Watch Mumbai's first live funk night at a rooftop bar in Bandra tonight
When it comes to nomenclature, many musical genres borrow from words that mean something else. Soul songs, for instance, are called so because they stir up a cauldron of emotions located deep inside the listener. Disco, of course, is meant essentially for a night out at the club.
Funk, on the other hand, is a musical style that has almost wholly appropriated the original word it reportedly gets its name from. The term once mainly implied a strong smell typical of fornication. When singers like James Brown initially started playing the music in the '60s, the sensual bass lines and syncopated chords instantly drew people to gyrate on the dance floor with their partners, leading to sweaty bodies locked in rhythmic unison. Hence the name funk, a word that lends itself today to musical connotations more than anything else.
"You have to use the word 'sex' in your article if you want to define the music," Randolph Correia says to this writer. Correia is curating Mumbai's first live funk night at a rooftop bar in Bandra. Anthony Cammarota, who will be on guitar duties while Dhir Mody will be on percussions at the gig along with Correia, adds, "Sexuality was at the foundation of this music. It is nasty, it is grimy and it denotes the oomph that hits you in the chest."
Correia explains how the genre is an unsung hero. "It's not respected in spite of a lot of hip hop and disco borrowing heavily from the style. Many of the techno and house tracks of the '90s, too, were sampled funk songs. Daft Punk wouldn't have been Daft Punk had it not been for funk. Yet, if you want to upload something on Soundcloud, for example, you don't have the genre slot as an option, and that bothers me."
He continues, "So, when Nevil Timbadia [who runs the Bandra venue] told me, 'I have a free night every Wednesday once a month, would you like to do something with it?' I was like, 'Bro, let's do funk, and let's rock that.'"
Cammarota, an expat from California who's been playing gigs in Mumbai for two months, adds,, "The music needs to be alive for contemporary audiences, and India can put a special flavour to funk. We can make it teekha in a way that can't be done elsewhere."
Today's gig, though, will be more about education than experimentation. Correia, who goes by the moniker Func, reveals, "We want to help people understand where funk stands right now. So, we will begin with a massive electronic set that involves present-day music [think Jamiroquai and Red Hot Chili Peppers] and some future funk. Then we will move on to a special set of classics, which will pay homage to the greats [think James Brown]."
On October 4, 9 pm AT Bonobo, Bandra West. Call 26055050
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