DNVR Up & Comers I - Botomaki Interview
Updated: Feb 20, 2019
I've got nothing but love for the #DNVR #bassmusic scene. There's nothing like watching the homie start his career, grow, evolve, and get better. On top of that, seeing someone rep your hometown properly is always a good feel. What I like about BOTOMAKI is that he brings the sound he loves and doesn't curtail it because of what's trendy. He just spins the music he loves and constantly puts out quality mixes for your ears, whether you like it or not. You can hear his progression on his BotoSessions series available on Mixcloud and Soundcloud. No question, he's gotten better on a consistent basis. Recently, he has finally started to come out of his shell and play some popular Denver venues like the Lounge at Beta, and The Church Nightclub. Because of that, along with the respect I have for the homie, I had to spotlight him first on my Up-and-Comers article series. Additionally, he was gracious enough to drop an exclusive guest mix for my B.O.D. Podcast so we could all get to know his sound a little better. Enjoy!
Bass'd Out DNVR: Do you like bass? What are your favorite genres? Botomaki: “I do like bass, for sure. But to an extent. I really have to be in the mood for Dubstep. I’ve kinda started getting back into D&B. As of right now, however, my favorite BASS genre is Bass House. But overall, I’m a Future House/Electro House/Complextro kind-of guy~” BOD: Electro is my first love! I love complextro. What made you fall in love with dance music? Boto: “I suppose it started with ‘Robert Miles – Children’ and ‘Daft Punk – Around the World’. Actually, now that I think about it, it might’ve been different kinds of video game music like MegaMan-X and DDR. This was probably my first exposure to Electronic Music without really knowing it~” BOD: That's a great insight. Video games still have the best untapped 8-bit and 16-bit samples. What inspired you to start DJing? Who are your biggest musical influences? Boto: “It actually started when I decided to do Fan Art for [my favorite DJ] HeavyGrinder. While trying to get in the mood to draw this piece for her, I would listen to her mixes. And acknowledging how it affected me and seeing what kind of emotions DJing can invoke, it seemed very fun and gratifying. I wanted to know what it felt like to do that for other people. As far as musical influences go, there’s too many to list but the main ones are HeavyGrinder; Bad Boy Bill; Daft Punk; Porter Robinson; Madeon; Busta Rhymes; Lupe Fiasco; Paramore; Fall Out Boy; Gym Class Heroes; Do As Infinity; Utada Hikaru; and so-on. Pretty much anyone that has a very unique sound. Oh, and anything that has some kind of resemblance to Anime or Video Games. I’m kind of a nerd/otaku like that~” BOD: I def appreciate the passion. Heavy G... she's dope! What DJ's do you feel aren't getting the recognition or bookings they should be? Boto: “I actually have practices at my place from time to time. There’s a guy that comes by that goes by IMVGINE. Funny story: last year , he’d start coming over to my practices. He eventually tried out for the Global Dance Festival DJ Competition. One of his judges was one of the guys that I used to look up to when I first got into the local scene. He comes up to me and says ‘Observe this kid. He’s incredibly talented and he’s doing things I’ve never seen before.’ At the end of his set, IMVGINE comes up to me (while his judge is within earshot) and says ‘Thanks for teaching me all those tricks.’ Next thing you know, he’s in the GDF Finals and plays at Red Rocks. He got booked for a few things after that but took a break to concentrate more on his production [he’s a Producer first before a DJ]. He’s INCREDIBLY talented and I feel he doesn’t get enough attention as he should~” BOD: Make sure you get those royalties bruh! But that's awesome and must feel very validating. What setup did you first learn on? Boto: “Oh man…..Initially, I started out with a pair of [discontinued] Numark TT-200 Direct-Drive turntables with an M2 Battle Mixer. I then upgraded the mixer to a Pioneer DJM-350. Later, I got a Numark MixDeck Express but returned it within a week then picked up a Pioneer DDJ-WeGO-K~” BOD: I'm always humbled by what DJ's start out on. Speaking of starting out, how involved in the scene were you before you started DJing? What types of events did you go to? Boto: “I wasn’t too involved in the scene. After a breakup back in 2010, I started kicking it more with friends that would frequent BETA on the weekly. The following year, I reunited with a friend from high school and I went to my first Global. And through networking, I met a few Go-Go Dancers and [local] DJs and eventually became friends with them. I’d always go whenever either of them was performing to show my support. But since I couldn’t really afford ‘shows’ on the reg, I’d just go to the clubs~” BOD: It's so interesting to hear everyone's individual experience within the scene. Do you have any crazy stories from events you been to? Boto: “Nothing too crazy. A few years ago, my hero/e-crush HeavyGrinder did a show in Colorado Springs. We kinda started talking via twitter prior to that so were online friends. Anyways, after her set, a group of us went outside to smoke (I don’t smoke, BTW). One of my high school buddies asked ‘You two seem pretty close. How do you guys know each other?’ To which she jokingly replied, ‘Oh, Brad? He’s my Denver Manager….’ So I asked her ‘If I’m your Denver Manager, then I suppose it’s a valid excuse for me to have your number, yeah?’ Pretty ballsy but definitely worth the risk since I have her number now and we’re legit friends. So it worked out~ ” BOD: Damn that's crazy in a different way. Everyone wishes they could meet their idols. What do you like most about performing live?
