SF resident J-Boogie has come a long way in the course of his 18-year career. Almost exactly three years ago, SF Station spoke to him just as he was just releasing his sophomore album, Soul Vibrations, which went on to receive much praise and acclaim.
Now, with the release of his newest album Undercover, SF Station speaks to him about the demise of his radio show “Beatsauce,” a very Bollywood music video and playing with live bands. Don’t miss J-Boogie’s Dubtronic Science on October 7th at Public Works, and his DJ set at the Digital Design Tournament Oct 20th at Mezzanine.
Tell us a little about the new album, Undercover.
The album features Lateef the Truthspeaker, Raashan Ahmad, Aima the Dreamer, Jazz Mafia, Afrolicious, The Pimps of Joytime, Gina Rene & several other talented artists. It’s a mix of disco, soul, funk, afrobeat, cumbia, electro, downtempo and dub. The sound has changed a lot, but the vibe is still there. It’s a more uptempo record with electronic elements mixed with the traditional J-Boogie sound.
What was most exciting for you when making this album?
Hearing it finished! It’s a labor of love, so once you hear it all together, it’s a great feeling.
What’s the title mean?
A lot of the sounds, textures and feelings I create with music are sort of under the radar. They don’t fit into a box. The sound is hard to pin down because of the various influences and styles I want to create. Being an independent artist these days is basically undercover if you’re not following the flock.
The title track features a very Bollywood music video. What was the inspiration behind that?
I’m a Bollywood disco fan and we just wanted to do something fun and crazy that would throw people for a spin. Next up is a Bhangra remix by Jimmy Love with a video featuring the Dhol Rhythm Dance Troup of Nonstop Bhangra.
With so much world music and influences in your beats, where does this inspiration come from?
I enjoy discovering music from around the world, and it influences me a lot. My favorite day is listening to jazz, reggae or salsa. Working in radio and being influenced by the eclectic Bay Area scene has helped my ears grow.
Do you travel often?
Enough to appreciate coming back home, and I’m down to pack my bags in a heartbeat. I love getting out to experience something new.
Most producers/DJs don’t play with live bands. What’s your favorite part of doing so?
The experience of hearing songs layered with the improvisation and musicianship of talented musicians and the energy of live drums on top of a drum machine. Plus, you’re actually hearing air move from an instrument, instead of just 1s and 0s thrown at you from a laptop.
With the demise of KUSF this year, what do you miss most about your show, “Beatsauce”?
The crazy guests we had, and hanging out with Raw B & Wisdom after the show talking smack.
What do you think about the whole situation?
Pretty shady the way it went down. KUSF could have continued to be a revolutionary connection to the community. Private business didn’t want to see that happen.
Will you do another radio show in the future?
I would love to and I do continue to post podcasts on soundcloud, mixcloud, mixcrate, Brooklyn Radio and the J-Boogie iPhone app.
J Boogie plays Public Works this October 7th. Tickets are $10 at the door before 10:30 and $15 after.
Follow Christina on Twitter @chrisxtinali