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

Taboo attends the will.i.am hosted third annual TRANS4M concert benefitting the i.am.angel Foundation
Getty Images

Black Eyed Peas’ founding member Taboo is ready to drive his own destiny. As a member of BEP he’s sold out arenas, topped the charts and attained platinum plaques. But now, for his first solo album, he’s gone independent. And one thing's for sure: his infectious first single, "Zumbao," will make you want to dance. Here, the Mexican American rapper/b-boy talks about his new music, fatherhood, EDM, and The Smurfs Los Pitufos

“Zumbao” is a very energetic summer song. It sounds like you had fun making the song and filming the video.

The song is a funny record, its all about having fun. It’s about being infected by positive energy. I wasn’t trying to change the world with this song and I wasn’t trying to write, “We Are the World” or “Man in the Mirror.” I wanted to show you my fun side. First of all, a lot of people thought that I was Asian or Filipino, but I’m Mexican and I grew up watching Chavo del Ocho and Los Pitufos, not the Smurfs, but Pitufos! I grew up with Juan Gabriel, Marco Antonio Solis, Sabado Gigante, and Don Francisco. I grew up with those people that I mention in the song. I wanted to give a shout out to my childhood and let the people that don’t think I’m Latino that these are the people that influenced me. I could have went on and on and shouted out Cantiflas, Celia Cruz and all the people from different Latin American countries, but I wanted to make sure that I made something fun and playful.

What are the origins of the word zumbao?

Zumbao is a word that is not commonly used in mainstream America or even mainstream Latino America. For me, I needed a word that describes me as a performer, as an artist and that is just me wilding out and being crazy. I’m Zumbao. I’m the King of Zumbao. When it comes to being on stage, I might be on stage one minute and the next minute I might be in the audience, dancing and lifting people’s spirits. That’s what I wanted to represent. The beat is infectious and it’s an EDM beat produced by DJ Ammo. The Brazilian break was me paying homage to the World Cup because if I could get this record to be the World Cup anthem then this shit is Zumbao. I’m definitely still keeping my fingers crossed that somehow it reaches some important figure in the World Cup and they just get infected by it and make it be part of the World Cup.

Talk to me about this hashtag: #GomezClan #MDW #FamilyStyles.

My name is Gómez, that’s my last name. MDW is Memorial Day weekend. Everything is styles. Yo, that Latina interview, that was fun styles or those sneakers are dope styles, those are Jordan styles. For my family, it’s our inside joke, everything has styles in it. Like Zumbao; Zumbao is my new word that I’m using all over the world. Every time I travel and people say something, I say “that’s Zumbao” or it could be “right now, I’m feeling Zumbao.” It could be anything. Zumbao could be good or bad and that’s why I said “Alex Rodriguez esta Zumbao” because of the steroid situation. I wanted it to be that no matter people’s perceptions of individuals, just keep it fun and light and lets use a word that isn’t incriminating anybody, but it’s a fun way of saying “you’ve got a little bit of Zumbao in you, you’re a little wild and crazy.” That’s how I want to live life, being respectful and just appreciating everybody for what they do, por las buenas y las malas. As long as you’re having fun and being positive and progressive, I’m going to say you’re living a Zumbao lifestyle.