those times treat me as a friend.
My hardest fight was to enter the white corporate world, I knew from early on that this is where real money is made, and I was determined to break in to their hallowed corridors.
When I walked in to meetings with US blue chip company’s they would be taken aback thinking that someone from 9/11 just walked in!
It was my job as it had been all my life to turn things around and change their entire perception of Singhs. In the end they loved and saw the elements of ambition, perseverance and strength that growing up as a Singh had given me and signed on to whichever venture I was promoting.
They saw past the turban in the end, in fact I would like to think, from that moment forward the next Singh they met would have had a lot easier time due to their experience doing business with me.
I also have a lot of love for Muslims because they grew up with me facing the same kind of issues as I did as a child, in fact my guru’s prayed together with them, so who I’m to say a bad word about them.
When I did the ‘doors’ I noticed many things about people and how they act. One thing in particular I noticed was that the Muslims kids always use to stand by each other if there was any trouble, but not the Punjabi kids. They all had their own sides and were split, this made them weaker. It is the same now, away from the doors of a nightclub, Singhs on one side, cut hairs on the other and all it accomplishes is to make us as people weaker and is a damn shame.
My aim in being a Singh in the spotlight is to show our kids today is you don’t have to sell out and cut your hair to fit in, if you are true to yourself and be who you are, the people you want to do business with or be friends with will see that. What is the point of having friends who are only friends with you because you are pretending to be something you are not.
You can be who you want to be, a footballer, a Movie star, head of a multinational business. There is more to life than a Business and Finance degree or to be a lawyer or a chemist!
Nothing big was ever made without taking a risk… so if you are that kid who’s thinking of cutting your hair because you want to fit in…Then go to weddings every other week which will be the highlight of your social life and get drunk and make your wife drive you home… I feel sorry for you.
Don’t you want to make history?
Make a change?
Stop people looking at a Singh and not knowing what they are.
Wake up and see we are killing our own people and our religion by listening to these older people who have put up these walls to decide who are the ‘Real Singhs’ these people are living a lie, a double life, who I see drinking and seeing other women behind the backs of the family!
Don’t give up on us, because soon all we will hear is a whisper that our great granddads used to be Singhs! Don’t let us fade away, because that is what is happening; Only we as a religion can turn this around.
I have shown it can be done! I have fought my way into new places as a Singh, to make it easier for the guys behind me! So please don’t look at me as a bad person. I know 100% that there are hundreds (if not thousands) of people in the world who I have worked or dealt with, who have come away from our encounter with a positive view of Singhs, people who had probably never known they have dealt with one of us before.
There has been times over the years, times when I have had to fight for who and what I am, times I have been in fights with 4 guys and only me, no one standing by me, and I have never be beaten, not once!
I say one thing ‘There must be someone looking over me’ Do I believe in God??? It can be the only reason why I’m still here.
We are all put on earth for a reason, I know that one of the reasons I am here is to keep our religion alive and show the young people coming up behind me that you can be exactly who you want in this life and still make it, look at me. I’m going to keep opening as many doors as I can for you guys as I go forward.
All it takes is one Singh to make it in the public eye, whether it be a major Hollywood movie like Waris Ahluwalia or an elite sport star. This Singh will be seen as a role model for all and will have the power to educate everyone, this will open the door for all Singhs.
Whoa, that was intense & we can see your faith is very personal to you. Thanks for opening up about that.
No problem, it’s something I’ve been wanting to say & this is the best place for me to say it!
So moving back to Rich List, tell us more about the island parties you do out in Dubai? How does it work?
We are in partnership with the developer of ‘The World’ Dubai, you have probably seen it on one of the many TV shows about Dubai, it is a group of Islands built to look like the Globe, he has developed one of the islands into a ‘resort’ with beaches, cabanas, a pool, volleyball and beach club type area, ‘The Island’ parties are really an extension of that, we invite our clients away for the day, it is quite difficult to completely envelop a customer in an experience when obviously other things are happening around. On the island that isn’t a problem, they are miles away from anyone else but all their wishes can be catered for. They are taken from Dubai marina by yacht and 20 minutes later they arrive in an oasis in the sea. It is an all day party completely away from anything else, there is three music zones, a relaxing pool area and the Island also has other sports and entertainment if someone is interested.
That is difficult to say, we don’t really enforce a music policy per se across our many events, as I said on the Island there is three distinct zones of music, a R&B an EDM and a House music zone. At our other parties it all depends what the clientele is interested in, at a recent Dubai event there were a large amount of Egyptian and Arab patrons so the music swayed towards some modern Arabic music. Overall I would say it is quite commercial but always with an underpinning of R’n’B music.
We know you’ve had Trey Songz at your parties on more than 1 occasion, which other celebrities have you had attend Rich List parties?
It would be easier to say who we haven’t looked after, we had the pleasure to look after most of the Manchester United team in Dubai at the end of last year, also Will Smith and Tyrese, Amir Khan and Paris Hilton. As for acts we’ve hired for events, they are mainly within R&B, recently people like Nelly, Jeremieh and Akon and countless others.
Also you released a track #MyDubai as a free download. What was the concept behind the whole project?
As with most of our projects, the main idea was promotion of the Richlist brand globally. I had hosted an event in LA and met up with an old friend who is the manager of the Artists who perform the track, he mentioned they had written a track which fitted brilliantly with the Richlist brand, I listened to it and loved it! We did a deal immediately and the rest is history, the video was shot within the next week and the track out a week after that.
Now we’ve know each other for a long time. Back when you were Bally from LC, but even then you were always someway involved in certain music projects, but only released a track now so many years later. Why now & not before?
That isn’t quite the case, I have been involved in the production and distribution of music for quite a few years, I was heavily involved in a UK top 10 track about 5 years ago and I have financed a number of music videos and even appeared in a couple! At one point one of the companies I was working for in the US even bought a record label but I wasn’t singing or dancing in any of these so I am not surprised no one knew I was involved. Over the years I have learnt the problem with music is it is a money pit, everything can cost thousands, when you are able to write something off as a marketing expense that makes a lot of sense, when you are doing it to actually make income it is a much harder proposition.
Bally thanks for taking time out to speak to us about everything.
No problems bro & hopefully you will get your ass to Marbs this year & party with the Rich List.