Is it just me or do producers rarely get the recognition they deserve? Many people can name their favorite artists but hardly any can name the producers they work with… I was lucky enough to get Budo on the phone while he was roaming the country with Grieves on Warped Tour.
As mentioned in our Grieves interview, Grieves and Budo were one of only two hip hop acts doing the entire Warped Tour circuit, “it’s going really well… Gathering new fans and meeting a lot of new people. We’ve been meeting a ton of bands and amazing folks across the country,” explained Budo. “It’s also hot and– I don’t know, it’s been a long summer but a really good summer. We hit 5 consecutive hottest days ever in 5 different cities when we were going through the Northeast. It’s intense, very intense.”
Budo started playing the trumpet when he was still in elementary school and though he also plays keys and guitar he is too modest to own up to his talents; “I would really only call myself a trumpet player to be completely honest. I started playing the trumpet when I was 9 and really studied that instrument. The guitar and the keys I picked up along the way as tools to help me produce and to help me make records. I would never call myself a guitar player or a keyboard player. I can do certain things with those instruments, but they’re mainly tools for me,” he explained.
Combining the tools that modern technology provides with real instruments is one of Budo’s favorite things to do; devoting a lot of time to the studio in order to create unique sounds. “You can’t find me any happier than when I’m in the studio, when I’m in the studio I’m using a combination of electronic things and organic live things. My process is always evolving but I’ve settled now on something that works as a foundation.” Though many production programs have allowed many people to get involved in music that would have never had a chance ten years ago Budo still relies heavily on real instruments. “I really love the textures you can find from real instruments, things that are not perfect computers and you can’t make the same sound twice. There is something really cool about those imperfections. It’s something that I think is lost in a lot of production.”
“There is something lost in that wholly synthetic world where things are so perfect– you can sit down in front of a computer and make something that sounds perfect and that’s cool, but there is something lost. There is something so cool that happens when you take a synthesizer that was built in 1976 and it’s still working thirty years later and has weird broken parts and it’s a little bit out of tune, I like shit like that. A little bit of perfect and a little bit of broken.”
“One Bird On A Wire” is Budo’s solo album, his chance to explore and create his own sound. “It was kind of an experiment for me, I’ve spent a lot of time over the years working with other artists and producing for other people. I had never really taken the time to make my own record. I had been going through some life and relationship stuff that was pretty sad and I wanted to make some music. It was really cool to explore that space and make my own music. That process really taught me a lot in terms of what to do and what not to do in terms of making a record. Right now I’m actually in the beginning phases of trying to conceptualize my next project… I think it’s going to be a little more happy– a little more uptempo.” Though he is currently brainstorming new ideas he is currently focused on his project with Grieves, “I’m really proud of Together/Apart and I’m proud of our stage show. It’s definitely what does and what will continue to take up the majority of our time but that being said we both have things that we’re pursuing outside of this.”
It is difficult to pinpoint Budo to a particular genre of music. There are so many elements from various types of music present in what he creates; “genres are limited. They are boxes. They are boxes that help you find music you like because they’re all in the same genre, they’re important. People understand things by categorization but what I’m striving to do is push a little bit beyond that box. Not in a way that is dangerous and not in a way that is really, really challenging but push people beyond a strict hip-hop definition into something that is a little more fluid…We don’t want to be confined to the structure of what a hip hop song ‘has to be’. We’re trying to take the pieces of music from music we like and filter them through our own lens and make something new. I want to keep making as many different types of music as I can. I want to keep pushing my comfort zone a little bit and a little bit.”
Keep up with Budo on twitter: @Budo.Follow @RosaB213