We'd love to collaborate with Anoushka Shankar, Swarthy Korwar and Delhi Sultanate: Brooklyn Funk Essential

Ahead of Brooklyn Funk Essential’s first-ever performance in India, we ask them what’s in store for the Indian audience and who from Indian music community would they like to collaborate

Heena Khandelwal Published :  07th November 2019 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  07th November 2019 12:00 AM

Brooklyn Funk Essential

It was in 1993 that record producer Arthur Baker and bassist and musical director Lati Kronlund conceived Brooklyn Funk Essential. The band would perform an exciting mix of jazz, funk, hip-hop and soon became a solid part of the New York City club scene, which would see musicians, singers, poets and DJs perform and mix up their styles. Twenty-six years later, the band continued to remain relevant in an ever-changing music scene and has released a new album, Stay Good, with which they are touring various parts of the world including India where they will be performing at Mahindra Open Drive, a two-day destination festival in Goa. 

For their first-ever performance in India, the band will be performing a selection of old hits, party jams from their latest album and happy dance tracks. “It will be great to be coming to India to experience the Indian audiences, (who are) famous for giving a good party vibe,” says the band in an email interaction with Indulge Express. When asked to name Indian artists they would like to collaborate, the band said, “We are very excited to share the stage with all India's most soulful and versatile artists namely Raghu Dixit and Nikhil D'Souza. There are so many people but on top of our list are artists like Anoushka Shankar, Swarthy Korwar and Delhi Sultanate if we get a chance in the future.”

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What makes this 26-year-old band interesting to watch at the festival is its approach towards music, which goes beyond genres and labels. When asked if they can define their songbook, the band says, “Perhaps Eclectic Funk would be the aptest moniker. Funk Is What You Make It - is one of our tag-lines, meaning that there is no such thing as a rule book for what funk is supposed to be. It’s not strictly P-funk, or James Brown type grooves, or the punk-funk of people like Rick James and Prince. It is all of this and so much more. It can be anything, so long as it has a bit of a funny smell and feels sexy and make you want to dance…” 

The diversity also comes from the fact that it has always consisted of people from different parts of the world (New York, New Orleans, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Sweden, etc) bringing a variety of cultural influences. “Since it was important for everyone to be heard for who they were, the mixing of styles became a natural thing. It was also because many of us listened to a lot of different types of music, that it was natural for us to mix it up in our music,” adds the band. Their approach also translates in other spheres, for instance how it allows everyone to shine equally. “The all-star quality comes naturally to us because everybody is a very strong performer and besides that, they respect each other’s talent and share the spotlight. This is one of the most important aspects of who we are. We believe in a society where everyone is equally as important.”

On November 8-9. At Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium, Taleigao.