[EXCLUSIVE] Defunk Talks New Song 'Over The Moon' in iEDM Interview
Defunk is a Canadian star who blends genres with funky beats and sexy bass lines. He has releases on The Funk Hunter's label Westwood, and his sets are bouncey dance parties with the whole crowd smiling.
This year iEDM got to sit down with Logan Shea, aka Defunk, before his set at Electric Forest! Here's what he had to say.
iEDM: So we were so pumped to see you on this year's E-Forest line up. How does it feel to be playing Electric Forest for the first time?
Defunk: Pretty amazing. It's been a dream, definitely one of my top festivals that I've wanted to play ever since I've started producing. And it sort of doesn't really seem real yet actually, very honored to be playing at this festival I've heard really good things. The jubilee stage looks incredible and looks very much my style so I think that's going to be quite an incredible experience and got a lot of new music, and just, generally very excited.
iEDM: Excellent, excellent. Will you get the chance to check out some other producers or musicians here in the Forest this weekend?
Defunk: Gorgon's City is a really cool, House, Deep House act that I want to see. They're definitely up there, then Snails I haven't seen live yet. Who else, who else is still playing...there's tones of smaller artists, up and coming artists that I'm kind of excited to check out. I'm going to hopefully try to make it to as many of those as I can... time permitting, but definitely excited about some of the big artists that don't make it up to Canada as much.
iEDM: You have a fresh new track 'Over the Moon', with Meghan Hamilton. Beautiful track, love the album art. What was working on that like?
Defunk: Great, I graduated ten years now from art school and so it's nice to be able to put some of my skills that I learned in that to use, and I've kind of really started working on a branding, like an image branding for what I do and, so visuals is a big strong component of that, and...just something about the aesthetic that just, kind of stuck with me for this round of singles which is going to compile an EP. And I'm trying to keep it all cohesive so there's this little kind of mystery element to it is below the female faces, and for me, you know I went through a little bit of, well, I went through a breakup about four/five months ago, so, you know there's a lot of emotions and that. The song actually that I sent to Meghan Hamilton, I didn't tell her what to write for lyric wise, she'd actually just kind of gone through a break up as well so it actually was very fitting that the lyrics that she kind of wrote were about getting over somebody, kind of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. So it actually was quite, quite nice and fitting. So it's got a lot of significance, for me and for her.
iEDM: Yeah, it's beautiful, I thought the art was really cool. You've been working with a lot of vocalists lately, tell us about that.
Defunk: Yeah, it's sort of new. I mean, there was always some vocalists that I used to work with back, three or four years ago when I was making music but, really kind of noticed the importance, especially in the world of streaming, Spotify, the importance of making some of your discarded, some of your catalog, to be able to have lyrics people remember, kind of catch on to, and if you play it back, it just helps the song stand out a little bit more, people, are more likely to enjoy it, re listen to that song and I think especially when they're streaming things online, or they're in the car, when there's lyrics that they can connect to and there's just a little bit more of a personal connection there, rather than just putting out bangers that just are purely electronic, which are great, they're great to have for live sets but, I think in terms of actually moving forward with my career, bringing on more vocalists was the next step.
iEDM: We recently did read that you posted 'you want to make music people can listen to in the car too'...
Defunk: Yes, the whole music world, the way people digest music, they don't really buy music anymore. People are borrowing music by streaming services, they're paying for Spotify, then they're putting things in playlists, and so you really have to almost rethink the way that music is being made with the electronic world, you know. It's more popular than ever. I think that's very key to remember if you want people to remember your music and be able to have it stand out, to be able to keep up with, somewhat of the trends and be relevant in that sense.
iEDM: My friends and I have been listening to your music in the car for a while.
Defunk: Nice, well thank you.
iEDM: I love your style of music and discovered you from the Funk Hunters, tell me about your relationship with them. I see you play a lot of shows together.
