funk music

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Interview: Living Colour’s Doug Wimbish

Posted by funkatop On October - 19 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS


The name of Doug Wimbish may not be familiar to some, but he’s been everywhere. You remember the Sugarhill Gang? He was there. Grandmaster Flash? Spoonie Gee? Tackhead? Living Colour? That’s him.

Doug Wimbish is a true journeyman that has shared the stage with the birth of New York hip hop by supplying bass guitar for the Wood Brass and Steel, many of Sugarhill Gang‘s hits including Apache, Grandmaster Flash‘s big smash hits like The Message and White Lines, and the list goes on for miles.

Mr. Christopher was lucky enough to sit down with Doug and get his full story from the beginning of a bass phenom’s humble beginnings and all the way up to the latest funk rock release Stain from Living Colour. It’s not just an interview, but an entire musical history lesson in funk rock complete with songs decorating the background so that you can travel along this beautiful trip with Mr. Christopher and the celebrated bassist extraordinaire Doug Wimbish. Right here.

Prince Was Murdered – An Interview With Abigail Noel

Posted by funkatop On October - 4 - 2017 78 COMMENTS

Prince and Abigail NoelPREFACE: Please understand that as a journalist, I strive to get the whole story and that I realize that this topic, and in some cases this person, upsets a lot of people. This was not about agreeing or disagreeing with Mrs. Noel. I just wanted to bring you the story.


Prince was murdered. It wasn’t an “accidental overdose”, but completely intentional as planned through a collaboration of Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson, Warner Brothers, and his personal chef, Ray Roberts.

That’s what psychic/intuitive therapist Abigail Noel wants you to understand. And you may ask, just who is her source of information? According to her, she has the most reliable source that there possibly could be. Prince.

You see, Abigail Noel is a psychic, or as she refers to herself, an intuitive therapist, who is receiving her information directly from Prince who has chosen her to share this truth so that he can receive justice for his murder and uncover facts that are getting buried by the media. 

I even asked her directly, why did he choose you of all people? There have to be dozens of people that are very personally close to him that could have easily been the recipient of his messages from the spiritual realm. She only knows the radio hits and isn’t even a hardcore fan. There are people close to the events that could have put the pieces together better than her.

Her answer; Because she is open to receiving messages from the spiritual realm where others are not. She didn’t ask to be chosen and she’s not even receiving any monetary gain from it. So what’s the deal here? What is her end game? And why is she so frigging mean on her Facebook page?  I asked her all of these questions and much more like, you understand that people think you’re crazy, right?  It turns out that she’s well aware of that.

So I sat down and listened for a full 45 minutes with an open mind, because I was curious. I need to hear her take on the information she has, and simply dig for answers. Who killed Prince and why? What evidence does she have to that end? I wasn’t trying to make her look crazy or prove that she’s a fraud. That’s not for me to say.  I just want to hear her story in a fair way, but to play devil’s advocate also. Yeah, there were probably tons more questions I could have asked, but I wanted her story laid out so that you can decide. I also wanted to avoid anything that looked like I was taking sides.

Prince FogAs a massive Prince fanatic, I still want answers about his death. And maybe she has those answers. What probably freaked me out after reviewing was that about 6 minutes into the interview, listening through headphones, I was able to hear a deeper voice in the background that was layered with her own. It kind of freaked me out a little. Maybe you’ll hear it too. But regardless, is she onto something? Do the questions she’s asking need to be answered?

To be clear, I fully believe in the spiritual realm due to some experiences that I personally have gone through that are truly inexplicable. And at the risk of sounding nuts, Prince has also spoken to me, but in a dream. I’m not kidding. He told me to stay the course with Funkatopia and that big things were going to be happening with this website and that he appreciated what I was doing.  It was incredibly vivid. Then I woke up and that was that. It was a dream. Written off.  What’s happening with Abigail Noel is different. It is an ongoing conversation with him in the waking conscious life. But so many people think she is wide eyed and insane. Is she?

Sit back and listen to the unlikely story of Abigail Noel, an “intuitive therapist” who started receiving messages directly from Prince and began giving her details about how he was murdered. Then decide for yourself. More importantly, talk about it in the comment section. I am very curious about what you think. No, really. 

Interview: NPG’s Damon D and Tony M

Posted by funkatop On June - 27 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

DamonD TonyM

Some first came to know of Tony M and Damon D as they danced during Purple Rain through The Time‘s Jungle Love and The Bird on the balcony of the famed First Avenue.  But since they were shrouded in lights and afforded only silhouettes, most wouldn’t know them until Tony M was rapping at spitfire pace during Prince‘s Love Symbol album or on  Diamond and Pearls and as both Damon and Tony would grace the recordings of many a NPG album and end up part of Prince history.

