Talking Lubbock Music with Booga Bradshaw
Lubbock has a remarkable music history. As storied as the past may be, the future is looking bright for artists like Byron Smith aka Booga Bradshaw. Like many Lubbock musicians before him, Boog is bucking trends and forging ahead pioneering a hip hop community, and he's excited to be doing it in Lubbock. We sat down with him to get his thoughts on West Texas music and why so many unique artists hail from the High Plains.
RS: So, I have to ask, what’s the story behind your stage name, Booga Bradshaw?
BB: Haha! It came from a childhood nickname my aunts gave me. I've asked them how they came up with it and they can't even tell me. I wanted to get more serious with music and it was a catchy name. It felt original, organic and really meshed with my music, style and brand.
RS: Tell us a little about your music and how you got started.
BB: I never thought I would go to college, but I had the opportunity to play basketball at Eastern New Mexico University. I didn't really get serious about the game until my senior year of high school and thought about what could have happened if I had focused on it longer and harder. I transferred to Lubbock Christian University and basketball ended up not working out. But, I started making beats with my roommates. They turned me onto Wiz Khalifa who was, for me, different than all the rest of the hip hop artists out there at the time. My friends were all telling me "You should really do this!" Wanting to continue my mission of encouraging everyone to follow their dreams regardless of age, gender or the color of their skin, I became a student of 'the game' and fell in love with the process of making music. I don't do this because I want to be the biggest name out there; I do it because I truly love the creation process. If you work hard, you can achieve anything.
RS: What’s the state of the Lubbock music scene?
BB: It’s growing, always. There’s a lot of great musicians spanning just about every musical genre, and Lubbock makes it easy for experimentation and cross-genre collaboration. As for hip hop, there are a lot of artists that are still progressing, learning the game. We just need the right fire – that name that just blows up – regardless of genre. I think we're always looking for that next one. Promoters here keep bringing in new and bigger acts and push for more shows across the musical spectrum. It's a good time to be making music here.
RS: What’s it like being a hip-hop artist in Lubbock?
BB: I love being a hip hop artist in Lubbock, and I think I’ve built a reputation for myself. People will see me at a restaurant or walking out of the store and they'll be like, "Booga Bradshaw, right?" That's fun and all, but really, I want to bring the attention to other artists and keep building the recognition of hip hop music in Lubbock. It’s still a young scene, but people are starting to see that there is a hip hop presence here.
RS: What other genres of music are you seeing start to solidify a place here in Lubbock?
BB: EDM scene is really growing. I'm seeing a lot of new DJs popping up and playing shows. The rock scene is changing too. There are bands doing unique and different things that are really interesting.
RS: Who are some up and coming artists we should be watching out for?
BB: There are a bunch.
• Teddy Davis aka Big Kuntry Ted, hip hop.
• Banks, R&B
• Heather Savonne, R&B
• F&M Dreaddy, hip hop
• Freddy Rob, hip hop
• Big Homie Jari, hip hop
• The Light Duo, grunge rock/raegetton
RS: Who are some of the most inspiring Lubbock musicians for you and why?
BB: Mr. Coop! I wasn’t even living in Lubbock when I fell in love with his song “Honey Bun.” Later I found out that he was from Lubbock and he became this sort of hometown hero for me.
Of course Buddy Holly. Maybe not as much on the musical side but his boldness. I had always heard of him but really didn't know that much about his story until I saw the movie. The way he pursued rock 'n roll in Lubbock when it was frowned upon and most everyone was listening to gospel and country, I can relate to that. It's been an inspiration for me to pursue my passion for hip hop.
RS: Why does West Texas produce so many unique musicians?
BB: The geography fosters imagination. It's like having a blank slate that you can create what you want to fill it with. The slower pace of life gives you a chance to both reflect on experience and focus on the craft without all the noise of a bigger city. And of course, the great people and a different way of life translates into the music as well.
RS: What would you like to see happen in Lubbock musically?
BB: We aren’t respected like Austin or Nashville or Atlanta but we should be. I want to continue to make Lubbock a global music powerhouse.
RS: What opportunities do Lubbock musicians have that musicians in other cities don’t?
BB: We're able to see great bands more often and don’t miss out on the good stuff. Intimate venues give us the chance to have an closer relationship with the audience and not get lost in the crowd of a bigger city.
RS: What is your favorite venue to play and why?
BB: Jake’s! It's a professional large venue with great sound. They love people who make great music and they are fantastic people to work with.
RS: What’s a Lubbock venue people should check out?
BB: Blue Light, for sure.
RS: What’s your favorite show you’ve ever performed in Lubbock?
BB: I got to perform at the Road to Nowhere Fest with T.I. Ugly God, Chanel West Coast and Slim Thug.
RS: What show are you looking forward to in the next year?
BB: We’re doing a show at Blue Light with Lubbock Music Now 2018. I’ve never performed there so I’m excited to celebrate Lubbock music on that stage.
Make sure and check out Boog's music here. A while back, we talked with Boog about what he loves about Lubbock aside from music. Check out his video below to hear about some of his favorite things.