Boto: “In all honesty, I’m SUPER-Introvert, incredibly shy, and have unreasonably low self-esteem. Typically, I don’t like being in the spotlight. I haven’t performed much as I’ve only been gigged 4 times since my debut back in April 2016 (despite having started learning back in 2011-2012). 3 of those gigs were official while one was unofficial. But I guess I like being that unassuming guy that just so happens to know things. It’s a surprise to everyone~” BOD: Low key knowledge. That's a good problem to have! What goals do you currently have for your DJ career? Boto: “I’m hoping to break out of my shell of shyness and just put myself out there, I guess. But I’m not as ambitious as the rest of the local scene. I suppose I’d like to be able to play alongside my heroes rather than being an observing fan~” BOD: Only way to crack that shell is to jump into the frying pan, per se... Outside of music what are your passions? Boto: “I’m a HUGE otaku/Anime fan. I stockpile a LOT of Gundam model kits but I haven’t built many (mostly because I don’t really have anywhere to paint). Truthfully, if I hadn’t bought so many model kits, I would’ve completed my DJ Set-Up YEARS ago, haha. I used to be into art. Heck, I graduated from University of Colorado at Denver with a degree in Fine Arts with an emphasis on Illustration. Initially, I wanted to get into animation and character design but I’m classically trained and kinda computer stupid. But really, I’m just a nerd that likes nerdy things [Anime; Video Games; Comic Books; etc]. I used to be hardcore into Martial Arts and Dance but kinda stopped after moving up to Denver and ended up putting on weight and getting lazy. I should really get back into it~” BOD: Ladies love nerds these days brother! Take advantage while you can! Got any shout-outs? Comments? Upcoming projects? Boto: “Shout-Out to my dear friends and heroes HeavyGrinder; Adam Stark; Dirty Little Thieves; Tatsu Ogata; JLEET; 2Slikk. Also, big shout-out to Equalizor for teaching me the basics on vinyl and Hazy Meadow & April Soleil for being mentors in a scene clouded with hella politics. They certainly made it easy for the little guys to get involved. Be on the lookout for cool cats like IMVGINE; GENESXS; Bass Dough; A-Maya . Oh and before I forget, my homie and partner in crime DACXVII out in Sacramento. He and I were gonna be a duo under QA: Quality Assurance. I hope he’s still DJing because he’s super talented and has amazing musicality. And a HUGE shout-out to #NamakoTEAM for being supportive and encouraging me to be more proactive. It means a lot and I love y'all for it~
**NOTE** “I’m not proactively looking to get gigged. Each gig that I’ve had, I was offered and I just kinda did it (with the exception of my first gig at where Adam Stark and Dirty Little Thieves just ‘volunTOLD’ me to do it since I SHOULD’VE been performing a long time ago). But if anyone would like to book me for anything, feel free to hit me up. You can also check me out at my socials and stuff~”
~ BOTOMAKI ~
Thanks and much love to Botomaki! Peep the homie out. He has mixes galore and is always willing to share some love and knowledge! Like, share, and follow below. Also... Book Botomaki NOW!!! Check out his guestmix on the BOD Podcast below...
FB: www.facebook.com/TheBotoMaki IG/Twitter/SnapChat: @BotoMaki SC: @botomaki MixC: www.mixcloud.com/botomaki/ HearThis: www.hearthis.at/botomaki/ YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCMlrGvdji8h_x6CZ0NDUwYA