Listen in as Funkatopia‘s Mr. Christopher interviews Damon D as he tells the story of landing that fateful Purple Rain appearance and Prince’s quest for perfection. Then later joined by Tony M as they both share Prince stories and discuss the impending NPG reunion shows and how they feel about being categorized as a tribute band.

EXCLUSIVE LISTEN! PHO’s New Album Two Preview

Posted by funkatop On May - 10 - 2017 3 COMMENTS

PHOalbumFunkatopia is your EXCLUSIVE home of the debut preview launch of PHO‘s new album Two where you get to hear the album two days before its official release.

After being discovered by Prince on Youtube, the band was asked to come to Paisley Park and open for the legendary Larry Graham. The event went so well that Prince took to Twitter and announced “Come back anytime. Just holla.”

The band then began work on their sophomore album Two at Pachyderm Studio in Minnesota under the production of John Davis who has been at the helm of many incredible albums like Fly by Lettuce and Eric Krasno leading to one of the most funkiest collections in years.

Mr. Christopher joined PHO to discuss the new album and more about their journey. Enjoy the interview and the exclusive preview of their full album below.  Click here to pre-Order the album now!

Interview: Tayo of Five Alarm Funk

Posted by funkatop On March - 14 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Five Alarm Funk - Sweat

Mr. Christopher got a chance to sit down with Tayo Branston, drummer and vocalist of Five Alarm Funk.

They discuss their new album Sweat, great funk bands from Canada you need to hear, their big upcoming tour, and what it’s like being a funk band in Vancouver.

Tune into the Soundcloud interview below that also features two tracks from the brand new album!

Interview : Space Orphan – John Wirtz

Posted by funkatop On January - 6 - 2017 2 COMMENTS

space-orphan-shut-up-about-the-sunMr. Christopher interviews one of the winners of Funkatopia’s Best Funk Albums of 2016 , John Wirtz from Space Orphan.

Listen in as they talk about the unusual backward process they have for music creation, but also the reverse process in getting the band together, and the reasoning behind their change-up song structures.

The funk jam band released their debut album to rave reviews and is gaining traction very quickly and making all of the right connections. Visit their website at and pick up their newest award winning album Shut Up About The Sun on Amazon or iTunes.


Interview: FOTDP

Posted by funkatop On September - 14 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Federation of The Disco Pimp
Mr. Christopher interviews Marco from Scottish band Federation Of The Disco Pimp.

The interview is lively and fun as they talk about touring and the future of funk. They’ve been storming the world since 2010 and have already played with Pee Wee Ellis, have an album produced by Joel Hamilton (Lettuce, Elvis Costello, Justin Timberlake), and stolen away the Scottish Culture Award from the Scottish Ballet.

This interview is not to be missed.

Exclusive Interview: Prince Artist Spencer Derry

Posted by funkatop On August - 13 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Prince wearing Spencer Derry artAfter Prince‘s passing, many people reflected on how Prince touched their lives and in many ways Spencer Derry had a lot to be very thankful for.

Spencer Derry‘s artwork was always either sublime and ethereal or erotic in nature, but his work caught the eye of Prince who commissioned Derry to create a series of pieces for him to use to support his then upcoming tour.

Funkatopia sat down with Spencer Derry to get the full story on the email that would forever change his life.


How long have you been a professional artist?

6 years and 8 months

How did Prince come to find you and hire your services?

I was showcasing my Prince art from my pseudonym Twitter account 3rdeyeboy, since January 2013. The band members saw my art in 2013-14, when I posted illustrations and concert posters that I had created. A handful of them were uploaded  or shared by 3rdeyegirl members. I received an email from Paisley Park in April 2014 where Prince had seen my Twitter account and I was the first artist to create a 3rdeye art illustration of Prince that I created it on 7th Jan 2013 and it was my profile image until April 2014.

How involved was Prince in the development process?

I received emails from his assistants relating to my art.  Prince wanted certain artworks that he had seen via email or internet, so I would email illustrations to the team and Prince would decide which ones worked.

Did he have a general idea of what he wanted or did he give you freedom to do what you wanted?

I would say there was about 99% total freedom as I created the art and then emailed it over.  If they liked it, I would receive a reply. The main request I received from Prince was the 3rdeyelens drawing. Prince asked for an afro rather than straight hair- my rough original was created in early 2013, so I had to recreate a second version in April 2014.

Spencer Derry art

Did you ever speak to Prince directly on the phone or was everything pretty much email? 

Everything was through email.

You like to focus a lot of eroticism in your art. Do you feel like that experience translated well into creating the pieces he commissioned you for?

No not really, but perhaps early Prince music involving sexual themes influenced my art.

Prince - Spencer Derry shirtWas there something specific that he indicated he liked about your work or style?

I think he liked my work because he thought the style was striking and original.  I could tune into what Prince wanted through a sixth sense process.

How stressful was it to know that you were creating drawings for Prince?

