You may know him from one of many hits from the Black Eyed Peas, such as “Boom Boom Pow” and “I Gotta Feeling,” but rapper and actor Taboo (Jaime Gomez) is coming to Rain at Palms this Friday, March 9 to show off his DJ talent and put on what should be more than your everyday DJ performance.
Tell us a bit about DJing and how being in that frame of mind differs from that of more of the traditional solo and group performances.
Well, DJing is a big part of hip hop culture. I myself never did DJ as a kid, but I did graffiti and did the MCing and b-boying, so when I got the opportunity to incorporate DJing within my lifestyle, I jumped into it because I felt like I needed to express myself in that different way.
DJing has become such a great subculture, it’s gone from the underground to the mainstream. It was like a natural progression to be able to become a tastemaker when it comes to a choice selection of music, being able to read crowds and hopping on the equipment really getting a sense of knowing what I like.
Who are some of your DJ influences and favorites?
DJ AM, rest in peace, was one of my favorite DJs. When he first started blowing up he would always set the tone for the club, he was an influential tastemaker in the music industry.
Guys like DJ Vice, who is also a good friend of mine and DJs in Vegas. DJ Q-Bert on the technical side, and Skratch Piklz. Skrillex, who has really come into his own for dubstep music, people like Avicii who have come from the underground… there are so many people, I can go on for days with the people I want to give credit to.
Your performance is described as an “interactive experience” — can you tell us a bit about what we can expect from it?
I like to call it a performance and experience. When I started studying to see what style I would be doing, I started looking at different DJs to see how they interact with the crowd and set the tone for the show, because you can’t just stand behind your DJ equipment thinking you’re going to win people over.
I feel like that was my duty to present a whole package, with crowd participation and making the audience become part of the show, visual stimulation with the visuals we’ll have behind us. I want it to be known as the Taboo experience, and as more than just a DJ set by me.
What I’m presenting to Vegas is: b-boys, a few friends coming out for the show, crazy visuals, and being able to go into the audience and interact with the crowd. There will be a couple of songs off the project I’m working on and I’ll be giving Black Eyed Peas fans a taste what they like and a taste of the future.
How’s your solo project coming along?
I’ve been compiling content for going on a year now and I’m very excited. I feel like I’ve grown and matured and I’ve found myself and my voice. I never really found my capability to the fullest and now this is a great chance to show the world my talents, as well as being able to carry melodies, arrange songs in a certain way and, of course, rhyme. This will really tap into my sound as an individual, which includes some Latin rhythms. I have a great team that’s on board with me…
What do you like about performing in Vegas and what do you like about Vegas yourself?
Everybody comes to have a good time, whether you’re there to gamble or to go to clubs or watch shows. The atmosphere is always lively, lots of stars are born, lots of projects are born and a lot of experiences are definitely given birth in Vegas.
This is a big opportunity to show Vegas a piece of my experience and I have to say with my group, we’ve always had memorable performances in Vegas, one being the big Billboard awards show. Now it’s like I’m stepping into the individual side and connecting with the Vegas crowd myself to connect with the fans.
What projects do you have planned for the coming year?
The tour’s coming up, we’re setting off on March 27. We’re hitting Dubai, Thailand, couple of spots in Europe. In February and March, I’m going to focus on making content, so I’m excited to go back on the road and continue the Ultra-Magnetic Tour, hitting a city near you sometime, and living in different parts of the world. Be sure to keep track on my Facebook and Twitter account.