For many, meeting a musician or performer that they have seen on stage can be a disappointing experience as that electricity the artist has while performing doesn’t always translate well in person. Fortunately for everyone who got to meet Jaime Luis Gómez, better known by his stage name Taboo and for being a member of The Black Eyed Peas, when he visited the sultanate last week, he was as energetic and excitable in person as fans will have come to expect.
While in Oman to perform at a dance night that also featured David Vendetta, Taboo met up with TheWeek to talk about his solo work and what it feels like performing on his own. Taboo joined The Black Eyed Peas in 1995 and since 2008 rumours of a debut solo album have been circulating. Taboo confirmed there will be an album this year and added, “I wasn’t ready back then as I didn’t have my voice, my sound, my producers and my team. And I didn’t want to put out something that I wasn’t happy about.
“It is easy to put out an album, but it is hard to sustain it and be proud of it unless you know it is the one.” Through what he calls the Taboo Experience though, Taboo said he has been able to perform his music to an audience and gauge their reaction to it. The Taboo Experience itself is a show that includes emceeing, dancing, crowd interaction, DJing and visuals that are presented on a big screen and work in harmony with the music, according to the rapper.
Having been part of a band for so long now, Taboo said it feels great to now be getting out there as a solo act, but he looks forward to working again with The Black Eyed Peas in the future. He added that if all four members - all of whom have embarked on solo projects - are strongindividually, then it makes more of an impact for fans when they come back together.
When it comes to how he would describe his sound, Taboo said, “The Taboo sound is more directed towards the Latino community where I come from - I’m Mexican-American - and I wanted to connect with my roots and my culture. With the music, what I am creating is a little bit like The Black Eyed Peas but in a Spanish way so there are Spanish lyrics and references to the culture. The music is created by producers who may not be familiar to the US market.”
Despite being in Oman for a couple of days prior to the show, which was held at Shangri-La’s Barr al Jissah Resort & Spa, Taboo said he hadn’t been able to see the sultanate as much as he would have liked as he and his team were catching up on sleep. Prior to arriving in Oman, they were in Europe and a week after the show here, Taboo was going back to the US to spend time with his family. He added that thankfully he is often able to take his family along on tour, something that is very important to him.
Hopeful that people will be able to experience the real Taboo through his shows, Taboo said, “With The Black Eyed Peas, there are so many different personalities that you don’t get to gravitate towards one, so for me it isn’t like I have had the chance of allowing people to know me on a one-on-one basis. Now when people come to the Taboo Experience, they get that chance and can say they never knew I was humorous or charismatic or interactive because they can get to know me.”