Local Artists Prepare for BUKU Music + Art Festival
The BUKU Music + Art Festival returns to New Orleans after a two-year pandemic hiatus, and local artists are ready to take the stage.
BUKU was founded in 2012 to celebrate the young, vibrant and creative culture of New Orleans, according to the festival’s website. Since then, festival organizers have put together lineups featuring a combination of big names and up-and-coming local talent.
As BUKU celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, New Orleans-based DJ Antwigadee said he was thrilled to help them commemorate the milestone.
“To perform as an individual artist for the 10th anniversary just feels perfect to me,” he said.
Antwigadee said he was honored to make BUKU the first music festival he has ever performed as an individual. Antwigadee said that although he has helped other artists with their own festival performances, he is thrilled to have the opportunity to perform his own music in front of a festival crowd.
Antwigadee grew up in New Orleans East and immersed himself in several different musical genres, which he says helped shape the artist he is today. Antwigadee said festival-goers should expect to feel free and able to express themselves during her performance.
“I can play songs that people know, anybody can, but how can you make them feel better,” he said.
Urban and electronic music production junior Ncognita grew up in Los Angeles but has spent the past three years making a name for herself in the New Orleans rap scene. This will be the rapper’s first appearance at BUKU after several years of trying to volunteer at the festival.
“I felt like a door had closed, but it all goes back to the mantra ‘one door closes, another opens’ because I just feel like being rejected from volunteering has left me made it work harder,” she said.
Ncognita said she views her music as an experience and wants people to have a good time during her set. She said she planned to drop a major project on the day of her performance at BUKU called “The Playbook.”
New Orleans rapper BluShakurX’s first-ever performance was at BUKU in 2018 and she said the festival was a real defining moment for her career.
Four years later, she signed with Deathproof Incorporated, an independent label based in Los Angeles. Reflecting on her progress, she thanked her team for all their hard work and said their support was what allowed her to grow as an artist.
BluShakurX said BUKU attendees should expect reality and energy for their performance. She said she will perform a mix of songs she has written throughout her career, including house music and indie music.
“I don’t care if you didn’t know me before I got on stage, but I guarantee you will know me after I come off stage,” she told me.
BluShakurX said they are thrilled to be able to perform at BUKU again and share a good time with their friends, fans and the entire New Orleans community.
“We have to come back as a community. This is a reunion and to find those events is to find New Orleans,” she said.