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Portland Musician Bocha Says, “I Realize How Valuable My Voice Can Actually be in Influencing the Culture of My Community.”

"Growing up in Portland, it’s pretty obvious that my people don’t have much of a voice—let alone much of a presence—in the community at all."

(he/him) | @BochaFromGFE

Has your status as a musician with a platform affected how you look at issues in the community?

Now that I have somewhat of what some would consider a platform, I realize how valuable my voice can actually be in influencing the culture of my community. Growing up in Portland, it's pretty obvious that my people don't have much of a voice—let alone much of a presence—in the community at all. And it's gotten worse due to gentrification, I feel. Having the privilege of opening a creative retail space in Chinatown, Produce Portland, and being able to throw shows and events has given me the opportunity to build a voice for not only myself but my peers as well.

What has been the biggest community resource that has shaped your viewpoints and who you are today?

I'd have to give credit to my team. Gutter Family Entertainment has held me down and sculpted me into the MC I am today. Produce Organic Records is a label I co-founded with Donte Thomas, that we built to pretty much be the Avengers of hip-hop. If it weren't for my team and my family, I would not be who I am or where I am today, and for that I am grateful.