Quite recently one of our writers was able to catch the likes of Buku, Boombox Cartel, Willy Joy, Rickyxsan and Jon Mon destroy their sets at the legendary showcase, Control atAvalon Hollywoodin Los Angeles, California. He also had an amazing opportunity to sit down and speak with the rising bass star Buku for a quick impromptu interview where he sheds light on life, music, influences and other weird shit. Hope you all enjoy!
From the beginning of Robert Balotsky’s work as Buku, it was apparent that the Pittsburgh native and graduate of Music Technology was a well versed architect of intricate and energetic soundscapes. With a menacing grasp on sound design and music theory, this young producer combines deep and emotive melodies, fully charged with resounding low-end and complex rhythms. With a love of drums starting in his childhood, Robert’s work reflects his passion – emitting percussive elements only a trained ear could emit. Once introduced to digital production, Buku took his techniques to unfamiliar dimensions, ever since that day Robert has been pushing and surpassing the boundaries that are set.
Buku’s uniform work has placed him at the forefront of the new wave of talent emerging amongst North American producers, earning support from the likes of the bass legend himself, Bassnectar, Dillon Francis, Pretty Lights, Lunice, Bro Safari, Skism, Craze, Shiftee, and Kastle. Seeing releases and remix features on industry staples such as Never Say Die, Main Course, Slow Roast, Gravitas Recordings and UKF’s Pilot Records, as well as his recent collaborations with Willy Joy, Buku’s reign has only just begun…
MMIBTY: My Music Is Better Than Yours B: Buku
MMIBTY: What is the origin of Buku? B:“There’s this guy in Tech 9’s crew called Big Krizz Kaliko and he had this track called, “Buku”. This was right around the time I started making tracks so I was just trying to come up with a name. I was listening to the track at the time and Buku just stuck.”
MMIBTY: Main influences in my music? B:“I tour a lot, so I am able to go into the studio and work on tracks and test them out live. So my main influences would be the feedback from the crowd and the input from my homies who are making brilliant bass music. I always try to draw inspiration from my friends and what they do.”
MMIBTY: If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently? B: “That’s a great question. Everything panned out so beautifully for me, but if there was one thing I would change is that I wish I had a deeper pocket of unreleased stuff , rather than creating music for each EP. So if I was able to have this catalog of music up my sleeve that’s the only thing I would have changed.”
MMIBTY: Insight for the up and coming? B: “Make the music that you’re passionate about, because it’s very obvious when someone is working from genuine inspiration versus trying to emulate popular sounds. When someone is truly following what they love and their passion, the music that comes from that genuine inspiration is just ten fold better. That’s how you can get a foot ahead.”
MMIBTY: How has music changed your life? B: “I’ve been a drummer since I was 8 years old, so I’ve been surrounded by music for the majority of my life. I went through school and received a degree in music, but over the last few years now that I’ve been doing this full-time its like touring full-time, this is my gig. It’s constantly growing and changing. I experience new things, new people and new crowds every day.”
MMIBTY: What are we to expect in the near future for Buku? B: “I’m at the tail end of working on my first full length album. So i’m going to wrap that up soon and take the next step forward in my career.”
MMIBTY: Favorite food on tour? B: “Awe man. I’m a big ramen guy, I love rice dishes and I love Thai food so I try to eat that whenever I can. Also, on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, if I can get an authentic Philadelphia cheese steak i’m getting it.”