Regan Farquhar aka Busdriver, LA
WHY & WHEN
Rap overtook me right about when I turned 13. That was also the same year and began piano lessons.
My teacher soon after, refused to teach me do to my lack of focus.
I don't know, but the first vocalesce jazz song I learned was 'Cloudburst' by Jon Hendricks
Brian Eno, D'Angelo, Sly from Sly and the Family Stones. In particular, Sly getting that huge settlement in unpaid royalties recently should be a personal victory for all makers of intellectual property. It's a huge deal because you get a sense of how much poverty can stifle the lives of even our most coveted of innovators.
The voice. This has been my only real instrument. When I was in the band Physical Forms, I played the Q-chord and photo-sensitive sound governors build into welding gloves. Aside from that I use a few Roland drum machines. And the computer. And the fingers.
Music is mainly something I experience and am swallowed whole by. So getting to actively spend time creating it for quite a while is an unusual privilege.
There were key moments when my appreciation became performative and when my own music became the response to music that I would or would not hear. The Goodlife was my earliest experience with this dynamic. There was a danger and confidence to the styles and personal outlooks in that place that I still can't shake. Something changed in me over the few months that I attended that open mike and got acquainted with the Lifers. It awakened something and compelled me to make make make.
A good deal of my fondest musical memories revolve around improvisation. Rapping with young jazzmen in Leimert Park at 5th Street Dick's comes to mind when I think of the euphoria in the improvised verse. Also, my years MCing in the Hip-hop and Drum'n'Bass room of LAs Concrete Jungle with Mikah-9 Daddy Kev, Hive and eDIT are some of my most favoured. I learned the dangers of dark rooms there, and really fell in love with rapping's possibilities in an unabashed way. Even though these memories all take place in venues freshly screamed into being, all my time in these holes felt personal. Like the community aspect locked all the moving parts into place.
READY, STEADY… STAGE!
I get nervous when I have to freestyle nowadays. It’s a volatile practice. My mind can barely hack it.
The powerful are looking for a particular kind of surrender from us. Whether you know it or not, you've already agreed to the terms of either or. Find that perfect hair and demystify its wiles. Or don't.