I was ill the first time I had to create an art commission! I had one day to create it, I think that was stressful; I must have completed three versions until I decided which one worked best. After that I wasn’t stressed as I saw the work as a professional task for a client.

Have you been out in public and seen your work on shirts or other merchandise and how did you feel about it?

I’ve never seen anyone wearing merchandise with the art I created upfront in public, but I saw photos of fans wearing Free Urself and the original 3rdeye Prince shirt on the Internet. I was happy with how the T-shirts looked.  It would have been good to see Prince wearing my artwork on the last ever UK HITNRUN Part II Arena Tour in 2014 but I was ill so didn’t go.

Where were you the first time you saw Prince wearing a shirt with your artwork on it and what thoughts were going through your head?

I was at my desk, I thought I wouldn’t go on the computer until midday.  I knew Prince had just played his first concert arena on 15th May 2014 at Birmingham, LG Arena. I had a vision the night before- a clear image in my mind of Prince walking on stage with my artwork on his tunic.  I was taken aback when I saw the photo highlights from the concert on my alias account. My wife was proud of my achievement, I was amazed.

Have sales of your artwork increased as a result of your involvement with Prince?

Core fans and team members know what I have achieved but I’ve mainly kept in the background. I’ve had commissions from some fans and a musician who worked with Prince.  I don’t sell Prince art to the general public. My surreal and erotic art caters for a niche market at present.

Spencer Derry artwork - Large - In ConcertWhere were you when you heard about his death and how did it make you feel?

I was finishing my art for the day, my wife got a text from a friend.  I felt stunned and nostalgic.

Are cool/funny stories relating to Prince that you can share? Like any one-on-one conversations, specific requests he made to changing the artwork that made you scratch your head, etc?

I had drawn an illustration of Prince with Wendy and Lisa in January 2013 and I remember posting it that day on social media.  Prince was playing a concert at Dakota Jazz Club that night. A fan tweeted me and said, “It’s Windy and Lisa”.  The next day I heard the soundboard of the track ‘Chapter and Verse’  and Prince said “It’s Windy outside, it’s Windy and Lisa outside” and the crowd laughed.

I stopped the 3rdeyeboy, Twitter and FB accounts because I was burnt out after three years of posting news, art and also because some fans thought I was Prince – I received naked photographs from female fans, which I didn’t mind but my wife saw these and told me to stop.

And if there are any links to galleries, books or merchandise you can share for fans who want to know more about your work? 

IfMusicology_Poster fans want to follow my social media links- I mainly post links to artworks of adult surreal erotic art, but will sometime tweet about Prince.

New Bit 2017
Spencer’s art illustration, owned by Prince, was published on the recent ‘Official Paisley Park Musicology 2017 poster’ An event held at Paisley Park on 31 Aug – 3 Sept 2017.
3rdeyeboy Facebook Page 

Exclusive Interview: Electrophazz

Posted by funkatop On June - 12 - 2016 1 COMMENT

Here’s a band you’ve never heard of that is more amazing than you could possibly believe. Electrophazz is literally a hybrid of the best funk jazz projects all rolled into one,

Take the funky light jazz funk inflections of Brand New Heavies and the intricate song structures of Snarky Puppy and you end up with the phenomenon that is Electrophazz.

The band just released their latest EP this year titled Summer In Your Eyes and you can check the track below. But this isn’t their first submission into the music ether. Their first album Made in Phazz – Trip 1 came out in 2010 as well as the follow up Growing Strong in 2015.

Their popularity overseas in very palpable but in the states, they have yet to scratch the surface.  This time around, they believe they have the perfect recipe and we think they’re right,

So Funkatopia’s Mr. Christopher sat down with their MC Kevin from Detroit and drummer Tim Campanella to chat about their tour, music overseas, Kevin’s move from Detroit to Paris, and tons more. Check this exclusive interview and get ready to have a new favorite band.

Exclusive Interview: Wang Chung’s Jack Hues

Posted by funkatop On May - 3 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

A great band that has always been sorely overlooked over the years was Wang Chung. Beyond Everybody Have Fun Tonight (Everybody Wang Chung Tonight), Dance Hall Days and Let’s Go, Wang Chung suffered at the hands of pop radio and their hits were all anyone had heard.

A deep dive into their catalog of the same albums that housed those hits, you would find some amazing songs that were wonderfully crafted and way better than what people were actually hearing all the way up to their previous release Tazer Up just released a few years ago.

Wang Chung lead singer Jack Hues sat down with Funkatopia’s Mr. Christopher to chat about the loss of PrinceDavid Bowie and how it affected him emotionally. He also delves into his new project Jack Hues & The Quartet as we dissect the 6 song adventure that is available now as we speak.

Enjoy this exclusive Funkatopia interview and learn about the crafting of an album from a living 80’s legend that is still putting out music with Wang Chung and his new project.