NEW ORLEANS, LA – The BUKU Music + Art Project today announced the artist lineup for the two-day festival taking place on March 20 and 21, 2020 in New Orleans. One year shy of its tenth anniversary, BUKU will return to the iconic Mardi Gras World grounds after back-to-back sold-out events. The 2020 festival will also continue its support of the Upbeat Academy Foundation, a non-profit organization providing New Orleans youth with opportunities to study hip-hop and dance music production, as a portion of ticket proceeds benefit the local arts initiative.
Artists announced on the 2020 lineup are:
Tyler, The Creator, Flume, Illenium, Glass Animals, Run The Jewels, Alison Wonderland, Zeds Dead, Kaytranada, Megan Thee Stallion, Charli XCX, Roddy Rich, Flatbush Zombies, Taking Back Sunday, Chris Lake, Kayzo: Unleashed, Ari Lennox, Gramatik, Dominic Fike, Space Jesus, TroyBoi, Subtronics, CloZee, Dance Gavin Dance, GoldLink, SVDDEN DEATH: VOYD, Cashmere Cat, JPEGMAFIA, Lucky Daye, Channel Tres, Young M.A, 100 gecs, I_O, Kota the Friend, Mr. Carmack, LSDREAM, Mija: Live, Kaash Paige, Pussy Riot, Turnstile, Eli & Fur, Blanke B2B LICK, J. Worra, Pluko, The Trifinity: Yheti x Toadface x Mt. Analogue, Daily Bread B2B Artifakts, Video Age, TVBOO, Trigem B2B MeSo, and TSHA.
The festival, known for its strong support of local talent, will showcase the following New Orleans artists: Bouffant Bouffant; Treety; Mhadi G; Malik Ninety Five; Raise the Death Toll; Lady Lavender B2B Edgar Allan Po’ Boy; DJ Heelturn; and a showcase from Upbeat Academy student-artists.
Inspired by the artistic subculture of New Orleans, BUKU is the creative intersection of an underground warehouse party and major urban music festival fusing a progressive and diverse musical lineup with: a real-time Live Graffiti Gallery featuring local painters, one-of-a-kind industrial art installations, celebrated local cuisine, and “pop-up” street-style performances. The event features five stages, each with its own unique vibe ranging from a projection-mapped dilapidated “Power Plant” to the “Float Den” housing the city’s signature Mardi Gras parade floats, and sits on a unique festival site along the Mississippi River just a short distance from New Orleans’ famed French Quarter.
In addition to showcasing the vibrant culture of New Orleans, BUKU is an inclusive celebration of acceptance, compassion and encouragement. The organizers and the BUKREWE community practice a zero-tolerance policy for: “sexual harassment, acts of aggression, racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, religious bigotry… or any other form of hatred or discrimination. BUKU is intended to be a safe space to enjoy music, art, expression and community in complete freedom from any harassment or discrimination. BUKU has stated the following ethos on its website: “We Believe in Those Who Strive to be Dope. Originality, Creativity, Freedom and Community is Our Anthem.”
Tickets go on sale Friday, December 13, 2019 at 10 AM CT and include a variety of options for general and VIP admission as well as travel packages. VIP ticketing provides a host of special amenities that include premium viewing areas, access to the BUKU Rooftop, a quicker entrance lane, VIP restroom stations, as well as an open bar for guests 21+. The festival will again offer payment plans for all ticket types, allowing fans to pay for their tickets in four installments with a 10% down payment. The 2019 event sold out well in advance of the festival; event organizers are expecting the 2020 iteration to do the same and urge its diehard fans to buy early. When purchasing tickets, patrons should be mindful that BUKU is a 17+ event. More information on tickets offerings and pricing can be found at thebukuproject.com.
Fans have the opportunity to purchase presale tickets via American Express or Tunespeak. The AMEX presale starts Thursday, December 12 at 8AM CT and is open to all American Express Card Holders. The Tunespeak presale starts Thursday, December 12 at 10AM CT and customers can sign up for access at thebukuproject.com. Both presales end Friday, December 13 at 9:30 AM CT prior to the general on-sale beginning at 10 AM CT.
The official 2020 BUKU Music + Art project trailer can be viewed below.
