The city of Birmingham, located in the United Kingdom, has for a while now been synonymous with a particular brand of UK House that blends influences from Garage, Bass, and Tech sounds into one, club-friendly sound. Artists such as Chris Lorenzo have long been associated with the region, but currently a new wave of artists are beginning to make the rounds, blending aggressive club styles with funk-laden melodies. Among these rising artists, is Le Funnk. Growing up in the city, Le Funnk took bugle and drum lessons while in the scouts before being introduced to the infectious sounds of underground dance music. However, it was artists from across the pond that had perhaps the biggest influence on him growing up as a teenager in Europe.
‘From an early age, I heard Chicago House music and fell in love with the sound instantly. Tracks by Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley – ‘ Jack Your Body’…. Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk – ‘Love Can’t Turn Around’… And the late, great Frankie Knuckles and more blew my mind and I couldn’t get enough of the sound and wanted more of it.’
From there, it was a full on self-immersion in to the dance music scene and everything the culture had to offer. As the years wore on, raves in the UK, much like in the US during the 90s, flourished, people from all over the country spent their weekends dancing from dusk until dawn. House music was on the rise, and Jay was ready to experience all it had to offer.
‘My friends and I would travel all over the UK from Friday until Monday just to rave and meet other like-minded people. It was like a secret underground community that only ravers knew about, and of course there’s Ibiza. Space back in the day was nothing short of awesome, raving in the day on the terrace & watching the planes flying in is something I’ll never forget.’
Those days ultimately changed Jay’s life, leading him to pick up production about a decade ago, following the turn of the century. Having spent years listening to the likes of Stonebridge, Frankie Knuckles, Eric Morillo, Marshal Jefferson, and countless other House icons, what had first started as just a hobby, turned in to something a bit more serious after a few short years. Around 2010, Le Funnk became the official moniker, and productions started circulating. After several years of independent releases and bootlegs, labels began to take note of Le Funnk’s work which was quickly picked up for releases on both Pacha and Jungle Funk Recordings with the guidance of some of the scene’s most notorious acts.
‘There are so many great producers around at the present moment, I really like that there is a lot of diversity to choose from. I’m liking a lot of what I’m hearing from old & new producers, It’s awesome for dance music. But I always follow Low Steppa, Lorenzo, & Marc Spence. These 3 are geniuses and are from my city, Birmingham.’
In recent years, Le Funnk has began to leave his mark on the UK House scene, even dabbling in the United States for a gig, something he hopes to make a common occurrence by the end of 2017.
‘I’ve played Egg Club, London three times and each time was superb. Playing on Erick Morillo’s event and making my debut at Ministry Of Sound was another great night… but being flown out to headline an event in America is something that I wont ever forget. It’s every DJs dream to play in America, the original home of House Music. The crowd, promoters & event were awesome.’
While still early in the year, Le Funnk is already having a career year in 2017. His most recent single ‘Pop That Thing’, which was released on Marc Vedo’s Koolwaters Recordings, has charted well in the last few weeks and has proven early on to be a formidable dance floor weapon. Going forward, 2017 holds much of the same in terms of touring and music production, with a few new projects already in the works that we can more than certainly look forward to before the year is out.
‘Gigging abroad and of course making music. I’ve found a new singer Klaudia, who I’m keen to work with and have 2 tracks lined up to do with her. She’s got a great sound & look. I think she will be big soon.. Watch out for her, I think this could be her breakout year.’