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Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Afros, Impromptu Raves & Keeping It Real : Exclusive Interview with Benji Boko

We caught up with one of our favourite DJs of the moment, a Mr B. Boko, to talk through bass music, performances and his career . . . . oh, and slippers, haircuts and Mr Sulu from Star Trek of course! Benji gave some honest answers and great advice in what might be our best interview ever! What do you reckon? Free music from Benji included too as always ;)

You’ve been a busy Benji this year, releasing a lot of tracks and playing all over the world. What has been your highlight of 2012 so far?

Definitely doing a tour of Asia. It opened my mind up to what else there is out there. I just love seeing how different crowds get down to what I do and I just love travelling. It was the ultimate food, culture and music experience for me to date.

You recently played an impromptu gig in the middle of Piccadilly Circus, London . . . we just missed seeing it by a matter of minutes! Gutted! Can you tell us what that was all about, and if we can expect to see anything else similar from you?

I basically wanted to show people what I do and what kind of music I play in my shows now and wanted to get as many people involved at all. I didn’t want it to feel staged so I picked the busiest point in London and had an impromptu rave there! Simples!
The video is here so you can see exactly how it went down!




Your technical set-up looks like something off the Starship Enterprise! How long has it taken you to accumulate your array of gadgets and which is your favourite bit of kit? And did you study the workings of Mr Sulu from Star Trek to get tips on how to operate it all?

Yes I study the works of Isaac newton, mix it up with a bit of grandmaster flash and you have my set up! My favourite bit of kit is my rave board… cant tell you what it does tho or I'd have to move country.

It nice to have a lot of kit cos I can get creative. I miss 2 turntables and just mixing record into record, but what I do is way more edgy, energetic and fun… sometimes it goes wrong a little bit but the fun is trying to turn it into something creative and play with the mistakes. Most the time is goes realty well though so s’all good.




Do you have one tune that you always have in your back pocket, ready to drop into a set to destroy the dancefloor? How has your choice of killer tune evolved over the years since you started out?

I used to play a lot of hip-hop and less electronic music. Now it’s the opposite, I play more bass heavy electronic music and mix it with the classics. I love getting down to some Biggie but people like Koan Sound or Sub Focus just hit the spot for me at the moment… wub wub wub!!

Who are your favourite producers right now? And is there any particular up and coming talent that we might not have heard of yet, that we should look out for?

Like I said; Koan Sound are dope. Nero are killing it and im loving the new Kanye and Jay-Z stuff. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs is my favourite new producer but the new Bobby Womack album is my jam right now!



You can do a back-to-back set with any DJ in the world. Literally anyone. Who would you pick?

Wow. Can you make this dream come true? If you can then it has to be Mark Ronson… his knowledge of music and love of hip-hop would mean we would have such a crazy night… just visualize it… its gonna happen one day!!!

This is a big question now . . . not musically related but very very important to us! Footwear. What’s the coolest pair in your footlocker at the moment?

You know what… im going simple now… im outing the big lumpy fuck me pumps and going minimal. Ive got a kind of slipper/shoe thing at the mo… im getting old.

On a, kind of, related note. Your big fro is one of your trademarks, how many hours do you spend grooming that badboy? Ever considered trying an alternative do?

What are you trying to say?! Yea well it's getting smaller and smaller as I get older as I know I cant be 40 with a huge afro… maybe I can… in fact… fuck it.. im gonna keep rocking it for as long as I want… I wont succumb to social pressures… look at Tom Jones!


Music production isn’t easy (I’ve got some pretty embarrassing early efforts to prove it!). You’ve released a couple of good track right? ;) What would be your one tip for an aspiring producer? What is the most important thing to get good at?

Well one thing I never felt I understood was how hard the graft is for the people who have had success. I'm not talking about X Factor bitches, im talking about musical people who have something real to say… real people! It aint that easy and to be honest I haven’t sold a lot of records… I want to be honest about that… This aint easy and I don’t want anyone to think im a superstar….. yet! I think its good to be clear that the record business is tough and so is this as a career choice… so I can't answer that question with anything other than honesty...

My answer about what the most important thing to get good at is: hard graft, persistence, adapting, staying true to yourself and being a leader. You have to follow the crowd before you can get to the front of it! Shit happens so turn it into something good and show people what you're made of. Don’t feel like you have to conform to certain moulds to get paid or to fit in… just do your own thing and fuck everyone that doesn’t get it.




Make sure you catch Benji if he's performing near you, because when I say 'performing' I really mean 'PERFORMING", the man puts on a great show and you just cannot stay still!

Upcoming tour dates:
- October 28th Lucerna Music Bar, Czech Republic
- October 31st Mercati Generali, Italy
- November 24th The Big Reunion, UK
- November 30th Subtone, UK
- March 31st Kraftwerk, Switzerland

Read more in our other Benji Boko posts:
- Benji Boko's Free Remix Album
- Funky Friday : Benji Boko
- Funk and Filth Hall of Fame: Funk #19 - Benji Boko

Read more Exclusive Funk and Filth Interviews HERE.



More garms in the Funk and Filth Shop.

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