Analytical Interview on a Funk Music Enthusiast
This interview was carried out as a way of enhancing my skills in research and understanding the way in which musicians and their audiences connect through shared identities enhanced by music culture. It was also conducted using a questionnaire where the main area of focus by the interviewee’s musical enthusiasm was funk music. In the interview, there are a number of questions used to understand what drives the person to funk music, the culture it represents, how they relate to it and the influence of the music in their lives (Bayer 50).
This report will therefore highlight the interview contents, present a deep research into the area of focus, funk music and bring forth the reasons why people choose this type of music. Funk music is a genre characterized by drum beats, strong rhythmic baselines, free spirited attitude, rhythmic groove and a free spirited attitude.
Background of funk music
Funk music is developed from different music genres including soul, blues and jazz. These music genres were very popular in 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Funk music was therefore linked African American music styles, more specifically hip hop and was characterized by syncopated bass lines, hard drum beats coupled with other instruments that produce a rhythmic tune that was also aimed at producing a groove.
Similarly, aggressive urban dance characterizes the music (Bayer 51). James Brown was the first composer of funk music in late 1960s and other artists have also composed the music in the ensuing years. They include, Kool and the Gang, Prince, Sly and the Family Stone (Breyley 152). In the 1980’s, Prince added sexual innuendo to funk music resulting in an increase in the number of music enthusiasts.
Favorite Genre of Music and Reasons for This Choice
The interviewee preferred funk music as a research option. This is because of the interviewee’s enthusiasm and connection for funk music based on his love for old school dances. What’s more, the close association of funk to locking soul music traced back to 1970s endears the interview to settle for funk music.
How do you identify it?
Funk music is mainly used as background music for hip hop. It originally emanates from original rhythmic drumbeats and funk music bass lines. However, the difference is that the music has faded over time marginally but is still synonymous with its enthusiasts. Funk music according to the interview is still synonymous with base and special rhythms coupled with saxophones and trumpets. The interviewee also believes that the music does not have a definition but free in the same way hip hop is free.
How did you first become involved with this music?
The interviewee’s first encounter with funk music occurred in a dance studio. Ironically, it was the interviewees first time in the studio and his instant connection with the music reveals deep rooted association and love for funk music. . This is also synonymous with the rush that one could easily experience after erogenous state of mind. Quoting from his utterances, he described the music experience as ‘high and funky’.
Similarly, the link between his first experiences with the music is very synonymous with aggressive urban dance which, is considered as rhythmic, highly embraced and attractive to funk as well as dance enthusiasts (Katz 24).
Describe a show that you have attended
Funk music is closely associated with other music genres including jazz songs and hip hop. The exposure to the music in a show setting is common in a showcase and hip hop battles. The latter involves two or more people who go compete with each lyrically, head to head. The battles also have background beats characterized with drum beats and heavy bass lines that have a rhythmic beat that can be linked with people’s lyrics rhythmically.
Hip hop battles in China are a common phenomenon and are used by musicians to showcase their prowess and lyrical content to their fans. Additionally, the battles are used as a way of showcasing music skills and talents by upcoming artists to their fans.
What kind of Clothing will the artists and audience wear?
As mentioned previously, the interviewee emphasized that funk music is free music and this is applicable to all attitudes including dressing, attitudes and behaviors. Therefore, the dress code for the enthusiasts and artists do not follow any strict dress code but allows people to dress according to their wish. The main clothes worn by artists and audiences when attending funk music shows include suspender trousers, black and white striped shirts and formal hats among others.
The dress code emanates from senior funk music locking artists who traditionally wore the clothes (Hinton 775). Therefore, the music appears to draw parallels in their dress code to traditional senior locking musicians and their way of dressing. This would mean that the music has diehard fans that do not wish to change the originality of the music genre.
Where can you find a show?
As explained earlier, funk music is synonymous with hip hop culture and is free. According to the interviewee, the music is not limited to specific locales or zones and is found everywhere. This means that artists and fans are everywhere and are not limited to specific locations. Some of the places in which funk music shows are held include dance studios, clubs, halls, malls and the streets. However, the main theme is that funk music show can be held anywhere as long as music can be turned on, where artists and fans are present (Meadows 185).
Name a representative artist and his or her most popular song
Many funk artists are popular in the international arena. According to the interviewee, one of the popular funk artists James Brown composed his song in late 1960s. He is popularly known as the Godfather of funk and some of his hit songs include, ‘live in America’, ‘the playback’, and ‘the funky man’.
The interviewee also refers James Brown as a soul singer who is responsible for the first group of funk artists who became very popular for promoting funk music among adoring fans. James is also highly accredited for creation of ‘time of funk’, when the music became very popular and its fan base grew to unprecedented levels during the reign of the Kool and the Gang, Prince, Sly and Family Stone (Breyley 152).
What culture does it connect to? Introduce the culture
The culture of funk music is large, wide spread and free. It connects to the culture of hip hop through breaking, popping and locking. The interviewee also welcomes fans specifically because the music is associated with dance.
How do the culture and the music influence each other?
The effect of funk music on the culture of hip hop is profound and it can be traced back to the origin of hip hop culture. During hip hop initial stages, people would dance to the beat at funk shows. For example, the breaking dance style is considered the ancestor of hip hop and is also a combo to funk music. Hip hop artists also make songs that are danceable to.
Funk music is a genre that is has been in existence for many decades. Its influence in the ensuing years in the music industry has waned but its use in music has been high currently especially in hip hop. Funk music fans have also been loyal to the genre because of its aggressive dance styles and ‘funkiness’. In conclusion, the interviewee summarizes best by stating ‘keep it funky’.
Bayer, Sidney K. ‘The Semiosis of Soul: Michael Jackson’s Use of Popular Music Conventions’. The Journal of Pan African Studies 3, no. 7 (2010): 45-62
Breyley, Gay. ‘Music as a Model for Postmodern Textual Analysis’. New Formations 66 (2009): 144-157.
Hinton, Kaavonia. The Funk Era and Beyond: New Perspectives on Black Popular Culture. African American review 43 4 (2009): 774-776
Katz, Mark. Groove Music: The Art and Culture of the Hip-Hop DJ. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2012.
Meadows, S. Eddie. Blues, Funk, Rhythm and Blues, Soul, Hip Hop, and Rap: A Research and Information Guide. New York, NY: Routledge, 2010.