BUKU for those of don’t know, are a Betty and Kora favourite. We had the chance to catch up with him before his Vancouver show at The Red Room and ask him about music, life and…well…whats it like to be BUKU?
Betty: Eight years old is pretty young to start playing music. Was there a defining moment when you were a kid that made you think to yourself ‘ya, I want to be a drummer,’ or was it one of those things you kind of fell into?
BUKU: It definitely ended up being something I fell into. Even before I was 8, I could be found ruining my mother’s pots and pans. I actually had a ‘drum kit’ comprised of various cardboard boxes and tupperware containers. From there, my folks got me a drum pad, then snare drum, then drum kit in the 2nd grade. I was very fortunate that they let my imagination run wild.
Betty: What was the definitive switch for you when you moved away from playing in bands to creating your own electronic music…or are you still playing with bands on the side?
BUKU: I started fooling around with Garageband loops in high school, which transformed into digging deeper into Ableton and Cubase. Then once I was in college, I dug into Pro Tools then finally Logic. During these times, I was playing in various jam bands and then one stoner/sludge metal band in college. All the while, I was slowly spending more and more time behind the computer, whether it be electronic music, recording tunes playing all instruments, or hip hop instrumentals. Eventually, 100% of my time was spent making electronic music.
Betty: What was the most important piece of education you took out of music production school?
BUKU: Without a doubt, the most important thing was my formal training in music theory. Understanding the functions behind music is priceless.
Betty: What has been the biggest compliment that someone has given you after a show or listening to your music?
BUKU: I’ve been given such lovely compliments, but I was recently told by some guy that he may or may not have conceived a child to my music. I’m just hoping I’m not responsible for child support or something.
Betty: Your music is highly complex. What is the method to your creative madness?
BUKU: Honestly, theres so much of the creative process that I don’t think anyone can explain. But, I will typically will start with the most minuscule idea, rhythm, loop, or vocal. From there, it kind of just runs rampant. With my experience in classical training and dance music night life, I continue to work until the music fills itself in. I’m very fortunate to be playing out a ton, so I will frequently play out works in progress. I’ll take notice to what works and what doesn’t and fill in the gaps.
Betty: We want to know your weirdest story on tour – all of it!
BUKU: I’ve certainly had plenty of outrageous tour moments. My favorite one in recent memory is going to an after party in Albuquerque where the owner of the house has a pet alligator named “Carlos.” I was so terrified of that thing. He was like “he’s not going to be stoked when I take him out of his tank, but he’ll be cool once he’s out.” He reached into the tank and Carlos started freaking out, lashing his tail around. To which, I bolted up the stairs. He ended up being chill and I got to hold him for a moment.
Betty: Who are you listening to the most right now?
BUKU: I’m a fan of dark and strange music. It might surprise some, but I’m a huge fan of techno. That being said, I’ve been loving Oscar Mulero’s new album “Muscle and Mind.” I’ve also more recently found Andy Stott, so I’ve been rinsing his 2012 album “Luxury Problems.” I also need to make mention of the Blank Code podcasts. Those are fantastic, so I stay posted on them.
Betty: Oh and also…BUKU…what’s the story behind your name?
BUKU: It actually comes from the tune “Buku” by Big Krizz Kaliko. I was making music and was about ready to start making it public. I was listening to that tune at the time, liked the name, and it just kind of stuck!