For additional info, visit BUKU Music + Art Project online or on the following platforms: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @thebukuproject.
The 2020 BUKU Music + Art Project is presented by Winter Circle Productions, an AEG Presents company.
About Winter Circle Productions: Winter Circle Productions began in 2009 as an independent promotion and production house to attract music that its founders felt was missing from a post-Katrina New Orleans. Creator of BUKU Music + Art Project and five-time recipient of the Offbeat Best Promoter Award, WCP is now celebrating its 10th year anniversary as one of the most trusted tastemakers on the Gulf Coast, having produced thousands of shows across many musical genres in dozens of venues. WCP joined AEG Presents in 2015 to run its new Gulf Coast regional office, in 2017 it took over a lease at the 1,200 capacity Joy Theater in New Orleans and beginning in 2020 WCP will be the lead operator of Hangout Music Festival. In addition to concert production, the members of WCP founded the Upbeat Academy Foundation, a non-profit organization providing New Orleans youth with opportunities to study hip-hop and dance music production. www.wintercircleproductions.com.
(Pictured above: Ravenscoon Performing at 40oz Wonderland, Photo by @ramonsview)
Before electronic dance music took the world by storm in the 2010s, it was generally considered a niche genre in the US, far removed from the radio and generally associated with social outcasts. But as artists like Skrillex, Avicii, Calvin Harris, and Swedish House Mafia gained in popularity, electronic music pushed further into the mainstream to the point where pop music became almost synonymous with a certain variety of electronic dance music. Its influence is unmistakably everywhere: on the radio, in movie trailers, consumer product ads, the X Games, and even at this year’s Indy 500 Snake Pit. Ten years ago, the idea that bedroom DJs and producers would dominate and reshape the world of music was unthinkable. While that commercial brand of electronic music, typically labeled as EDM, is unavoidable in the pop world, an entire subcommunity of producers, DJs, artists, and fans exists deep in the realm of the internet, dripping in talent and possibility.
While it’s typically considered a necessity for artists to
distribute their music through as many online platforms as possible, like
Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube, that’s not where you’ll discover this group
of independent artists. Instead, you’re more likely to discover these
underground artists on Reddit, Soundcloud, and in Facebook Groups, largely
untethered from the mainstream and removed from traditional label influence,
where a different set of rules exist. Prowling through these avenues is where
you’re likely to find Paul Conversano, better known by his stage name Ravenscoon.
Conversano, currently a San Francisco resident, had little
formal training, having only played the trumpet for two years in his elementary
and middle school years. Instead, he learned about music in the bustling scene
of Atlanta, where he is originally from: “I was born and raised in Atlanta. I
guess that’s where a lot of my inspiration and music tastes originally come
from. I grew up listening to everything from Sound Tribe Sector 9 to Gucci
Mane—completely opposite sides of the spectrum.” Although he was not a
traditional instrumentalist, Conversano’s depth in music knowledge is
impressive, which he attributes to his interest in the music and arts scene
from a young age:
“I’ve been messing around with music since I was a kid. I
collected CDs and even when I was like two or three years old, my Mom said when
I was at weddings I would run up to the DJ and request songs. So I’ve always
been into art and music and I just would share things that I like.”
In addition to his affinity for STS9 and Gucci Mane,
Conversano lists off a range of other styles and artists that influence him:
“Since I was a kid I’ve had a morbid fascination. I was into
death metal, grind core, emo, and punk music as soon as I first heard it. I
really loved the HEAVY stuff. Job for a Cowboy, Suicide Silence, As I Lay
Dying, and Old Bring Me The Horizon.
I made my Mom take me to the mall so I could go to Hot Topic
so I could buy all the black shirts that said shit like ‘I hate you’ and stuff.
She hated it. I was raised Roman Catholic, so it was a bit much for my Mom.”
He mentions that his first concert was Green Day on the
American Idiot Tour in 2004, which his Dad accompanied him to. “I always loved
anti-establishment music and music that got in your face.”
