elektro exclusive interview with Buhay
Everyone has a their way of discovering and experiencing music. Some buy albums, others pirate. Some prefer to use Spotify, stream and of course, use other traditional mediums like TV and radio. At elektro, the vast amount of tracks thrown our way requires the organization and discipline that is probably best fit for a librarian. Therefore, one of the best methods for my personal discovery of music is through introductions. I was introduced to Buhay’s music on a flight back from EDC Las Vegas. Already spoiled by the endless amount of tunes showcased by EDM’s heavyweights, listening to Joe’s tracks was refreshing. I would describe his sound as a melodic-assshaking-symphony. Luckily for us, Buhay came into the #elektroStudio and described his sound himself:
- DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND.
Pretty Lights is a huge influence of mine for sure, and then last summer I lived in Chicago, which also inspired me. So when I played clubs, I have to play trap for the crowd to turn up. It’s not necessarily my favorite genre, I love trap but I’m not going to try and produce something that doesn’t feel natural to me. But, at the same time there are elements of trap that work their way into my songs. I’d say if I had to describe my music that it started as hip-hop production because I really wanted to do hip-hop EDM production. The song that specifically made me want to start was “Like I Do” by Star Slinger. It’s just a very souful, summer-y kind of hip-hop feel to it. I’m just trying to marry the elements of really strong melodies that I love of like rock songs and soul songs with the energy of the EDM scene. In the end I have a psychedelic hip-hop sound.
- YOUR TRACK “YUP,” TELL US A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THAT.
“Yup” is probably one of my favorite tracks that I’ve produced. It’s off of my Hallelujah EP which just came out in March through Young Latitudes out of Madrid. That song starts out as something real ambient and then strings come in, and then it starts as a house beat with four on the floor. Finally it drops into halftime, with a trappy beat and a triplet. This song was exactly what I wanted to do, but it’s still a chill trap song. It has ambient vocals and it’s exactly what I wanted. It’s definitely a signal that I’m finding my sound.
- YOU SAID YOU’RE GOING ON TOUR IN NOVEMBER?
In November I’m doing a little European stint. It’s pretty funny because my mom is super religious, so even though she loves everything I do, she doesn’t completely approve of it. She’s sending me and my two brothers on this religious pilgrimage, so we’re stopping in Italy to go to the Vatican and then we’re hitting up Croatia. So when we’re in Croatia we’re going to search up his roots. Then after that my brothers are going back and I’m going to stay because I have a show in Belgium, Paris and then a show in Madrid. I’m really excited to see what kind of musical stimulation I get out of this and life experiences that’ll come from it. It’s cool that music is helping me do this.
- ARE YOU PREPARING FOR YOUR EUROPEAN TOUR?
I know a little bit of Spanish, but that’s about it. I think I’ll be fine.. I hosted a French gig back in the day, he still remembers me so he told me I could crash on his couch. So i’ve got places to stay out there. I have my aunt who lives in London, and I think the label is going to hook me up with a hostel or something. As far as places to stay, I’ll be fine. My sister just came back from Italy, so she’s going to help me out with my itinerary. Now, as far as what to expect crowd-wise, I keep wondering what they’ll want to hear. It could be anything, but then I remember that they approached me because of my music so I’m just going to remain true to myself. Fingers crossed that things will go well! It blows my mind that people around the world want to hear my stuff, it’s dope!
- HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH “BUHAY” AS YOUR NAME?
Thinking off a name when you decide to become an artist is really hard. This is was really easy for me though because it’s been my nickname since I was a little kid. My mom’s Filipino, and in Tagalog “buhay” means “life” and “long life” depending on the context. So my mom’s family has always called me that. When I started this project I resurrected the nickname “Buhay.”
- WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF THIS TIME NEXT YEAR?
All the people that are going to help me out, are definitely going to be there for me next year. They all keep telling me to stay in the studio and keep writing. When the time comes, I hope it’ll be just show after show. I want to be on a crazy festival circuit. I just really want to be making dope beats for artists that I like. Ideally, I want my music to be on festival speakers with large crowds because of its rock roots. You can’t really hear all of this in clubs, it’s not the right setting.
- LAST WORDS?
If nothing else from this project, I just want to encourage people to do their own endeavors creatively. I’ve seen so many different projects jump off from this, whether it be graphic designers or producers. I’m going into my project full force with no reservations, so seeing people do the same is the biggest reward in the world. What I’m trying to say is to do your own thing and not to worry about other people because the right people are going to hear your music.