New Thousand Talks Street Performance & Buku In iEDM Exclusive Interview
You can go to any music festival and catch your favorite artists, but Buku Music and Arts Project brings an authentic twist to the performances that it hosts. Not only can you catch eclectic artists from all over the world, you can also get a taste of the rich music culture that New Orleans is home to.
Abundance in live music, New Orleans has wowing performers playing on the street corners. One band you may find getting down on the corner of Frenchmen Street or lighting up the main stage at Buku is a three piece electronic band called New Thousand.
Adrian leading on the violin, Nick on the drums, and Max on the keyboard, the band curating a performance merging jam band vibes, hip-hop, and EDM comes naturally. During street performances, they flow with the crowd.
"What's cool about street performances is that anyone can stop and watch," Adrian said. "It's not a bar. Anyone can walk up, sometimes a millionaire next to a homeless person and everyone is dancing. That is the really beautiful thing about street performance. It's not exclusionary in anyway and completely open to the public."
Street performing itself is an art, because you must read the crowd of people passing by. To be a great street performer, you must capture the people and wow them enough to stop and enjoy.
Photo Credit: KXUA
"You have to be very captivating or people leave because it's not like when you're inside a bar where it's more of a conscious effort to leave the bar. People are walking by and if they stop for us, we have to give them every reason to stay. It's a process of getting crowds on the street to stay and watch us and then pay us," Adrian said.
You can find New Thousand on Frenchman Street, or on one of the premier corners around the nightlife area in New Orleans.
"On an average night, 100 to 150 people will come watch us," Adrian said. "I'll have people in my face booty shaking a foot away from me. I'll go into the crowd and dance."
Buku really brought the vibes by having multiple native street performers not only take the stage but also perform in the streets of the festival.
"We're friends with everyone in the street performance scene," Adrian said. "Us and all of our friends got invited to do street performance inside of Buku. So it's basically the French Quarter but inside of Buku Fest this weekend, which is awesome."
Unlike traditional New Orleans music, they play live electronic music which is a niche in the streets compared to lots of brass.
"Nothing that we sound like is anything like New Orleans traditional music, but we have a spirit and freedom to our music that is very reminiscent of the culture of New Orleans. We a lot of our spirit to the culture of New Orleans particularly the black culture, which is so vibrant," Adrian said.
Band members Adrian Jusdanis and Max Jones recently welcomed Nick Haven to the band. Adrian and Max come from Columbus, Ohio and Nick made his journey all the way from northwest Minnesota. Even though they are not from New Orleans, it has played a big role in their journey to becoming New Thousand.
"In 2013, I was on spring break down here and heard that it was a music city," Adrian said. "So, I brought a violin down and was just roaming around the French Quarter. I made my way in with some street musicians who were awesome and making a lot of money and thought, ‘Oh shoot I could probably do this.' Then, the next year I moved down to Nola and started street performing, making my living off of that."
Adrian said about two years later, he was doing his own thing with a drummer and felt like he hit a creative wall.
"I wanted to start a new band, really liked the direction of electronic music, and recruited Max as well as another friend of ours to start the band that became New Thousand. Max and our other friend moved down. Then we started street performing."
Adrian and Max had been friends since they were toddlers, calling each other their first friends.
Later, they met Nick at a friend's birthday party. He was matched with them to fill in for their absent drummer.
"Our friend was throwing her birthday party at a tiny little bar called Poor Boys, in New Orleans and she wanted us to play, so we were just playing as a gift to her," Adrian said.
But earlier in that day, their usual drummer dropped out and cancelled the gig.
"When we told her that we don't even have a drummer to play with she told us about her buddy Nick that was really good. I thought ‘yeah sure everyone's got a drummer friend that's really good.' So, we almost cancelled the show but Nick showed up and he was amazing," said Adrian.
Nick had moved to New Orleans in 2014 from the Canadian border in Minnesota looking for a change in pace and wanting to play in bands.
"There was really nothing that fit my style or that I wanted to do, so I just started delving more into production and DJing," Nick said. "I'd been doing that for the past three and half years when I met these guys and things just kind of took off. It's weird the way it all worked out. I try to not give it much thought, just rolling with the punches. It's been great so far and I'm looking forward to the future now. This has been a really great experience and there's going to be even bigger things to come and I'm really excited."
New Thousand started in the streets of New Orleans and that is where you still can find them grooving with a street full of people that come from many walks of life. Be sure to catch New Thousand playing in the French Quarter during your next visit to New Orleans.