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Friday, February 12, 2010

A cuppa with J-Wow (Buraka Som Sistema)

Regular readers here will know we've been big fans of Buraka Som Sistema's Bass heavy kuduro for time. To coincide with ex Red Bull Music Academy student, now member, J-Wow's appearance at the RBMA party and workshop on Saturday at the ICA, I got the chance to have a little chat with him about what he's cookin up for 2010. ( Sadly didn't find out why he's in that fridge though).

Hey Joao. How's it going ?

All good thanks!

Although dance music styles like dubstep and bass heavy stuff are a big influence, Buraka's roots lie deep in kuduro. Is it still a big influence in your sound? Where you taking it right now?

Yes.. it's still very much defines our sound!!!
we're probably going to take it as far as possible, experimenting all sorts of different and weird drum patterns... right now we're focusing a lot on trying out cool short vocal hooks that work as both voice and percussion.

Who are you favourite Kuduro artists and who should we be watching out for ?

My number one dude is still DJ Znobia.. he's just a very complete package and the most creative of every producer doing kuduro... he really pushes the limits on music production...
watch out for DJ Malvado as well... he's more on a housier branch of kuduro, but still sounds amazing!

Any plans to record in Angola again with kuduro MCs ?

Not for now...

On kuduro blogs based in Angola and Portugal, I've seen your stuff posted up along with Angolan kuduro. This makes me think people don't really see a difference between your music and Angolan jams. Is that something you care about?

They do see the difference, but it has also became part of it.. like a side branch. Most of the Angolan producers like what we do and kind of use it as a reference as well.

Buraka Som Sistema are kind of the stadium kuduro dance act - I've seen loads of people go mental to your live shows that probably haven't heard your style before, especially at festival shows. Do you think you're opening doors for other kuduro acts like Costuleta, who recently played big stadium shows with Kassav ?

I have no idea... we're just doing our thing... and we like to make things big, so we work a lot in having the best live show possible. Although I dont really think our show is a good stadium performance.. I always like the dirty small and sweaty place better.

Kalemba (Wegue Wegue) went to No.1 in the Spanish singles charts, still is I think. Are you finding more mainstream success in Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries? Is it an issue for you to try and cross over into English language markets or not bothered?

We obviously think about it.. I'm not going to lie and pretend we don't... but it's not really a number 1 priority...

On your mixtapes and on Black Diamond, you've collaborated with people like Afrikan Boy, Znobia and Aloe Black. Any more guests in the pipeline ? Who would you love to work with?

I think our next release will be as much guest free as possible... but we got a bunch of stuff recorded with Maluca that we're dying to use.

'Rebita' your new track is pretty sick, almost Brazilian sounding with the accordeons. Is it a J-Wow club tool or a new Buraka track ?

It's just a club tool for me to use on my dj sets... I would probably get in trouble for releasing that because of the sample, so I just decided to give it away...


J-Wow - Rebita (Yousendit)

Catch J-Wow along with James Pants, Poirier and loads more at The Red Bull Music Academy this Saturday night.
All info is here.

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