May 25, 2011
Its time to get funky with one of the hardest working bands in the city. Ladies and gentlemen, TMS had the chance to chat with God Made Me Funky’s legendary Phatt Al about the band’s history, a little bit of Canadian identity and the role of modern technology and advertising in a band’s career. Prepare to be enlightened by one of Toronto’s top party bands.
My name is PHATT Al (People Having A Terrific Time always). I’m the MC for God Made Me Funky and owner of New EmPire Entertainment. God Made Me Funky is Canada’s premier Haus of NuFunk.
How or where did the band get its name?
God Made Me Funky is the name of a Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters tune and totally suited our style, so we had to name the band after that awesome song.
How did the group meet?
The group is comprised of so many different cultures, styles, and people that we could have only met in Toronto. The wonderful thing about Toronto is that you bring your culture to the table and aren’t asked to give it up, but to add to the fabric of the city. That’s what God Made Me Funky is all about. That’s why we’re a quintessentially Canadian band.
Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Beethoven, Prince, Madonna, Iggy Pop, Frank Zappa, Afrika Bambaataa, James Brown, and George Clinton/Bootsy Collins. These artists all embody a uniqueness of spirit and a willingness to explore well beyond their perceived confines. They all represent the funk.
NuFunk is the amalgamation of pop, rock, hip hop, soul, jazz, klezmer, country, you name it! It’s the vibe, culture and style of the human condition.
It’s amazing that we’ve been able to open for such a wonderful and diverse array of artists, such as Kardinal Offishall, Sean Kingston, Julie McKnight, Jully Black, Afrika Bambaataa, Bedouin, and of course George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic. We’ve been so blessed to have a career that has allowed us to play for and with our musical heroes and sheroes!
Playing at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics was so special for us because we had people from every walk of life and every place on the planet in attendance. We got to mingle with the world in Vancouver and show the world that Canada is probably the most beautiful [place] they could be. It was awesome to have people tell us that we were lucky to be in such a nice place, and were wondering if Vancouver and Canada were going to be as nice when the international visitors left. It was with great honour that I was able to tell them that the cool and nice Canadian reception they were receiving was a year-round thing, and who we are as a people. We were proud to be there
Youtube has completely complicated the music and entertainment industry in an absolutely wonderful way. It’s allowed artists to circumvent the outside investment of major label and major corporations and major money. You can be creative again. You can talk directly to your fans without having to clear it with three A&R’s who don’t actually know what it is you’re trying to say. Or you can even have a cute kitten represent your band. Youtube represents the freedom that artists once had to be who they are. Like all technology, it should be used wisely, but not feared.
God Made Me Funky is currently writing the next NuFunk classic and playing live, converting each new venue into a living piece of NuFunktonia. Stay Funky, Fly, and Free! Peace.
For more information on GMMF, check out: www.godmademefunky.com