The face of modern funk, Dam-Funk, is our guest this week. Honing his craft for over 30 years, he is known for songs such as “Hood Pass Intact”, “Mirrors”, and his collaboration with Snoop Dogg “Do My Thang”. Recently, he headlined Unity Festival in Toronto.
On this episode, we talked about his new record label “Glydezone”. He also shared his perspective on hip-hop culture after working with artists like Mac Miller, SchoolBoy Q, and Tyler The Creator. Despite all the trends around, Dam-Funk remains true to himself and has been producing songs out of his innate musicality and passion.
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Excerpts from our conversation.
Enjoy other styles but represent one thing, hard
Chedo: You have a new label called “Glydezone”. So tell me about the meaning of the name.
Dam-Funk: Glydezone is an idea rummaging around my mind for years. I used to hit the name up on paper with a marker. First, it used to be without the “y” but it changed to give a different vibe to it. But, Glydezone is more about music that could be any genre. It’s just more about the vibe of it. The zone that makes you feel a certain way. It’s not rock, funk, hip-hop, soul, or jazz. It’s a type of music that is for a certain lifestyle. People who know about can appreciate certain chords… A vibe that just the way we get down. It’s about being with everybody and not just one type of person. It’s definitely a vehicle that I wanted to have for a while to give myself and others that are like minded an outlet to do music other than what I’ve been doing for the last 30 years. Something more from my heart and soul. Cultivated from my mind as opposed to being within someone else’s idea and mind. It’s a respect type of journey to embark on.
Chedo: You talk about not being in boxes and genres. What is like that before 30 years ago where people listen to everything? Or were people always boxed in?
Dam-Funk: People have been experimenting a lot with different music for a while now. Also, don’t get me wrong. I love genres. I am one of the few out here who is not hollering out… “No genre!” That’s corny. It’s good to have a genre.
Chedo: A lot of people do say that. These creatives nowadays, “Oh, I’m no genre.”
Dam-Funk: Exactly! If you like a genre, that’s dope. If you like funk, you like funk. You represent it. If you like hip hop, you represent it. If you like house, it is not illegal and to represent house. You don’t have to be that guy. That is playing safe. That is irritating about this era that we are in. It’s like everybody is in a hustle mode where they are afraid to stand for something. “I’m not gonna lose that. I have the opportunity over there. I’m going to make it ambiguous.” The only reason why I’m talking about that is because Glydezone is just more of a thing where you are representing a certain vibe and lifestyle. I can put out any style of music that I want to. Let’s say I did have something from a tech house background. I guarantee the person who’s doing music on that particular release are gonna be believing in tech house. Just represent. Be who you are. That’s what I try to bring to Glydezone. I’m a funkster. I’m proud to be a funkster. The way I walk, talk and do things is from a funk perspective but I still enjoy other styles.
Do not let some trend change you
Chedo: Any last thoughts? Anything that you want people to know? People who maybe new to your music and your supporters as well.
Dam-Funk: Thank you, everybody, for checking my music. Thank you for having me as well. I’m happy that you are doing your thing out here and giving a platform for people like myself. Like I said, I started doing these in 1988 and I’m still doing it in 2016. I’m still feeling great and feeling hungry. Never thirsty but hungry. I continue to provide people with music from the heart and soul. Not based on marketplace and not based on fads and trends. It’s just about the soul. If you lose that, I feel sorry for you. You gotta keep the soul intact. Remember your family and friends. Remember the experiences you had growing up. Remember what you really are about. Do not let some trend change you and what you are doing in the game right now. Stay focus and progress.