Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Taboo, real name Jaime Luis Gomez. He is an American, rapper/singer. If you’re still unsure of who he is, all you need to know is that he’s from one of the world’s best-selling groups of all time: The Black Eyed Peas.
Xana Beach Club with Attica in Angsana Laguna Phuket hosted their first annual Naked Feet Beach Party, where Taboo, from the six-time Grammy award-winning American hip-hop group, performed. The Phuket News sat down with him before he took over the stage at Xana last month.
So firstly, what brings you to Phuket?
I’m here to bring in the festivities for a great cause. It’s a charity for the locals. Apl.de.ap (pronounced “Apple Dee Ap”) from the group actually performed here to raise funds for the [Philippines] disaster relief a couple of years ago, and now they’ve brought me here too.
What do you do exactly?
Well, I’ve been performing by myself since 2011, outside of the Black Eyed Peas. We all have.
I love to perform, so for me it’s always a great opportunity to go out there and perform by myself. I am not a DJ, I’m a performer. I play music that I like. I get the party started. I am quite literally the party starter.
I love getting the crowd riled up and dancing. I am creating opportunities for people to understand me as an individual. I play a lot of my own songs, from my own projects. They range from Spanish, to dance orientated songs, to Latin influenced. Then there’s dance songs, I am doing different things to the stuff I did with The Black Eyed Peas.
So who are your songs dedicated to?
I want to be able to talk to the different nationalities attending, it’s my way of connecting to people. I like to play dance-off, reggae, hip-hop, and a little bit of EDM (Electronic Dance Music).
[It works pretty dope, according to the star. Indeed the number of people who attended to show their support to the star is a true testament to the work The Black Eyed Peas have done over the years.]
What can people expect and have to look forward to?
This year we are working on our 20 year anniversary. It’s crazy to think we started in 1995 and this year we are going to do it all over again.
The Black Eyed Peas will continue to make music together. Our EDM [phase] was just us exploring, and showing that we’re not afraid to tap into other influences, despite some of our fans not necessarily being accustomed to it. But it’s time to go back to our roots.
So, who writes the songs you ask?
We all do, we write together. I’ve got a writing partner as well, I like to share my emotions but he knows how to carve out the structure.
We are letting people know that we don’t forget where we come from. I’m a hip-hop boy. It’s been a journey and it’s great to let people know that we are going back to the origins.
It’s made me feel like a kid again, and I like that feeling. Just when you think you’ve done everything already, I’m still hungry.
It doesn’t matter how successful my group is, I enjoy meeting people from all over the world. I still want to interact.
[With a number of performances under his belt, not to mention a film role in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (and you thought Taboo was just a singer-rapper) it’s no wonder the star continues to shine. The film is based on the popular video game franchise of the same name, and it features Taboo as Vega, a masked baddie with a taloned arm.] How was that experience?
That experience was great as not only did I get to shoot the movie, but I also got to explore the city [Bangkok] and embrace the food and the culture. The movie allowed me to showcase my acting and martial-arts capabilities.
Any guilty pleasures or secrets that your fans should know?
One of my guilty pleasures is funnily enough, baseball. It’s random, but I like to play it because my son plays.
[Hmmm, not as Taboo as one would have thought!]
Following his performance, Taboo will continue to perform on his own and entertain the crowds. However it would appear that this is the year that fans can really get excited: The 20th anniversary of Black Eyed Peas. Fans are sure to be in for a treat!
For more information, follow Taboo @ instagram.com/officialtaboo/