On the Rise: Interview with Buku

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Rising from the streets of Pittsburgh is Robert Bolotsky, also known as Buku. He is known for making crowds across the country booty pop and get low, producing some of the sickest and heaviest bass beats in the industry.

Buku is a rising artist is booming on the EDM scene, and has big plans and performances coming up in the coming months, as well as a release of his new EP 'Down', which will be available January 27th.

After a recent performance in Pittsburgh at Rex Theater, I had the chance to catch up with Buku and discuss how he first got involved in music, his upcoming plans and what he has in store for the summer months.

Read further and get to know Buku, a young and talented atist on the rise.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: How did you first get your start in music?
BUKU: I got my first drum set when I was 8 years old, so I've been a musician for the majority of my life. I went through school participating in music programs, as well as being in tons of bands and experimenting with production.

While I was completing my Music Technology degree at Duquesne University, I became obsessed with electronic music and decided that it was what I truly wanted to pursue.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: Who are your musical influences?
BUKU: After studying and experiencing tons of different types of music, I like to be as open minded as possibly.

I've gained inspiration from everything from Boards of Canada, to Gesaffelstein, to Schoolboy Q. I love anything that is original and creative.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: Hellll yeah, Pittsburgh! Do you have any favorite local artists you look to for inspiration?
BUKU: Of course! I have quite a few local music homies that are doing awesome things right now.

Namely, these guys are Le Moti, Torvvo, Nibz, and Hyjax. We are always bouncing things off of each other, as well as just hanging out.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: Who do you listen to in your spare time, other hobbies, etc?
BUKU: I've been listening to a ton of hip hop, house, and techno music lately. I've been listening to Schoolboy Q's Habits and Contradictions album a lot lately because I'm so stoked for his new album. The new Actress album has also been getting a played a lot recently, as well as Brodinski's Basel Castle mix.

J.Phlip's ambient "Bjork meets Die Antwoord..." mix has been a permanent staple in my airplane listening for a while now too.

As far as hobbies are concerned, so much of my time is taken up by music, but I am absolutely obsessed with GTA 5.

I've also started to really enjoy cooking, and I've been on the quest to make the perfect homemade pizza (successfully, I might add).

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: How do you manage your time between your music and personal life?
BUKU: It can be definitely be tough. Now that I've experienced life on the road a decent bit, I've been able to sustain working on music and seeing friends from time to time. It's an inevitable fact that traveling and performing will wear you into the ground.

So allowing time to recover and staying healthy has been a lesson I've learned. Yes, it's butted into time I could have spent with friends and whatnot, but it's all a balance.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: What has been your most memorable experience while touring?
BUKU: Performance wise, it has to be playing at the Buku Music and Arts Festival. It was so early in my career, and it was such a massive stage. The production of the whole festival absolutely blew my mind, especially while I was still very young in touring around. But my favorite memory from touring recently was the "after party" after the show I played with Mr.

Carmack, Great Dane, and Penthouse Penthouse in San Francisco. The after party was held on a full length, gutted out tour bus that had the walls lined with subwoofers and speakers.

It picked a ton of us up at the show, drove to an abandoned area where we could be loud, and we had a ton of fun while me and a few others played.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: What advice would you give to other young people looking to succeed in the industry?
BUKU: Do you. That's the biggest thing.

Do what you do, and don't sacrifice your own creativity/vision to fit in the mold of whatever may be hot at that moment.

Originality receives the highest praise in this industry, plus it's way more fun and rewarding than playing it safe!

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: When you hit a creativity block, what re-inspires you?
BUKU: More recently, it's been traveling and listening. I've been blessed with a pretty creative brain, so it doesn't happen TOO frequently. When it does happen however, I enjoy zoning out on some new or old, weird music.

I love expanding my mind with hot shit from any era.

Most of the time, my sounds (and even some sampling) come from older records that I've found inspiring. Airplanes allow for this type of zoning out, so I love stocking up on new things before trips.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: You are preparing for the release of your newest EP 'Down' - what have you learned from the releases of your previous EPs that you put into the work of your new music?
BUKU: I've learned that I've been blessed to be in an awesome situation where my fans expect anything and everything.

I've used this EP as an opportunity to explore various corners of electronic music, while staying true to myself.

This EP isn't particularly Trap or anything, really; It's whatever you want to make it, and I'm thrilled to be in a position where I can let my creativity run wild.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be, and why?
BUKU: It would definitely be Schoolboy Q and/or Danny Brown.

I've been wanting to step into the hip hop industry more and more, and these guys are my absolute favorites right now.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: What are you most looking forward to this summer?
BUKU: I am so so so excited to be playing on more festivals this summer.

I really fell in love with the festival scene last summer, and I can't wait for the warm weather and music. Also, I'm stupid dumb excited for Wakarusa!

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: What are your upcoming plans in regards to more touring, releases and producing new music?
BUKU: I just plan on continuing to grind. Between touring and producing, I'm looking forward to making 2014 a big year for me.

I've already got a few records lined up that I'm very proud of, and have been very fun at shows. I can't wait to continue providing music for the community.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: Anything else you would like to add?
BUKU: Thank you to anyone and everyone who has given my music the time of day.

It feels so good to see people loving it, and it's those people that allow me to do what I do.

Buku's newest EP 'Down' is set to be released January 27th - be sure to grab a copy and check out what else Buku has to offer for listeners by visiting http://www.soundcloud.com/buku.