His preferences don’t just skew towards dark and heavy
music, however, explaining that while his peers in Georgia were listening to
country music, he was perusing Grooveshark.com and listening to trance artists
like Armin van Buuren. 2007 seems to be the year that really had a big impact
on him, as that’s when a friend’s sister introduced him to Bassnectar. He was
instantly hooked. Around that same time, he was discovering artists like Rusko,
Zeds Dead, and Pretty Lights, while exploring genres like early dubstep and
breaks. In 2010 he witnessed his first Bassnectar show at the Tabernacle in
Atlanta for New Year’s Eve, where face value tickets were selling for only
$15-20. Reminiscing on the show, he explains his excitement:
“I was super hooked. I had never seen anybody mix music like
that and I was like ‘fuck, I want to do that’ you know? I had never heard
anybody blending hip-hop, vocals, and bass music. I thought it was so cool.”
Attending his first Bassnectar show may have been the
catalyst for his music ambitions:
“Over time I started making my own mashups and stuff. I
think the mixing style is something that inspires me. There’s a couple of other
artists that I was also inspired by—like Nero, Minnesota, a lot of those guys
that were creating super rush bass music at the time. I want to say that
they’re my biggest inspirations and Bassnectar being one of them, but I don’t
want that to overshadow my music and what my sound is like. I think that’s
something that is difficult in the music scene—being inspired by something, but
not being a copy of it and making your own twist. Because everything is just a
twist on something else. Everything has been done before.”
As he started making his own mashups and remixes, he would
share his creations with friends, where he found encouragement to continue down
the music path:
“I eventually got more serious. I chose a name: Ravenscoon [an anagram of his last name]. I started uploading everything on the same Soundcloud. From there, it’s just really taken off. It really does help, especially being well connected in the bass music community and knowing a lot of people. I’ve been doing it for 10 years—going to shows and concerts. I guess I’m unashamed about showing people my music. I was never afraid to put myself out there. Tell me it’s bad. Tell me it’s good. I want to know what people think.”
A driving force of his popularity has been his mixes that he
curates, performs, records, and releases on Soundcloud, one of the more popular
ones being his Wrapped
in a Dream Mix. The mixes serve as an opportunity to display his
versatility, releasing mixes that focus on a theme, like Halloween, downtempo,
dreamtempo, heavy bass, and everything in between. They all feature a plethora
of song styles, acapellas, and mashups.
When it comes to creating mixes, he mentions that he
typically targets a specific energy: “Most of the time, I base the whole mix
around the first song and how the first song made me feel.” Once he gets the
first song in place, he says: “I look at it like putting a puzzle together. I
have that first piece and then I fill in the rest of the mix around it.”
He takes pride in his ability to mix things up:
“I’ve definitely been trying to showcase that I can do
different genres and that it doesn’t matter if it’s dubstep, trap, hybrid, or
weird bass or whatever they call it, or downtempo. I can do it and I can do it
well and I want to show people that. I also don’t want people to expect the
same thing from me all the time. … I want to do everything.”
When asked if he ever ran into legal issues due to his use
of acapellas, remixes, and mashups on Soundcloud, he explained that his first
Soundcloud account was just for fun: he was buying songs, downloading them,
mashing them up and uploading them to share with the world, with no ill intent
or profit motive. He uploaded a few mashed-up songs of a particular artist and
explains the issues that came as a result:
“At my fault, I didn’t properly credit him or ask permission. He reported my songs and my Soundcloud ended up getting deleted. He had messaged me first and asked me politely to take everything down. I hadn’t logged into my Soundcloud and seen the message, so I think he thought I was ignoring him. I was totally in the wrong. It was my fault. It was a learning lesson. I lost my Soundcloud. I had a couple of thousand followers. It was a wakeup call to do things the right way and be more original. That’s really when I got serious about what I was making and the project that I’m doing and making my own music. It was a good thing.”
