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Things To Know About DJ and Music Producer Basthma

Basthma is a versatile artiste, music producer, and DJ, who is renowned for his impactful kicks, delightful chords, and powerful basslines. He has been actively creating music since 2014 and is known for his genre-fluid approach, drawing inspiration and influence from a wide array of music genres.

Basthma is also an esteemed alumnus of the Perform Music Incubator, an artist development program founded by Muthoni The Drummer Queen.

In 2022, he participated in a six-week music production residency alongside Swiss Producer and Sound Engineer Hook Michigang. Throughout his career, Basthma has collaborated with notable artists, including Karun, Zonda K, Le Ru, Trabolee, and Mayonde.

Why the name Basthma?

Well, the name Basthma came from my love of bass in music and basically the love of bass music and the fact that I had asthma as a kid.

If you weren’t a music artist what would you be?

I would most definitely be a racing driver.

Why the mask? What does it do for you, for your identity? Does it get hot under there when you’re performing and jamming? 

My mask is a tool for self-expression, artistic exploration, and even creating a unique identity. The mask is a visual representation of the music being played, with different masks carrying distinct energies that align with specific genres.

A lot of what you’ve achieved is so admirable, having played in front of thousands both locally and abroad. Is this the dream? 

My dream has always been to be able to express myself at all times. More like a creative utopic state. The crowds and the accolades have always been a plus. Secrecy has always been a part of me for some reason.

You performed under Muthoni, to make you better as an artist – what did you learn in the incubator? What do you think is something all artists need to know? 

The main thing I learned from the incubator is mostly the music business. It was super eye-opening learning of all the avenues you can monetise as a creative. I also got to explore the importance of the business side of things such as financial sustainability, professional support, networking and collaboration, development, and growth, just to name a few.

Residencies can be important for developing and established artists. What did you learn in your last Residency? 

The latest Residency I did was in Switzerland. I went there to do some shows and mostly make music. I ended up working on what might be an album or a collective of EPs and some singles depending on how the planning goes. More than the music I made, I learnt a lot about Engineering when it comes to mixing and mastering song Hooks.

What can we expect from you next? How do you think politics affects your art? 

My current plan for the year is to release all the music I made last year during the Swiss residency. I’ve also partnered up with Hi8us on their Save the Night project as one of the facilitators. This is a space where my creative side is really pushed in the right direction, conducting workshops with fellow talented creatives, and collaborating on not just songs but different aspects of art.

I don’t really know about how politics will influence the creative scene but I’m a firm believer that it’s up to us creatives who feel that pain and weight of navigating our scene to make things better. We are the ones who are going to save ourselves. Community is our biggest strength.

What is the one misconception about DJs/Producers that you dislike?

That they are supposed to conform to certain ways of expression in music when art is all about experiments and breaking boundaries and everyone has their own special way of doing things and expressing themselves

Where can we find your music?

On SoundCloud. My username is Basthma