DJ & producer Ka Boukie has recently released his latest track “Nightcrawler”. We asked him to introduce himself.
Who are you?
My name is Ka Boukie, Boukie for short. I’m an artist.
Where are you from?
I’m a child of the universe, born in Kingston, Jamaica. Later in my life, I travelled to East London, UK, and then back and forth between London and Philadelphia, USA.
What do you sound like?
I sound like me. I’ve come to realise that my sound embodies afro-futurism, meaning I strive, through my music and projects to redefine notions of blackness and the idea of what it is to be black. After learning to be comfortable with myself and my ideas, which are unintentionally different due to my dyslexia, I am able to understand things from a different perspective.
Why should we follow what you’re doing?
I’m just a little bit different. I represent a shade of music and life that isn’t already available. A survival mentality was passed on to me from my grandmother and family when I was a yout in Jamaica. I represent comfortability in differences and I hope that comes across in my music. I’m trying to push forward the idea that no matter where you come from you can be successful and that success isn’t just about material wealth.
Anything is possible, it just takes patience and time which is often overlooked in our now society. That is why the ethos behind my first single was about overcoming obstacles, whilst ‘Nightcrawler’ is about growth. I recently found out that I am both a direct descendant of the Arawak Indians and the Maroon tribe of Jamaica which would explain some of my determination – we must look to our ancestors for guidance and strength.
Which of your tracks sums you up? Why?
All of my tracks, because my music is a reflection of what I’ve experienced. Life isn’t chocolate or rum & raisin flavoured, musically it isn’t just a single genre, it’s eclecticism.
What have you got coming out in the near future?
I have my debut album coming out in early 2022 featuring some amazing artist’s from all over the world, like NYC rap/drill, UK rap/grime, world music and artist’s from my native Jamaica. I strongly believe in working with people, as well as pushing your own vibes.
What or who is your biggest influence and why?
My influences are pretty broad, I’m like an unconventional Caribbean sponge. I’ve been influenced by my friends whose music I enjoy playing on my radio show, ‘The Boukie show’. I’m also inspired by contemporary music from lots of different genres – electronic, drill, rap, jazz, latin, afro, cuban, brazilian, jungle, dub, reggae, bass to name a few. My early influences stem from what my family would play such as Sade, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and loads more, I’m an 80’s baby.
How did you get into DJing/producing to begin with?
I first started producing on Fruity Loops in my late teens, when everyone would be on MSN chat rooms. My friend sent a copy to me.
When I was studying the drums at music school, I got back into using Fruity Loops. I started working with lo-fi sounds and making polyrhythms from sampling things like motorbikes, and electronic hums that came from the refrigerator; basically any sounds that caught my interest. I would later use these to form the bases of my first experimental EP “Phrakture“. I will always be an experimental warrior, forwarding new ideas and good vibes.
DJing has been a recent thing for me though. I grew up within black culture where hip-hop, rap, reggae and 90’s Black-American and Black-British club music, which all have mixing/DJing/selecting as an integral part of the culture, so it was just a natural progression in music for me to end up DJing.
What or who is your biggest influence and why?
I’m inspired by my friends who I regularly have as my guest DJ’s on my radio show. Check it out at www.ka-boukie.com.
What are three things on your studio shopping list?
Also, some more Roland synths – Roland Juno -60, Jupiter-8, Jx-3p, and Jupiter-4. I would love to play with all the sounds. I asked Leon Somov this question and he joked – the greatest thing is our heads (brain) 😁
Who or what have you sacrificed for your art?
At one point, all concepts of my social life.
Some friends would call me a vampire because I would only come out at night after an unreasonable amount of drum practice and even then, spend hours in my studio trying to figure out if a sound I made sounds better with a certain filter on it.
Or trying to figure out how to use some EQ’s, and generally trying to get my dyslexic brain to understand Jazz music theory and general music theory (which I’m still trying to understand). I also sacrificed the pursuit of money, all for the love of sound. The effect of vibration and frequency is a powerful thing.
What’s been your favourite place to play so far? (you can leave this out if you do not perform live)
A favourite is Boomtown Festival in the UK, because of its connection to music and visual art. As a musician, I was impressed with the audience and as a spectator, I was amazed because it felt like you were in an art installation or a real VR game.
A lot of care goes into festivals and I’ve been lucky to be able to play in some great ones in the UK and internationally. But so far Boomtown’s been the one that I’ve enjoyed playing and staying in.
Where can we hear your music?
What one song would feature on the soundtrack to your life?
Rah, that’s a hard one because I like so much music, from so many different periods that it would be too limiting for me to say one tune. My life has many shades and flavours but if I have to say a tune, it would be Dennis Brown – “Sitting and Watching“, the ethos behind his lyrics is very strong, never surrender, we’re stronger together.
What motivates you?
Difficulty. I was a great film student until I discovered that my first instrument (the drums) was probably one of the most difficult things I had to master. Nowadays, probably the pursuit of learning to control my singing and to better understand how to use my voice.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself
I love anime and the gym. “Health is wealth,” they say, so in recent times I’ve tried to follow a gym routine. I’ve also been meaning to catch up on “One Piece”. I’ve not been watching a lot of Netflix or tv recently because of my schedule, but I fully intend to soak up some of Luffy’s new skills soon. I’m also an avid fan of cake, and food in general, with a soft spot for spice.
Complete this sentence: At heart, I’m…
…just like you.
What’s the best bit of advice you’ve received?
One of the best pieces of advice was given to me by James Blake in a taproom in London. He told me to focus on myself musically, which I have been doing more recently.
I have also been reconnecting with my heritage which is equally as important, and have used that in recent times of struggle to stay strong. I also like the idea that “we have a universe inside of us”. There are endless possibilities.
Where will you be in five years’ time?
Being streamed through your devices.
Ka Boukie’s ‘Nightcrawler’ is available to buy on Bandcamp.