[ARTIST SPOTLIGHT] The Funk Hunters
By the end of 2018, The Funk Hunters celebrated winning Electronic/Dance Artist of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards and reached number 1 on the Billboard Dance Club Chart with an official remix of U2's "Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way." Not a bad way to close out the year.
The Vancouver duo has cultivated an unmistakable signature sound by creating forward-thinking electronic music that is influenced by old-school soul, funk and hip-hop. This sound has awarded the pair over 600 performances in 16 countries, including major festivals such as Coachella, Burning Man, Osheaga, Shambhala, and Electric Forest. Their music has also amassed over 10 million track streams across their catalogue of remixes and collaborations, including official remixes for Imagine Dragons, Selena Gomez, Big Gigantic, Gramatik, and now U2.
Amid a hectic US tour schedule, the boys had a spare moment to reflect on it all with West Coast EDM.
West Coast EDM: Talk to us a little bit about the original concept for the Typecast album and how the finished product ended up in comparison.
Funk Hunters: When we came up with the Typecast name, I was watching a documentary about an actor trying to break free of years of familiar casting, always being typecast in the same roles. It made me think of the parallels to our music career. Starting from one place, being focused on mostly one genre and coming out of one music community at the time - to now, years later, being inspired by so many different genres and sounds and not wanting to be pigeonholed to any one type of music. So this certainly became a large inspiration for showcasing diversity on the album, collaborating with amazing friends from all different corners of the world and different music scenes, and trying to put our own creative spin on each of these genres to make it cohesively fit together on one album.
West Coast EDM: What was your first reaction when you found out you won Electronic/Dance Artist of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards and how did you celebrate?
Funk Hunters: We weren’t able to attend the awards ceremony as we were on tour, but I remember starting to get texts from friends who were there when it was announced. It was just a really great feeling to be recognized by the more traditional side of the music industry here in Canada. It often feels like electronic music (especially more underground electronic music and DJ culture) has been slow to be recognized by Canada’s music industry, so it feels amazing to see our peers now being nominated for awards like the Juno’s and the WCMAs. And to have one of these on our own shelf now is just more motivation to keep working harder!
West Coast EDM: To who or what do you attribute the inspiration for your unique style?
Funk Hunters: I’d say Shambhala Music Festival in Canada, an event I’ve been a part of since I was 15 or 16 years old, has always been the number one catalyst for jumpstarting our career, giving us the inspiration and drive needed to go out and pave our own way. It was really the first place I ever heard underground electronic music presented on such a grand scale and fun fact, it’s also where the Funk Hunters name was first born.
West Coast EDM: What's been the most unexpected challenge in your careers?
Funk Hunters: I think breaking into new markets can always be daunting for young artists. As two kids from Canada, the idea of breaking into the US or abroad felt kind of overwhelming at first. But slowly and surely we started organizing tours all on our own before we even had agents or managers in different parts of the world like Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and even as far as Brazil. Learning to navigate all of that process - bookings, contracts, work visas, tours, travel - really helped set us up with an amazing core understanding of the ins and outs of our business so that later, when we did start to build a team around our project, we could continue being involved in all the decisions of how and where to tour. It’s been really rewarding to watch all that hard work over the last decade slowly pay off and to see us develop amazing fans in different corners of the globe that we now love returning to each year!