Phase One and Asa Buchanon are Bronx-born artists and longtime friends who first captured attention in 2009 with their hip-hop debut album, Phase One & Asa Buchanon Present: Bugnanas. The project earned them high praise from industry veterans and peers, while establishing them as a group to watch in the underground scene. The collaboration was named after a word coined by fellow artist, Poison Pen. As explained on the album's intro, “bugnanas” is a hybrid of “bugged out” and “bananas.” Not long after the album’s release, people began to book the twosome as "Bugnanas", the name that propelled them into the next stage of a closely watched career.
The new album, due on 12/12/12, is Bugnanas Presents: The ILLmaculate Boys—a collection of songs featuring production from DJ Static, Dub Z, DJ Steel, I.mpaq, and Asa Buchanon. “We wanted to create a project that showcased our team of producers, but that also shows us as an artist and producer duo,” says Phase. The lead single, “See What’s Happening”, is a flawless example of the marriage of their talents. The instantly catchy, head-nod track boasts attention-grabbing bars and production that linger after just one listen. Other tracks on the project feature horn player Rhys Tivey and Andrew "Nebraska" Bailie on guitar. Vocalists Bradd Marquis, Tess, and Duv add depth to the album, which also contains an emcee feature from Rugged N Raw.
The sophomore venture was recorded completely at R.I.P. Studios in the Bronx, a location owned by longtime friend/producer/artist/engineer, I.mpaq. A true labor of love and passion for music, the independent project was funded completely by the duo themselves. Based on the quality of the sound, production, and lyrics, it’s hard to believe the project was done in just under two months—a true testament to Bugnanas’ work ethic, determination, and passion for the music they create.
“My intention is to always give you something new and something fresh from the start of the record, and hopefully cross genres with some eclectic blends of sound,” says Asa.
As 2012 comes to a close, the indie duo has impressive shows under their belt as they’ve rocked stages alongside Questlove, Skyzoo, and Big Pooh. Their banner year began with a sold-out Apollo Cafe show, followed by a set at B.B. King’s with Slum Village in May. “That performance was another blessing and highlight in itself because of how much they’ve inspired us along our musical journey,” says Phase. Their impressive list of performances also includes shows at Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Santos Party House, Bowery Poetry Club, SOB's, Public Assembly, UV Lounge (Reverb Nation),The Point, M1-5, Red Alert's Birthday party, and Video Music Box's Xmas Party(which aired on Video Music Box).
The seamless journey from concept to completion to the stage is one that both performers began perfecting early in life. Phase One and Asa Buchanon both grew up loving hip-hop and developed their craft at an early age. Both longtime friends and music lovers, their sound is highly influenced by 80’s and 90’s music. Separately, Phase released his solo album “Hip Hop, Rap, The Taboo, Life Music & Soul,” and the mixtape “Phasing the Music”, and Asa also released two records, one from Earplay Entertainment and one from his own independent label, co-founded and owned by Asa and his brother, Akin “Ock” Jackson.
The duo first crossed paths at the famed Nuyorican Poets Cafe during a competition for hip-hop producers. Phase performed alongside one of his best friends, producer DJ Static, who was the event’s reigning champion. Later that night, Asa took the stage as a competitor. As Phase describes it: “the house completely fell in love with his production style because it was beyond anything we had heard at that time. His set turned the venue from a competition into a full blown party.” After that moment, Asa and DJ Static became fast friends which inevitably led to a working relationship for Phase One and Asa.
Bugnanas officially formed in 2009 after the release of their first collaborative effort that year. “Originally I was going to work on a ‘Phase & ______Present:’ project with each producer in our team, but once Asa and I collaborated, people felt that chemistry was something that made sense.”
Always striving to produce attention grabbing beats with superb lyricism, Phase One and Asa Buchanon have earned respect and admiration as two people who have a grand love for the music they create. The dynamic of the group is brilliant and simple all at once: Asa is The Producer (in every sense of the word, from the studio to the stage) and Phase One is The Emcee who gives life to concepts and ideas, while also earning notoriety for his freestlye chops. For both, maintaining the integrity of the hip-hop genre is key, as they seek to pen the best lyrics and create that elusive perfect beat.
True to their hard working form, the duo is already writing and producing their next project entitled Bugnanas Presents: The League of the ILL which will drop in 2013.