Exclusive: The Black Eyed Peas’ Taboo Talks 'Zumbao,' Fatherhood & EDM

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What would your hashtags be for being a father and a husband?

My hashtags are #daddydaycare, #prouddad, #dayinthelifeoffatherhood, #sneakerheaddad, #sneakerheadfamily, #Zumbaodad. For being a husband: #proudhubby #proudhusband, #luckiestmanontheplanet #fortunatetohavemywifey

How different is it going solo as opposed to being in a group?

As a Pea, I’m used to stadiums and arenas, but as an individual, I’m starting from the ground up. I’m building my own brand outside of the Peas. It’s not Black Eyed Peas, it’s Zumbao. Zumbao is different from the Peas because it’s all on me and I can’t feed off of anybody other than me. It’s what I put out there and it’s either you like it, or you don’t and I respect it because I like honest opinions. I like people saying, well it’s not for me, or I think it’s a dumb song because the lyrics are so simple, or I like it because it’s infectious, or because it’s representing Latinos, or I just like the song and it makes me want to dance even though I can’t understand what he’s saying. These are the things I appreciate as an individual artist that is now Taboo, the king of Zumbao.

And you’re a b-boy at heart.

Let me address the b-boy thing. I’m a b-boy for life. I’m a dancer, I started with free style dancing and b-boying during the ‘80s and I always said to myself that when I get the chance to do my own thing, I will always have the b-boy element and the dance element because that’s where I come from. Before we had Fergie, it was me, will.i.am, and apl. and we were showcasing our dance moves in our videos. People would say, I like the music, but have you seen their dance moves? So, the reason I put this different dance element is because I love the dance community and I have nothing but respect for them. I want to always be affiliated with the b-boys, the dancers, and the choreography because that’s important.

BEP were one of the first U.S. groups to fully embrace EDM. Do you look at the current music landscape now and think, you are all BEP’s children?

As far as EDM music goes, it’s always been a part of our travels. When we first started traveling to Europe, we would hear house music before EDM really blew up over here in the United States. We always knew that we were attached to it through our travels. When will.i.am decided to incorporate it into our music, as far as the E.N.D. album, we thought it was cool to incorporate this style, but we still wanted to keep the Black Eyed Peas because we had to appeal to a huge variety of audiences. It wasn’t an audience that was going to go to strictly EDM clubs or go to EDM festivals. It was everyone: moms, kids, adults, and teenagers. Black Eyed Peas music appealed to everybody and that’s why we incorporated EDM influences, dance influences, house influences and we mashed it up with the Black Eyed Pea melodic pop sensibility that still has bounce to it. That’s what I wanted to do with Zumbao. To have a little bounce to it and that’s why I did the dance. I created the Zumbao dance and that’s just me saying that even though this song has 126 BPM, it still has a bounce to it and I can still dance to it. It’s not like I’m just bobbing my head to it, but there’s actually a break to demonstrate b-boy moves.

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About this author

Jesus Trivino,

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Jesús Triviño Alarcón began his professional journalism career at Vibe. At 25, he became editor-in-chief of Fuego, the first national English language Latino men’s magazine, and served as senior editor for Scratch, a magazine dedicated to hip-hop producers and DJs. Since then he has guided the editorial direction for MyNuvoTV.com, the online component of the Latino lifestyle cable network, and BET.com's music shows and specials including 106 & Park. Additionally, he has written and reported for the NY Daily News, SLAM, The Source, XXL, Inked, SOHH.com, People.com, Essence.com, and many more. In his 13-year career he’s interviewed countless celebrities including Carmelo Anthony, Demi Lovato, Marc Anthony, Rosario Dawson, Willie Colón, Jay-Z, Nas, Jessica Alba, John Leguizamo, 50 Cent, Kanye West, among others. Today, as Latina’s Entertainment Editor he’s constantly thinking WWJD—What Would Juanes Do? Follow me on Instagram @JesusTalks and Twitter @JTrivinoAlarcon.

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