Joel Chamaa aka Bam Bam has been turning heads lately with his bright, up-beat brand of hip-hop. In the lead up to the release of his new EP we caught up with Joel and got the low down.
So you’re new EP The Good Life drops this Friday, has it been a long time coming?
I’ve been working on it for about a year; it’s just been a matter of finding the right producers to work with and finding the right music and beats to accompany what I was trying to do. I finally found everything I needed, it took a while, but I’m happy with the final product. I feel like it kind of sums me up as an artist which is good.
There’s a lot of cool guitar licks and other instrumentation throughout the release, where did all of that come from?
Most of the producers I work with either played that stuff themselves or had session musicians that would come in and do it. On one of the tracks, called If You Wanna Get Down, the producer I worked with actually played everything on that track, that’s all live instrumentation. I don’t actually play any instruments myself apart from the triangle, and sometimes the recorder [laughs].
It’s always good when you can bring a track to life a bit more with live instruments rather than relying on samples.
Exactly. I’m a big fan of music in general so I have no bias towards electronic sounds or live instrumentation or whatever, but it is good to mix it up. For me it’s pretty much just whatever my ears prick up to.
Yeah cool. So in terms of the music what would you say has influenced your style?
I’ve been a break dancer for over ten years, that’s been kind of my bread and butter, so I like up-tempo beats and just sort of funky stuff. Sometimes as artist you want to do slower stuff as well, so I’d say it definitely stems from up-tempo stuff and break-dancing, but I like all kinds of music man. I’m never going to be pinned down to one specific sound or one specific genre. Hip hop is actually the genre of music I listen to the least.
Oh really? So what do you listen to the most? Could we see you chilling out to a bit of Dolly Parton?
[laughs] Nah, just anything, like soul, breaks, some electronic stuff. Like I do like some EDM, I like dubstep. I mean don’t get me wrong, I still listen to a lot of hip hop, but I can listen to a lot of other stuff as well.
And what got you in to break-dancing? How far back does that go?
I [don’t know], I saw it when I was young and I just instantly fell in love with it and found somewhere that was teaching it. It was basically my first great passion. In my last year of school the break-dance crew that were teaching me (who were like my idols at the time) asked if I wanted to join the crew. At that point I was like, fucking oath I do. They were pretty much the best crew in Australia at the time, so straight away I left school, joined up and started rehearsing full time. I worked as a break-dancer for about ten years and in that time we ended up winning the Australian championships three times and we went overseas to represent Australia against the world a bunch of times. So I guess I had accomplished everything I wanted to with that and decided to go to music.
Straight up. So will you be busting a couple of moves during the live shows?
Yeah I definitely will be doing that. If the stage permits it I’ll definitely be busting out some flips or something.
Sounds awesome. Thanks for taking the time to talk to Wordplay today, I’ll leave you with a quick wildcard question. If you could take any two animals and mash them together in to one, what would they be and what would you call it?
Oh shit…um…a meerkat…and a tyrannosaurus rex, and I’d call it a tyrannosaurus meerpuss.
Bam Bam’s new EP The Good Life dropped today the 28th of March through Ten To Two Records, order it here.
Interview by Lyndon Kidman