Chief Boima is a chief example of the world music 2.0 musical multi-tasker: in the last few years alone has put out his own EP, Techno Rumba, polished off a remix project, produced for his Afro-Latin-Carribean collective Banana Clipz, DJed all over, become part of New York’s Dutty Artz crew and the UK’s Ghetto Bassquake. He is a wholehearted supporter of new global music: from kuduro to kwaito, champeta to coupe decale. We caught up with him to talk about his new African music night, his views on vinyl digging around the world and his exciting new projects.
Could you just tell us a bit about your background and how you came to be where you are musically?
I’ve been playing music my whole life, and consider myself a musician first. When I was growing up in Wisconsin I did everything from playing Jazz and Hip Hop on the cello, to playing the bass in a Reggae band, to scratching in a Salsa-Reggae-Cumbia group. I started seriously making beats and recording after moving to the Bay Area. At that time Hyphy was really blowing up and I wanted to try and make beats for rappers cause I really dug and was inspired by that whole scene. So I linked with some friends and was making beats for them, I guess trying to break into the Bay music scene as an outsider. Around that same time, I started DJing regularly at this International club called Little Baobab where I was getting exposed to a lot of contemporary International pop, so it became a big influence in my production style. That’s when I started making African dance remixes of hip hop tunes to play at that club to try and add my own flavor. I have a multicultural background, but that always hasn’t been as accepted or welcomed as it is becoming today, so for me to mix American, African, Latin, and the international influences that are part of my background, into some art form was kind of a cathartic creative process that brought me to where I am today.
Now I mostly DJ and make beats and dance tracks, but I recorded an album with my band called Beaten By Them that’s coming out this month. I play cello on that record. So I’ve got different musical experiences.