Pete & Bas: The grandfathers of drill, songs, career, net worth

3 min

Pete & Bas, Pete and Bas
Peter Bowditch, left, and Basil Bellgrave

London has an eclectic music history – from the Rolling Stones and David Bowie to Amy Winehouse or Stormzy there’s an artist to suit every taste from the capital. However, there are some old boys on the block and they could very well be the next big London sensation.

Grandad grime duo Pete and Bas (Pete & Bas), both 70, have been making waves with their latest Drill rap videos.

The Peckham Rye residents first hit the spotlight in 2018 when they released their first song, Shut Ya Mouth.

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Before embarking on a career in music, Pete worked for Royal Mail and Westminster Council. Bas’s background is shrouded in mystery – and he likes to keep it that way.

As a child, Bas says his father owned a bare-knuckle boxing ring. He has previously claimed to have worked as a lawyer and to have served in the army, while there are rumors he worked as a bouncer in the 1970s. During a previous interview with the online channel Noisey Raps, Pete drove Bas around London, where he regularly exited the car to drop off packages. Asked what he was up to, Bas declined to comment.

He tells the BBC that he worked as a helicopter engineer and a carpet seller.

Asked about the various stories and rumors circulating online about his background, Bas says: “These legends are a bit like Robin Hood aren’t they? Some bits are true and some are not. We’re a long way from Sherwood Forest though aren’t we?”

One part of his story that remains consistent is that he taught piano – and that is how the pair met half a decade ago.

Pete walked into a shop in south London “on a little bit of business” and heard the sound of a piano coming from a back room, where Bas was giving a lesson. Intrigued, Pete stuck around and introduced himself.

“We’ve been lifelong friends… for the last five years,” Pete says.

Pete & Bas, Pete and Bas
Pete & Bas with Norman Pain on the set of their video for Golf

It was around this time that Pete, who is a massive fan of The Specials and Madness, was introduced to rap and grime through his granddaughter. He eventually persuaded Bas, a Frank Sinatra fiend, to give his newfound love a listen.

Bas also took a liking to the menacing beats and street-smart storytelling of drill, and the pair started writing lyrics in 2017 – bouncing ideas off some of the younger members of the family.

“I talk to my grandkids and their friends and they just let us know the new idioms – what’s going on now,” says Pete. “For example, we always thought we were good, then they say sick, they say a fire, then they say you’re cold, but it all means the same thing.”


Since then their most popular tune, Dents in a Peugeot, has been viewed on Youtube over 1.8 million times.

Now the pair have done something most British artists struggle to do: break America.

Pete & Bas, Pete and Bas
Bas on Plugged In With Fumez The Engineer

On Saturday (April 17) American Twitter user @VirgilAbroke, shared a clip of one of their videos, commenting: “Bro, 70-year drill rappers from the UK. S*** is crazy.”

The video of the pair of Milwall Fans rapping has been viewed nearly 8 million times since then.

Using a mixture of cockney and south London slang Pete and Bas rap about a wide range of topics from speeding in their cars (see lyric “I sped so fast I lost my hair”), picking up women and even playing golf.

The cheeky pair even boast about causing trouble in their area (“I took his phone, switched providers, then gave it back”).

In their spare time, the rappers are known to enjoy golf and fishing as well as spending time with their grandchildren- Pete has six.

The two grandads naturally came into the grime game in an unusual way.


Their first live show consisted of around 20 people in a pub in London’s Blackheath. By 2019 they were selling out shows across the UK (the tour bus consisted of Bas’s campervan) and they even played a show in the party resort of Ayia Napa in Cyprus, where they were pulled over by police while driving mopeds.

“They got out of their car and put their bat under their belt and we thought, ‘What the hell have we done now’?” Pete says. “They walked up to us and said, ‘Can we have a selfie?'”

Then came 2020 and Covid-19. With both categorized as high risk, the pandemic has been a difficult period for the pair. Pete has lost friends to the virus.

But like many up-and-coming UK rappers, their popularity grew during the lockdown. In December, they released Old Estate with M24 – one of the biggest names in UK drill.

Net worth

It has not been estimated as to how much they make now, but we believe the duo has enough then their retirement funds.

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