BUDI is the ever-mutating solo act from Nick Dourado, a multi-faceted musician known across the country for his work with a very healthy variety of ensembles, dipping into poppier waters with Century Egg and Special Costello, and covering collaborative spontaneous explorations with EDDY and xxvii. BUDI exists in formations that range from one-man sampler & sax action to bustling large band activity that embody a volatile, different-every-time ethos that’s more about Dourado’s own innate impulses than working within a reified soundworld or adopting a character. Tellingly, the name is a term of endearment his mother has used for him since his birth, a fact that reinforces the project’s playful drive toward innocence. Impish silliness is a welcome part of the exploration, but the work emerges from utmost sincerity. “BUDI is a way to engage with my values: being direct, sharing the joyfulness of music with everyone, exploring and incorporating sounds inspired by the music of the world,” he notes. “It’s an homage to my ancestors in every way.” A collagist by nature, Dourado weaves together samples from his favourite music, over which he sings, plays, or does whatever else strikes him in the moment.

Dourado is quite simply one of Canada’s most active and vibrant young musicians. He’s ubiquitous, politically minded, and performative, and the work he does bursts with vitality. As eclectic as he is thoughtful, he continues to cultivate a practice that embraces a mix of spontaneity, exploration, and tradition in a manner that simultaneously reinforces and reimagines all three said aspects.