BASSFoundation Meets David Boomah
10 June 2013
David Boomah is a veteran of the UK’s Jungle scene, but his influences and styles reach across the board, from a reggae backbone to hip-hop, soul and dancehall vibes. Back in the early mid-90s heyday of jungle, Boomah’s track with the legendary Shy FX ‘Who Run Tings’ dominated the pirate airwaves and rave sound systems.
After two decades of ripping up mics on numerous singles and at dances across the world, David Boomah has finally released his long-awaited debut album, to critical acclaim. Put out on Bryan Gee’s mighty V Recording, the multi-genre album takes versatility to new levels, working with a wide range of producers including Serum, Benny Page, Von D, Aries, Cotti, Marcus Visionary, Curtis Lynch Jr, Potential Badboy, Savage Rehab, Remarc, Liondub, and others.
BASSFoundation have known David Boomah (SoundCloud) for the last few years, and his specially voiced dubplates have always guaranteed a lively reaction whenever dropped. He also played at their most recent night in London, performing a PA full of new material before blessing the mic on REDS’ set. BASSFoundation sat down with him earlier this month to hear more about his long career and amazing new album:
`**You can buy ‘One World Many Cultures’ here**
BASSFoundation: Hi David, 2012 has been a great year for you, but let’s first go back to when you were a youth. We know you where brought up in Jamaica by your grandmother. Can you tell us more about that and how that has influenced your musical career?
David Boomah: Growing up in Jamaica with my Grandparents was great! It was a very strict upbringing which some youth would benefit from today. That strict upbringing shaped my values, attitudes and actions and influenced my writing style. It was also great to be immersed in dancehall sound culture in the 1980’s in Jamaica. I learnt a lot from some very influential artists.
BASSF: How did you get involved in music when you reached the UK? Who where your main influences back then?
Boomah: I met the renowned radio presenter Tony Williams within 2 weeks of stepping off the plane. He heard me sing and invited me to be the opening act at the 1990 British Reggae Awards at the Ritzy in Streatham. It was a big event and I really enjoyed performing alongside some very established artists.
BASSF: Who are your main influences in jungle, D&B, and outside those genres?
Boomah: As a vocalist I am influenced by vocalists. In Jungle and D&B Top Cat, Navigator, and Ragga Twins. Outside of Jungle I am influenced by Stevie Wonder, Dennis Brown, Luther Vandross, Barrington Levy and so many others.
BASSF: Let’s talk about your album. It’s been a long time coming. We’ve had it on repeat and can’t get enough of it - Can you tell us more about it and your ideas behind it?
Boomah: I have always wanted to make a multi-genre album but most people struggled to see the value in that. 3 years ago I plucked up the courage to actually start making this album and after several discussions with a number of record labels decided on V Recordings. Bryan [Bryan Gee – owner of V Recordings] liked the music I presented and wanted to support me in shaping the album so we solidified our relationship and got to work.
BASSF: It must be very special to release your album on a label with a history like V-Recordings’. Can you tell us more about your relationship with the V camp and how they’ve supported you releasing a multi genre album?
Boomah: It is a great to be working with V and even more special to be breaking new ground with them. Bryan has given me great artistic support as an executive producer and we have a good relationship. We are looking forward to kicking off a tour in May 2013 when the album drops.
BASSF: What is for you the most special track on there? Or name a few for different reasons, if one is too hard.
Boomah: I really don’t think I can name a special track. I love all the tracks for different reasons. I think I will leave it to the listeners to tell me what their special track is and look forward to seeing how people feel about the album.
BASSF: Regulars to BASSFoundation shows and nights know we like your sound, hence we’ve voiced quite a few dubplates with you. For the people that don’t know, we’re not talking about unreleased or forthcoming tunes, but specials voiced by the artists themselves for a sound or a crew. How important is voicing dubplates for you and do you think it’s becoming a bigger thing over the years in jungle and D&B like it is in reggae?
Boomah: Big respect BASSFoundation! I really appreciate all the support you guys have given me and I wish you more life and more success for the future. I think that dubplates are a trend that rises and falls. I am glad that I am a part of the tradition and have been since the early 90’s.
BASSF: Outside of music you’re involved in youth work, can you tell us more about that?
Boomah: I have been involved in youth work nearly as long as I have been involved in music. I have had a number of jobs within the sector ranging from volunteer to director of Youth Services. What has been consistent throughout is a commitment to find ways to engage young people and support them personally, socially and educationally.
BASSF: Tell us about your plans for 2013 - we see you’ve started your own label ‘Forward Ever’.
Boomah: There are so many plans. There is a lot of promo to do for the album so I will be very busy. With regards to the label, I will be finding new talent and unleashing them onto the world. The label is multi-genre so expect to hear all kinds of sounds on “Forward Ever Recordings”. With regards to Youth Work I will be working with my co-director Lady MC to build London Urban Arts as a nationally recognised social enterprise that takes young people on a journey of self discovery and growth.
BASSF: Any last words?
Boomah: Eternal thanks to the creator, my grandmother and grandfather, my wife and Children, My Bonafide friends, The DJ’S that have been supporting my sound and the amazing people that listen to my music. I sincerely hope that you enjoy the album and it inspires you and reminds you that we are all “One World Many Cultures.”