DJ Buka is a DJ and music producer from Queens who has left an indelible mark on the vibrant world of Afrobeats. In just a few years, Buka has had the privilege of collaborating with some of the most prominent names in the industry, including Burna Boy, Omah Lay, Adekunle Gold, and a host of other celebrated Afrobeats artists. With an innate ability to infuse energy and soul into his mixes, DJ Buka’s infectious beats and seamless transitions have garnered him global acclaim.
Check out our Q&A with him below!
- Where are you from & what was it like growing up there?
I am originally from Nigeria. I was born and raised in Queens, New York.
- What music did you grow up listening to?
I grew up listening to Afrobeat music, the genre created by the legendary Fela Kuti. I was surrounded by his sound, so much so that it became a part of me.
- When did you start making music of your own?
I started making my own music in May 2021, and I’ve done two songs so far.
- What got you into DJing?
As a child, I was sent to Nigeria to draw closer to my Igbo culture. I remember joining my Godfather, DJ Commander Ike at his events, and I was assigned to manage the entertainment segment for the night. This was where I was introduced to the idea of spreading culture through music and sound.
- How did you start DJing for Burna Boy?
I started DJing for Burna Boy after his team were intrigued by my creativity and professionalism when I did an opening performance at one of his shows, which led to them reaching out to me for “The Outsiders Tour.”
- Describe your first interaction with Burna Boy. What was he like?
Well, we met a couple of years prior to DJing his tour. I believe it was at Apollo Theater if I’m not mistaken, and I loved the vibe and energy he exuded. I’ve always admired him as an artist, so it’s been great to be associated with a creative genius such as he.
- What has been the craziest or most memorable experience you’ve had DJing for Burna?
The most memorable experience was right before “Ye” became one of the hottest songs globally. I remember playing it at venues and witnessing people’s reaction – especially the way people who weren’t African vibe to it.
- Who are your musical influences?
Absolutely – Michael Jackson. MJ was very smooth, creative, and he knew what wanted. Simply put, he was a creative genius. Secondly, I’m influenced by Flavour, for his strong connections to his roots. Even though he’s traveled all over the world, he never forgets to take his culture with him.
- What is your ultimate goal with music?
My ultimate goal is to maximize my knowledge in music, and inspire those who want to take part in every aspect of it.
- Do you feel you’ve helped further African music? If so, how?
Of course. I believe I’ve helped the crossover of African music to the U.S – whether it’s going on tour or working with artists like Davido, Omah Lay, Adekunle Gold, or One Africa Music Fest, the first biggest African concert, I’ve contributed to the industry both center-stage and behind the scenes.
- What is the accomplishment you’re most proud of?
To date I’m most proud of establishing my name as DJ Buka…it continues to inspire me to be who I’m becoming. I believe I haven’t reached my pinnacle, and I’m constantly working to improve as a person, and an artist as well. When I get there, I’ll know.
- Anything else you have on the way or would like to discuss?
I’ll be showing up more focused, and my overall artistry will be more enhanced. I plan to incorporate more artists in my playlists, breaking the hottest songs out of the Continent to the world!