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Denver Hip Hop / Graphic Artist Buddhakai talks Inspiration, Challenges, & Rewards in an Exclusive Interview w/ Mistah Wilson

"Regardless what type of beat I’m writing to, or the type of switch-up-flow I use to crush it, the main focus of everything I write is freedom, with the undertone that if we are willing to truly face our challenges, we can “overcome anything!” @Buddhakai

Mistah Wilson: Yo, Buddhakai! We are honored to have you here with us for this exclusive interview with ThaWilsonBlock Magazine! How ya been?
Buddhakai: Been doing great putting everything into overdrive since I left a very successful eleven-years-selling-cars to pursue my dreams just a little over six months ago!

Mistah Wilson: We discovered you through Phil of Universal Language. What has it been like working with UL?
Buddhakai: Hoooooorrrrrrrible… just kidding! Maaaaan, I love these guys! The crew has taken me in and helped me jump into the music scene head first, especially since I’ve taken such a long break from music, trying to get my life back in order!

Mistah Wilson: From your perspective, What is tha current state and condition of local music in Denver, Colorado compared to other cities like New York, Atlanta, LA, or Seattle..
Buddhakai: Personally, being away from music for so long.. It’s been a heck of a rude awakening. I’ve missed out on so much. The styles and fashion have changed DRASTICALLY… some of it I like, some I’m still trying to get used to. However, there’s quite a few talented artists outside of Universal Language that I’m really digging. I would have to say my favorites are The Reminders, The FAMM Crew, Jay Triiiple, ChyReco, Zanib, and Connor Ray. But when it comes to comparing the music scene between the major music cities, I really wouldn’t know.

Mistah Wilson: What inspires your creativity when writing new songs?
Buddhakai: Now here’s a question I can really get into. And the answer would have to be the
struggles, challenges, and painful situations of life. Growing up, I went through a heck of a whole lot. From drug addiction, depression, obesity, financial debt, insecurities, screwed up relationships and more. I’ve spent the past ten years working on each and every one of those challenges, and have come out the other side. Regardless what type of beat I’m writing to, or the type of switch-up-flow I use to crush it, the main focus of everything I write is freedom, with the undertone that if we are willing to truly face our challenges, we can “overcome anything!”

Mistah Wilson: Who are some musical figures that have influenced tha artist you are today?
Buddhakai: First and foremost would have to be my mentor, Tunde Akinrolabu, aka. T.Akin. From the industry, well, you’re going to laugh. The majority of it isn’t even hip hop! I grew up on Guns N Roses, Motley Crue, Def Leppard, and BROADWAY MUSICALS!!!!! Yep, Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, that was my sh*t right there!!!! Up until Nas dropped “It Ain’t Hard to Tell” and changed everything. I started listening to Mobb Deep, Biggie, 2Pac, the Fugees, and fell in love with Lauryn Hill! Then came Eminem and “Stan.” That twisted type of storytelling inspired one of my sickest albums, “Clock Strikes Thirteen.” That album is full of hard hitting stories that deal with alcoholism, abortion, infidelity, that have tragic twists and turns, with surprising endings that most would never expect, especially in a song!

Mistah Wilson: In your song "It Was You", you mentioned going to rehab. What have been some challenges you've faced along your journey?
Buddhakai: At this point, it’s been eleven years of sobriety for me… so the addiction piece hasn’t been a challenge for awhile now. However, there’s a million things in life that challenge me on a daily basis. I think those are the new things I get to face head on… and with a championship belt like 11-years-of-sobriety around my waist, it’s been a great reminder that I can overcome anything!

Mistah Wilson: What are some more of the rewarding things that you've been able to experience?
Buddhakai: An amazing marriage with my wife Jamie! Shoot! We went through a whole lot of drama,
problems, and struggles too… but we were both literally willing to give it our all. From going to counseling (even BEFORE we got married) to really battling it through, learning how to communicate and fight FOR each other instead of against each other. I’m actually dropping a music video called “Piece of Heaven” this month that talks about it! That’s the most rewarding. There’s a heck of A LOT more amazing things that have also been super rewarding. I’m no longer broke… and that’s big for me. I’m also not struggling to make it up the stairs anymore. Now I know these sound silly, but all of those were daily struggles and pieces that kept me cycling in frustration, depression, etc. and now I can actually say, I love the life I have and even through all the trials and challenges, I am extremely happy! Not to mention, I'm about to have my first baby in March!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mistah Wilson: What do you plan to accomplish through your music?
Buddhakai: Share a powerful message. I’ve been a go-to guy for a lot of my close friends, customers, and fans when it comes to getting solid advice. Hopefully I’ve been a good resource for them to get some real-life, valuable lessons that I’ve actually gone through and lived, rather than the whole do as I say, not as I do - nonsense. The music would just offer a greater platform with a wider reach for me to do it on, God willing, of course.

Mistah Wilson: What positive, encouraging words do you have for aspiring artists & musicians?
Buddhakai: Oh man! So much! But if I could simplify it down to a few words… it would be broken down into the two words that I so often repeat, “OVERCOME ANYTHING.” And I really DO MEAN anything… as long as you’re willing to give it your all, there really isn’t anything that can stop you from reaching your goals.

Mistah Wilson: What current and upcoming projects do you have in tha works?
Buddhakai: I’m working with UL and we are putting together a DOPE ALBUM that we are still debating the title of. I’m also partnering up with Sparta Combat League, doing a lot of music for their fights. That company is about to blow too… Right now, they’ve cornered the fight scene promotions in Colorado and neighboring states, packing out places like the Budweiser Event Center, so much so that they’re about to do their Army VS. Marines at the Pepsi Center on June 30th… which I’ll be doing the half time show for! Make sure you all come through for that one! Tickets are already on sale! Other than that, I’m working on my solo album, “TIMELESS,” which pretty much outlines the keys to success that I’ve discovered along the way!

Mistah Wilson: Where can people find your music and follow you online?
BuddhakaiMy website!

But I’m really trying to grow all of my social media platforms, so make sure to go follow me on InstagramYouTube where you can check out the awesome “Stop Drinking” video and the Grindmode Cypher I did with Masta Ace and a bunch of the UL FAM!!!!!!

Mistah Wilson: Yo, Buddhakai! It's been awesome having you here with us for this exclusive interview with ThaWilsonBlock Magazine. If you have any shout outs, let's hear it!
Buddhakai: Shout out to Universal Language! Make sure to keep your ears open for the upcoming album! Shout out to Sparta Combat League, Jesse Rarick and Cody of Sparta Media! Shout out to Tom and Sky for the choreography on the Piece of Heaven video! Shout out to my long-time-producer, Punch Boi Boogie, and MC Uriah who's been mixing all of my projects! Shout outs to Patches, Bebe Victoria, Ren Thomas, Lingo, T.Akin, Lizi F and finally, a huge shout out to my wife, Jamie, who’s been the dopest support for me! Oh yeah, shout outs to Lil’Fresh Sam of Infatue clothing, Hypnautic of Top Flite, Leland Schmidt, Ulysses Porter Brown, Delmy Gooch, Jason Carncross, Alex Buffer, and all of the fans who’ve come to support and rock out with me at the shows! ONE LOVE!


ThaWilsonBlock Magazine Issue66 (August 2018)

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