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Meet Matthew Gradala aka the Boomsta

Today we’d like to introduce you to Matthew Gradala.

Matthew, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
As an inter-dimensional, multi-planetary being, I’ve spent a large part of my life investigating the infinite universes. Seeking inspiration of the creative variety has been my mission over the last few hundred years, and it’s going pretty well Y’all! The latest chapter of this journey takes place here on Earth, San Diego specifically (as a side note, most species in the Universe call their homeworld “earth.”

This get’s very confusing for those of us who don’t stay in one place for long! This is the 14th Earth I’ve been to if you can believe it.) My observations of, and attempt to become one of these human beings, has yielded a great amount of inspiration (much more so than my attempts to become a part of the Koala community, they don’t do too much).

Over the course of this life, I’ve been channeling these inspirations into music, art, and mondo stoke to share with the rest of humanity!

Most recently, I’ve been writing, producing, singing, drumming, mixing and trumpeting as The Boomsta; playing the drums in the greatest Rock band in the galaxy, FFT; producing soundtracks for video, and game projects; drawing and creating visual goodness for music videos and album artwork; mixing live and studio audio, working on a large scale art installation project with the untamable Adam Anderson, and just generally trying to become a better human to inspire others! Awwww Yeah!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Time and space travel, in and of itself, is not a smooth process and I have faced some struggles along the way. It’s almost impossible to avoid the Great Goo from Dimension X, which, as we all know, turns you into infrared rays for a femtosecond. This leads to you feeling sick for a few minutes and gives you a bad case of sensory-swap-neosis. I was hearing the color red for a week.

Some more human-type struggles have been: crippling self-doubt due to my hyper-introspectiveness; which on the other hand, is one of my best sources for creative energy, so what are you going to do? Moving to California with no plan and little money was also a fairly large challenge, but I managed to crush it! Eventually… After struggling for a year…

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about The Boomsta – what should we know?
I seek to create vibes that jive with the hive and intoxicate the mind! Most of my Earth life has been spent in the pursuit of music, and, more recently, visual art. I’m at this great point where I’ve been playing with a band (FFT) for several years (new album due out soon Y’all!), and I’m now branching out to perform on my own as well. I have two albums out, with a third on the way – and I’m working through how to turn these mostly synthesized tracks into sweet, sweet, super-sonic bacon for my live shows. I’d like the shows to be EDM spectacles that feel like a rock concert; merging two worlds that I love.

To do this I’m incorporating live and electric drums, vocal looping, singing, and a little bit of button pushing (sometimes even knob turning! oh yeah! Turnin them knobs! and fader pushing too! Feel the fader push baby!) I want to create an environment where people can have fun, question the nature of reality, and shake their booty – while feeling inspired to do great things. Find your thing Y’all! Although this may be a bit too lofty of a goal, so I’ll settle for folks escaping reality for a few hours, and smile.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My two bandmates Rich Williams and Jimmy Castro were the catalysts that got me back into music and creation and have continued to inspire me to this day. Through all of middle school, high school and college I was incredibly involved in music. From playing in orchestras to jazz ensembles to the funkiest band in St. Louis (Hazard to Ya Booty) I was always involved with the thing I loved. After college, I picked up and moved to California with no prospects and struggled for a year or so, and during that time music took a back seat. Even after I found an Audio Engineering gig with a production company, I was so involved with work that I still wasn’t making that much music.

One day, I’m chatting with Jimmy and he’s telling me about all these guitar licks he’s been writing, and I asked him to send me one. I thought it would be a fun little project that we’d do for a week or so and that would be it. I started working on producing the track (I did not play drums at this point) and we met Rich who said he used to sing in a band and would be down to put some vocals on the track. We recorded in my living room one day, and it was awesome! All of us were stoked on how it turned out, and from there just started writing ideas and collaborating on other songs. It was maybe a week after this initial recording that we booked our first gig, a 2 hour set for a rock and roll marathon.

We said, well I guess we better write some more music! And I said, well I guess I should learn to play the drums! I remember the first rehearsal, I stopped halfway through a song because my leg got tired! But after a lot of practice, my chops were up to the ability of the other guys and we were crushing it! Since then we’ve played all over town, and have finished two albums and a single (the second album is due in a few months!). This whole experience has given me the bug to create and collaborate, and I’ve been working on projects ever since!

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Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Dr Dusty

    August 12, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    The Boomsta’s music is ‘out of this world’. Great interview!

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