written by Kelsey James
photos by Kelsey James
Reminiscing on BUKU Music & Arts Project, which took place last weekend (March 10+11), is a bittersweet memory. The staff of Winter Circle Productions put together a beautifully executed weekend which brought together people from all over in one area along the Mississippi River. BUKU hosted artists such as Deadmau5, Run the Jewels, GRiZMATiK, Big Wild, San Holo, and more, to please any and all in between. There were definitely some highlights to the weekend, and we decided to narrow the most memorable moments down to 5 for those that were unable to attend, or those that would love to relive.
1) K?d’s Festival Debut
K?d (pronounced kid) hit the 2017 festival scene running with his highly anticipated early Friday afternoon set. He later proved through the duration of the weekend that he would not be confined to the one set and jumped on stage with Rezz to play their collab (which you can check out below) plus a B2B2B with Josh Pan and Oshi on the VIP SS BUKU on Saturday night. You can view the video here. BUKU was able to bring together artists from various ranges of EDM together for a huge amount of pop up sets and K?d was able to set in the game without hesitation.
2) Boogie T killing every aspect of BUKU
If you don’t have Boogie T on your radar yet, you definitely need to. Boogie T had a complete takeover of BUKU and killed the Back Alley with one of the best sets of the weekend. With his hilarious outtakes while DJ’ing, saying every word to songs that he is playing and headbanging along with the crowd while playing, he has an unbeatable and loving personality. All you want to do is give him a hug. Later in the night after he said RIP to the Back Alley of BUKU and hopped in the VIP SS BUKU ship and jammed with a guitar while Ganja White Night was on the decks. You can view the here. Complete madness. Check the video below, courtesy of Joseph Logue.
To end the weekend, Boogie T was on the lineup for an epic post after-weekend party, courtesy of River Beats, at Church. This set included a B2B with Kidd Love. Overall, Boogie T took full advantage of all the hometown love he received and radiated positive vibes.
3) The After Parties
About two months prior to the fest, the official BUKU accounts announced a handful of pre-, post-, and after-parties. The pre-party featured electronic funk band Zoogma with support by local producer Dino Brawl. The pre-party was perfect for those that lived in the area or came into town a bit early to get a little rowdy.
After parties on Friday included a killer lineup from Deadbeats which included BUKU headliners Zeds Dead, Andrew Luce, Nebra, and more. The event went into the wee hours of the morning, and even included a surprise B2B with Andrew Luce B2B Ekali (for those still going until 6am that were able to witness it). On the same night across town was a GRiZ DJ set with support from Sunsquabi and Muzzy Bearr. Those that went to this after party were the real winners though, seeing as they got everyone under one roof (I may have went to the Zeds Dead after party…. and I might be a little salty about it). Regardless, both after parties were a guaranteed good time!
On Saturday, the two venues brought completely different crowds due to the completely different artists at each. At Republic NOLA was electronic OG Deadmau5 and heavy, dirty bass Queen Rezz. This combination was extremely special because Rezz attributes Deadmau5 as the reason she got into the music game. The time change threw everything a little off though, and towards the end of it, fans were trickling out quickly. At the Joy Theatre was Space Jesus, Josh Pan, Ganja White Night, and Gramatik – an overall diverse lineup including openers with similar sounds. There were no surprise B2B’s this night, which fans were slightly anticipating.
4) Too many B2B’s to count
The amount of B2B’s through the weekend is absolutely bonkers. Artists from all genres came together to completely blow attendees minds with the unexpected mashups. Of course, on the lineup, was already highly anticipated Minnesota B2B Space Jesus, Ghastly B2B Herobust, and Musa B2B Otto. Ghastly B2B Herobust was one of my favorite sets of the weekend; as soon as the two walked on stage, Ghastly hopped on the microphone saying that he had never listened to a Herobust set before, and same for Herobust to Ghastly and they were just “going to wing it.” Wing it they did, the two murdered the Float Den.
After the Deadbeats Friday after-party, Zeds Dead left their OWN party post-set to go to GRiZ’s, and successfully managed to do one of the most epic B2B2B’s ever…GRiZ B2B Jauz B2B Zeds Dead. WHAT…only in New Orleans! There were countless other B2B’s throughout the weekend: Oshi B2B K?d B2B Josh Pan/K?d B2B Josh Pan, Boogie T B2B SFam for a minute, Andrew Luce B2B Ekali, and what ever other pop ups happened to occur on the low. BUKU is known for the spontaneous shows and artists showing up for other sets; New Orleans just seems to bring out the creative side in artists and allows them to give back to the fans that love them.
5) Zhu’s stellar closing out set
To close out the Float Den was the talented and mysterious producer Zhu. Coming into the festival, I was unsure about what sort of music/set Zhu would play; however, myself and tons of fans alike agreed that Zhu’s set was so unique and strange that it was hard to not be entranced. He played popular songs, including Bad and Boujee, which was one of the top remixes of the weekend. You can give it a listen below. The lighting was the cherry on top of already perfect production and was a great way to close out an exciting weekend.
If you do not have BUKU on your radar, you definitely need to for next year. The production from stage to stage, the people, and all other festi elements were perfectly curated. This festival was executed in a way that would leave very little to complain about, plus being in the heart of New Orleans does not hurt!