Since then, he’s rebuilt his Soundcloud account, having just surpassed 3,000 followers. On top of that, he’s performed a number of live shows in 2018, including his debut performance in a national park on a beach in San Francisco, accessible via a mile and a half hike through the woods, culminating in a large staircase that winds down to a secluded beachfront. His friends help organize renegade parties; this one featured sound equipment, DJ tables, bonfires, and a crowd of about 50 people. They upped the ante a few weeks later when Bassnectar came to town for his September 2018 Be Interactive Charity event. Conversano and friends returned to the same secluded beach, where he was able to perform in front of a crowd of about 200 people. This gave him the confidence to play more live shows. With the help of his girlfriend, he created an email alias and started reaching out to promoters, eventually getting booked for a show in Denver at Your Mom’s House. He explains his experience in Denver and how things capitulated from there:
“Actually I was the headliner and ended up selling it out,
which was really cool to sellout my first headlining show and my first show at
a venue. After that, I started getting a bunch of offers to play shows. I
played 40oz Wonderland in
Orlando, which was a music festival. Super cool. There were a lot of
really awesome artists on the lineup, so being a part of that was great. I
played the pre-party
Bill for Bassnectar New Year’s Eve in Greensboro and then a week
later, turned around and flew back to Greensboro and played a show [Create
2 Year Anniversary] with TVBOO for the same
He recently signed with A 40oz Collective,
an independent label and collective based out of Orlando and has a mini tour
scheduled for later in the spring with dates and locations yet to be announced.
Prior to the tour, he will make an appearance at Bassnectar’s inaugural Deja Voom in Riveria Maya, Mexico, February
27-March 2, where he will have showcase his talents as one of twelve artists
selected for the opportunity to perform an Open Decks slot. He will also be
Motive Tour stop at
Aisle 5 in Atlanta on April 6, 2019, alongside Dofex Bos and Homemade
He balances all his tour activity and producing in addition
to his primary career (for now), where he works in digital advertising and
marketing. When asked how he balances his professional career with his artistic
ambitions, he responds:
“I just make time for myself. My girlfriend and I live
together. She works a lot at a restaurant, so when she’s not home, I’m working on
music. She works every Sunday so I work on my music for 8 hours. I get home
from work at 6PM and sometimes I’ll just work the rest of the night on music. I
just really have to fit it in where I can and when I can. … Sometimes I feel
inspired at work, so I’ll write little notes down about things I’m thinking or
songs that pop into my head. It’s definitely difficult but it’s necessary,
because San Francisco is so expensive and I’m not to a point where I can afford
to pay my bills off of music. But also it’s beneficial because I’m learning so
much about digital advertising and marketing that I can use that to help market
my art project Ravenscoon that I’m working on.”
After studying at college in South Carolina for his
bachelor’s degree in marketing, his work with CBS Media Company resulted in a
move to San Francisco, a change that he relished. He comments on how his experience
in South Carolina was a difficult time for him and that he had always wanted to
live in California, so when the opportunity to move there for work presented
itself, he was onboard; the move “was definitely for work, but also like a
He describes the San Francisco arts scene as a great place
to stay motivated and inspired, having met a number of like-minded people who
balance professional careers while also sharing his affinity for the arts:
everyone from graphic designers to event producers, painters, and fulltime
“It’s just really inspiring and nice to be around people that are artistic and talented. And seeing the city—there’s so much art, there are murals all over the buildings everywhere, there are people playing music in the streets. Bands that tour all come through San Francisco because it’s a must-stop for everybody big and small. I’ve seen everybody from Korn to Mindset at Wormhole which is this small weekly bass music underground scene that’s in Oakland every Wednesday. … It pushes me to want to express everything that I’ve been feeling and drawing inspiration from.”
Conversano’s personal, professional, and artistic journey
has brought him to a point of critical mass, where he’s ready to release his
first EP of all original music: Beautiful
Chaos. The EP consists of six songs, including two that have already been released
as singles: Moon Theory, Accelerated
Mortality, Broken Flowers, Beautiful Chaos, Slime Time, and Déjà Rêvé. He
makes note of some of the tempos and styles of his songs: Slime Time is a slow
120 BPM “weird trappy bass” song, Accelerated Mortality is 175 BPM “halftime
drum & bass with nasty growls,” Déjà Rêvé was inspired by his experience
with dreams and night terrors as a child, and some of the other songs are slow
and melodic 140 BPM dubstep tunes. With an opportunity to get an advance peek
at his track “Moon Theory,” Conversano’s trance influence is clear: the track “starts
off at 130 BPM with some arpeggios,” which give way to trance beats, eventually
kicking up the tempo to 136 BPM and culminating in a melodic dubstep drop, with
the remainder of the song weaving between trance and dubstep styles. The track
feels like a nod to an earlier era of music, where juxtaposition of heavy and
beautiful sonic exploration took precedence over the pressure of fan influence
to create the loudest and heaviest noises possible.
