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Photography by Garth Von Glehn

Buks (is back) on the mic

While he is best known for his integral part in the production trio Ivy League that created tracks for the likes of PRO, Khuli Chana, AKA, Tuks, Solo, Teargas & Prokid, Buks’ music career started in high school when he was a rapper in the group Entity alongside school mate AKA. With a musical background that includes piano, saxophone and clarinet it wasn’t until he discovered hip hop via his older cousins that his interest in expressing himself through music was piqued. With his parents strongly opposing his pursuit of a music career Buks left the limelight of rapping in Entity and started producing after a friend from his boarding school introduced him to the production software Fruity Loops. “Making beats was my way of staying in the music side. I couldn’t really be in the forefront because then my folks would know that I’m still in the group,” Buks recalls.

Although Buks was producing with Ivy League while still studying he decided not to pursue rapping until he had completed his degree. Then he could focus on bringing his songwriting to the same level has his production. “I needed to get the varsity stuff out of the way. As soon as I finished then I was like, let me get back into writing. But obviously I had been producing for a very long time at quite a high level and I hadn’t been writing for a number of years. For me it was about getting my writing back to a level where I’m comfortable enough putting out music and at a very high level,” Buks says.

On Buks’ debut album ‘Pegasus’ he explores the theme of conscience. “I think a lot about the polar opposites of things. How we navigate through life is how we negotiate in terms of good and evil. If your conscience is clear in whatever decision you make I think that’s what makes the difference in life. For me a lot of the songs come out in that way,” Buks muses.

Producing and mixing the album himself, Buks found the biggest difference in producing for himself was the continuation of the musical journey. “When you produce for someone else it ends once you’ve made the beat. Whereas producing for myself it’s everything from start to finish. I take care of every little bit of detail,” Buks notes. The lead single “Don’t Need Stress” is an upbeat ode to surrounding yourself with positivity. The last track he completed for the album, it speaks to not being questioned with regards to the direction he’s taken with his music as well as “[reaching] this point of “zen” where I feel extremely comfortable where I’m at in my life so I don’t need negative energy coming into my space,” Buks says.

3 years in the making, Buks is intensely proud of “Pegasus”. “I’ve worked on this project for so long and I’m just really excited for people to hear it. I really do feel like it’s an important album in terms of this current climate that we’re in. I think a lot of the hip hop generally is sounding the same. I think the messages get lost. It’s one of those albums where you sit and you listen and you start to understand over time some of the different concepts and the different sounds.”

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