Defunk: We do, they're really good friends. They're from Vancouver, I'm from Calgary. Two big Canadian cities and the Canadian music festival scene is... amazing, but it's not quite as big as the U.S. scene, so you end up running into each other a lot, especially at the West Coast, there's very...yeah we just end up bumping into each other a lot, and so I met them, I don't know how many years ago, about four/five years ago, they kind of enjoyed some of my music and then we kind of started talking and we eventually worked on a collaboration together. And then, you hang out long enough, you work back and forth, and we became pretty good friends, and now, being part of Westwood, which is run by one half of The Funk Hunters, Nick Middleton...he's kind of brought me onto the team and I'm integrated as part of the family essentially. And so I actually have a new collaboration that I'm going to be playing tonight with Funk Hunters, it's pretty cool, got beautiful female funky vocals on it, so that's pretty exciting, and being part of the Westwood team, they're also promoting and pushing doing shows together, with some of the Westwood artists, so that's something that's quite common now is they're try to pair us up together, sell it as a package which makes sense, I'm happy being part of that crew and it's a very good group of people for sure.
iEDM: Your music seems you have a jazz background, what instruments did you begin with?
Defunk: I actually was a bass player, a bass guitar player...since fourteen or something? I picked up bass guitar and self taught. No real jazz background honestly I think I've just always been extremely passionate and critical with music and how I listen to it and understand it and, I've just been able to get into the writing process, I guess easier than some people, and have been writing music for a while even when I was in a band before I did musical production. I was writing the guitar and the drums and all that kind of thing for the band, so it was just a natural progression for me to get into it and then, just finding, discovering all these new kinds of music and it just, it was inspiring and I think through that I found my own sound of jazz and funk and using some rock in there from my metal days and all that kind of stuff so, very, very exciting.
iEDM: That's an awesome journey to the type of music that you make today.
Defunk: It really is yeah.
iEDM: It really surprises me that you don't have a jazz background.
Defunk: Yeah! I didn't pick up piano until only several years ago, so, yeah all self taught! I don't really know where that jazzy influence came from, it was just how I dissected what I was listening to I think, maybe, just through all the various inspirational sounds and stuff I was taking in, that's just what got regurgitated.
iEDM: The Summer tour dates look great. What upcoming shows are you looking forward to most?
Defunk: So we've got that Summer tour, we've got Shambala obviously is definitely at the top of my list, other than Electric Forest, Shambala's always been one of my favorite places to play. I've got ARISE Festival in Colorado which is gonna be great. I've got some new festivals, Equinox, New Hampshire. And then there, there are a few other American festivals that I haven't played before, Infrasound in Minnesota. And then we're just about to announce a co-headline tour with Marvel Years, in the Fall. So we're gonna be doing the East Coast, I don't actually know how much I can talk about it because we haven't announced it yet, but we're gonna be going into the East and playing some of the places that we don't normally get to play.
iEDM: Details to come.
Defunk: So that's gonna be, that's in September. So that's really exciting, and then just moving forward, we got some things coming up, we're gonna be trying to work on a collaboration for that tour, so that will be really fun, Marvel Years is pretty awesome. And overall it's gonna be a packed Summer, I'm really excited. Busy, busy, busy Summer.
iEDM: Any current projects that you want to talk about?
Defunk: Just, I've still got quite a bit of music that I haven't released, I'm kind of sitting on it and trying to release it slowly. And by the end of, I think by the end of this month or two I'll have another EP that I can put out. Just a lot of edits and remixes and works in progress that are gonna be coming out hopefully the Fall. I'm playing a lot of new stuff during my main set here tonight. I'll probably play some more throwbacks and stuff there, but this is my opportunity to showcase what I'm about right now and I just, have a lot of cool stuff coming, it's gonna be fun. Project wise, yeah just always working on new music so, excited about some of the new stuff for sure.
Thank you Defunk for taking the time to chat with us. Catch him in a city near you HERE.