Conversano works closely with his friend Ariel, a
professional mixing and mastering engineer who is based out of Miami and goes
by the name of Andrumeda Music.
Conversano comments on his importance:
“He’s pretty much taught me everything I know about production. We’ve been going through the songs after I create them and the original idea is done. We break it down. He gives me feedback on the different sounds. Then he does the mastering work. … The mastering and mixing work that Ariel does is instrumental to me. I think everybody should have a great engineer that they work with.”
The EP is mostly finished, aside from some mastering work that still needs to be done. In addition to the music, each song has companion cover artwork that was created by Conversano’s friend Joe Hickey at DRIP Graphics. He originally planned to have separate artists create cover art for each track, but after Conversano got a look at some of DRIP’s designs, he liked them so much that he commissioned him to create cover art for each song, plus the album cover. In addition to the album cover, DRIP recently finished up the official Ravenscoon logo, which sports a pentagram overlaid with Baphomet—The Goat of Mendes, a nod to Conversano’s previously mentioned “morbid fascination.”
The official release date of the album is to be determined,
but expected at the end of February. The Ravenscoon platform of choice is Soundcloud,
however the album will be available on all major music platforms: Apple Music,
Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Play, and approximately 50 other online music
As the conversation with the mastermind behind Ravenscoon
came to an end, he had these words to share: “If you like what I’m doing, tell
your friends. I really appreciate everybody’s support so far. It’s just getting
started. There’s so much more to come.”
BUKU Music + Art Project today announced the second round of artists for the annual festival, taking place on March 9-10, 2018 at Mardi Gras World in downtown New Orleans. The final phase of talent additions will be revealed after the New Year. Inspired by the creative subculture of New Orleans, BUKU sits at the intersection of an underground warehouse party and major urban music festival. The two-day event fuses a progressive and diverse musical lineup with live street art, custom-made industrial art installations, local food vendors, and dozens of surprise “pop-up” performances.
The latest additions to the lineup of performers include: Atlanta hip-hop trio Migos; the U.S. festival debut of Virtual Self, Porter Robinson’s new alter ego; Florida pop-punk-emo-metal heroes A Day to Remember; genre-bending electronic artist Rezz; Swedish electronic-indie group Little Dragon; a DJ set by British DJ/producer Bonobo; an extended collaborative set with Ganja White + Boogie T featuring a set by each artist and a B2B set together; a rare performance by legendary hip hop lyricist/producer Jay Electronica; electronic artists Snakehips; Gryffin; and Jai Wolf; house and techno pioneer Green Velvet; rappers Rich The Kid and Famous Dex; Vegas rockers Falling in Reverse; New York hip hop artist Princes Nokia; singer/songwriter Elohim; Dutch electronic artist Spag Heddy; rising West Coast rapper Lil Xan; Los Angeles emo revivalists Emo Nite LA; electro funk group The Russ Liquid Test; Chicago multi-instrumentalist/composer Nnamdi Ogbonnaya; local artists New Thousand; AF the Naysayer x Yung Vul; KTRL. B2B RedBarrington; and KiddLove; and the previously announced Soulection showcase will feature Sango B2B ESTA. B2B The Whooligan.
BUKU has also revealed the first VIP-only performances including EDM DJ/producers Graves and Medasin; experimental producer Ducky; industrial tech DJ/producer BlackGummy, electro DJ Squnto and local DJ TVBOO; as well as showcases from local trendsetters Freewater, Church* and BUKU’s non-profit partner Upbeat Academy.
These artists will join a previously announced roster including:
Bassnectar; MGMT; SZA; Alison Wonderland; Isaiah Rashad; Sylvan Esso; Flatbush Zombies; Borgore; Mura Masa; Bishop Briggs; Hippie Sabotage; Smino; Honey Dijon; CloZee; Jade Cicada; Zack Villere; and Bouffant Bouffant. The full lineup can be found here.
General Admission, GA Plus, VIP 21+, VIP, TOO BUKU VIP 2-Day Passes and Travel Packages for all ticket types are on sale now. When purchasing tickets patrons should be mindful that BUKU is an 18+ event. More information on tickets and ticket pricing can be found at www.thebukuproject.com/tickets.