Most producers on the east coast usually were known to launch out of NYC and on the west coast it was always usually LA. With the rise of electronic based music, more cities have shown to garner very talented producers from every corner of the country across the board. One of the cities that have garnished a very talented producer is Pittsburgh with the artist known as Buku. Traditionally starting off the Buku project with dubstep influenced tracks, Buku grew into a distinct sound design and branding for his project that combined a heavy bass layered synths with a certain swag and a hint of dubstep while adding crisp hip hop percussion. Definitely a style that branches out from the traditional rules of production and creates its own art with the sound. We were able to catch up with Buku on one of New York’s greatest yacht parties Bounce Boat. The interview also includes part of it with Willy Joy who was also in attendance and playing the same event, we got to know a little bit about the future of Buku, how he got his sound, about the upcoming tour with Buku & Willy Joy as well as their upcoming EP and more, check it out!
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Voices from the Undrgrnd:
Q: How was it like playing tonight on a yacht party touring around New York City?
BUKU: Pretty excellent. I was like super looking forward to this thing and after seeing like pictures of the boat and everything and finding out I was playing on the sky deck I was super stoaked.
Q: Was it the same for you?
WILLY JOY: My night was great; shout out Bounce Boat, it was fun man. I was DJing and I looked up a few times and I looked to my side and there’s a beautiful vista of New York City. It feels real special right now. I feel like the people on this boat should take a moment to appreciate where they are because most people don’t get to see this and I’m with my dog Buku and we both had a good time and I love him very much.
WILLY JOY: We so heavy in the Hudson right now baby.
Q: So Buku, does this count as you cheating on Nappy with Willy Joy now?
WILLY JOY: Facebook changed the settings so you actually have to ask him right now, you have to click on that button.
BUKU: That’s how I established it. I asked him what his relationship status was and then he sent it to me. It’s an open relationship. I’m not gonna tell him about all the mermaids that I may have gotten on the boat though.
WILLY JOY: I mean its 2014 man, like you know we’re open minded people
Q: So you guys are going on tour together. Can you tell us a little about the upcoming tour?
WILLY JOY: Mostly what we’re gonna play is our own EP that’s almost done right now, it’s mostly great music.
Q: Can you tell us a little more about this?
WILLY JOY: It’s all great music.
BUKU: People know that we’re making music
WILLY JOY: That’s not a secret. It’s all music that we’re making and it’s all great music. And that’s my announcement.
Q: So production wise what are you using right now?
BUKU: I am in Logic, es2 synthesizers still to this day. And I’m happy to announce that I have branched out from the es2 and I’m using this, I’m using some 303 some acid synths and some other stuff. But pretty much the same shit just trying to make it organic and whole.
Q: What’s the go to plug in?
WILLY JOY: See that’s the secret that’s why Buku sounds so fucking dope. There is no answer to that question.
BUKU: There isn’t an answer to it because I don’t have a favorite plug in because I try to actually limit how many plug ins I use. I either make like the synth exactly how I want it to or close and then maybe tweak a few things with plug ins or drum samples. I take the time out to just search for the right one so I don’t actually process too, too much.
Q: How would you describe your sound?
BUKU: My sound, I’m some 2.0 shit right now that’s very industrial and percussive. And I don’t know, that’s a hard question. The 2.0 shit is on that industrial percussive, more sample based too. You’ll just have to experience for yourself.
Q: How do you feel about the term “EDM”?
BUKU: Honestly, I’m not a big fan because there’s a very negative connotation that goes with it. And there’s a lot more to like parties and raves than just freaking out on the drops.
WILLY JOY: It reduces the artistry of music to a 3-letter fucking signifier.
Q: Do you feel like it limits you, boxes you in?
BUKU: I would say so. It makes people think of one thing instantly when you use that term. At least to me.
Q: What comes to your mind?
BUKU: What comes to my mind, oh God. It reminds me of neon colored tank tops. And flurries.
Q: Where do you see dance music in 5 years? Any predictions?
BUKU: It changes so fast, that you can’t even try to make a prediction. I mean hell for all we know in 3 months people might be like this wack, like I wanna stop doing this. I mean the bubble has been going on for such an extended period of time, I can only wonder how long that bubble will go. You can just continue like all these artists including myself can continue to ride this thing cause it can end tomorrow. Lord only knows.
Q: Do you have any plans for production to branch out into different genres and stuff like that?
BUKU: Absolutely, yea. As I probably stated at some point I’m a big fan of house and techno. And so I’ve been really working towards introducing that to some of my sounds. And some of my flavors during my sets, playing a decent amount of some of those flavors. I like to some color on the floor like house tempos.
Q: How do you feel about genres like Zouk Bass?
BUKU: Zouk Bass is badass, I really like it. It’s pretty inaccessible in a lot of places if you try to play it. I feel like it can be rhythmically confusing, like for the lay mans here. Cause it’s out there with all its compound rhythms and stuff like that.
Q: When did you know that you found your sound?
BUKU: When I made the synth for my tune Janky. I remember working on that, I was making all kind of crazy dubstep and I got so sick of it. I had been listening to some of the earlier trap explosion finding artists like Baauer and Mr. Carmack when they had next to nothing followers. I ended up just being like forget all that dubstep stuff I’m not trying to fit in this mold and I made Janky and I made that synth for it and I was like you know what, I’m just gonna try to ride this out.
Q: What’s one advice you can give to other producers?
BUKU: Don’t be afraid to walk into territory that you don’t understand. Be comfortable with leaving your comfort-zone. Don’t feel like you have to fit into a mold and you have to be like I gave to set this up so that djs can play this. You don’t have to set it up to fit in the mold, like I’m gonna make a twerk, I’m gonna make a 140 trap banger. It should be just make music, is what it comes down to and make what you hear in your head what you’re passionate about.
Q: What’s one odd thing on your rider?
BUKU: One odd thing? I actually just added it. I put on my rider, that I require a majestic stallion and a flaming spear on which I will enter the venue
Q: What’s the future of Buku looking like?
BUKU: I have this EP that I just wrapped up last week. It’s all of my original stuff; I’ve been kinda calling it the Buku 2.0. I’m really, really happy with the works on it. It feels like a progression to me in my sound. I’m hoping it kind of propels me in a not necessarily in a new direction but just kind of let me evolve.
Q: Our website name is Undrgrnd Sound. So what comes to your mind when you think of Undrgrnd Sound?
BUKU: Undrgrnd Sound, I think of moist ass basements with big sound systems, punching everybody in the chest and everybody feeling the vibe of everybody else and having an unbelievable time.
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