One day last fall I was searching for new pamp nasty tracks to womperize Humboldt County with, when I stumbled across an extra ugly cut entitled “The Bad Guy” from an artist named Bokator. Incorrectly pronouncing the artist Bo-kay-tor and foolishly assuming he was from the UK (based on the European site I bought his track from) I proceeded to rock out to his bass heavy, Excision-like Robo-step riddims for months. (Juno Records‘ site is user friendly, constantly updated and one of my favorite places to find new music, so check them out, Doctor’s orders…) More recently, upon hearing his newest “Robot Seckz” track on Youtube, and discovering his upcoming show in Humboldt County, I did some research and put in a message to his people with Further Sounds. Within an hour I was talking with Badman Bokator himself, pronounced Bo-kah-tor, and I am glad to say he was more than willing to give LostinSound an interview. The next day the 21 year old David Cartwright, hailing from the our Nation’s heartland, was talking music in our rage compound, smoking dutchies and drinking cheap beer with the crew. I can get nervous when I do interviews with artists but was instantly calm upon meeting DC, and had a great time chilling and partying with him for the short time he was in town. I hope all of my fellow bass heads do their subs a favor and blast some of DC’s mind puddling low frequencies through your speakers as soon as possible, while you indulge in LostinSound.org‘s conversation with Bokator.
Interview with Badman Bokator in the Rage Compound
LiS: How did you come up with the name Bokator? Does it have anything to do with the Cambodian martial arts fighting style that came up on Google when I was searching your name?
Bokator: Actually, it does. I decided that when I first heard Dubstep and first started producing Dubstep that I would need a new name, and not produce under the Electro-House name (DJ Dick Clark) I had been using for a couple years. I needed something fresh. I had a couple Dubstep tracks produced but was still looking for name, not actively but just in the back of my mind. I was mongin’ out watching TV one night and there was this show, Deadliest Human Weapons, which goes in and investigates different martial arts styles, and they happened to be showcasing Bokator. The part that grabbed my attention was an interview with this old man, a teacher of the style, who lived in the jungle his whole fuckin’ life. When asked what it means, he said Bok is to hit, and Tor is a lion, and went into the creation of the style. When villagers were being attacked by lions, one man took his time to create a style that could defeat the lion and defend his villagers. That’s when it clicked for a name, like the fighter of lions, it just sounds sick. It’s short, simple and powerful, so I used it from there.
Bokator: I actually grew up 45 mins south of Austin in a town called Lockhart, and my musical influences growing up were all hip hop. Living down there, there was a huge hip hop culture, and I grew up listening to screw, like full out banger type shit. So for me, really, the first time I heard dubstep it was a natural transition because I grew up on hip hop and had been making electro and it was a perfect combination of the two. I actually used to rap before I was producing, so hip hop with solid lyrics was important to me, like Chameleonaire before he blew up was my shit. Dirty south rap was my shit and probably my biggest influence.
LiS: In terms of getting established in the scene, what was the most effective means of getting signed? (Soundcloud, myspace, performances…)
Bokator: I would say its a combination of me being a persistent dick and promoting myself out there and Myspace. Im not gonna lie, I was pimping Myspace, I was pushing hard on that shit. But it worked, though, and got me where I am today.
LiS: How long did it take since you started trying to make it as a professional artist to actually get signed?
Bokator: Since I been writing electro I’ve been trying to get signed, but it’s never been the main goal of mine. What gets me off is making a bad ass tune and then going out there and playing it for people and watching people shit their pants. It’s not about getting signed, its about making dope shit.
LiS: Beside making people shit themselves when exposed to your bass, what is your favorite part about going out and playing music for people?
Bokator: I love to travel. Meeting different people and trying different things I have never done.
LiS: What is your favorite city you have played in?
Bokator: I have only traveled out of Texas once to play and that is this trip I’m on right now, so based on that my favorite city I’ve played in is Houston. It was not too far away but it was the shit, dude. Those kids got down.
LIS: In terms of production, what does your studio look like at home?
Bokator: I’m rocking a pair of KRK-ST 6inch monitors, an M-Audio Axiom 25, and a cheap laptop (PC).
The Whomp-Whomp Wednesday crew at Eureka’s Nocturnum had what I like to call an intimate crowd, as our area is small and pulling crowds can be tricky in the middle of the week, not to mention there was a popular reggae band playing the same night. When we arrived at the club just before he went on, DC was happy to see his name on the marquis and turned to us and said “I don’t care who shows up tonight, I’m just gonna play some hard tracks for you guys to wyle out to,” and wyle the fox out we did.
DC usually performs with CDJs or Ableton, but during our lunch before his flight home the next day he informed me that, in a tiff with his roomate, his laptop somehow got smashed… over DC’s head. The impact permanently damaged his hard drive in the days before his Humboldt show. In a last minute effort to organize a set, he put out a IM to homies, gathered some music from friends, and downloaded a demo of Virtual DJ on his other shitty computer, which he used to blend a seamless set under some less than seamless conditions.
The Doctor of Rage and LostinSound would like to personally thank DC and his booking agent Brandon with Furthersound.com for getting us in touch with the Badman himself, and we would also like to give a fat shout to Edgie and the Nocturnum crew for always showing love and making it happen. (This fool is dedicated to bringing some of the illest acts to Humboldt, like Datsik, Excision, BoreGore, Nit Grit, R.A.W. and more.) DC is extremely down to earth, loves to party and is really into what he does, so if you like what you hear, support him by buying some of his tracks. (We are all guilty of stealing music on the internet, which is fine in moderation, as long as you support the smaller artists who are living check to check like the rest of us.) In the meantime be on the lookout for some seriousness, as DC just got a 4 track EP, including “Robot Seckz” (picked up by Excision and Rotten Records) and is continuing to shape his sound and evolve into his own style. Besides his work with Rotten, he has worked with the likes of Dub Cartel and FurtherSound.
Here at LiS we make it our goal to expose our constituents to the multitudes of brand new artists that form the ever changing soundtrack to life in our smoke and laser filled clubs and basement raves; dive bars and warehouses; festival side stages and auxiliary dance floors. If you don’t look for new bangers you will never find them, so open your mind and ears and explore the horizons of electronic music’s constantly evolving culture, and in simpler terms: Use Your Head