Setting yourself up as a DJ and producer is an expensive business in the digital age, with a whole load of hardware and software needed before you even think about playing or making any music. You could skip the bank breaking costs however, thanks to Funkagenda, the winner of Best Breakthrough DJ at DJmag’s 2009 Best of British Awards, who is offering his full live set up as a prize.
For starters, this means a top-of-the-range 13” Mac Book, complete with Funkagenda stickers and decal, plus the latest version of Ableton Live installed, an Native Instruments Audio 8 Soundcard for the highest quality audio output and an Akai APC 40 midi-controller, “which has a million pads, a million sliders and six million knobs,” Funkagenda explains, perhaps with a mild amount of exaggeration. On top of this, you’ll get a selection of his classic back catalogue.
It follows Funk’s busiest-ever summer where he played at least one festival every weekend throughout July, including all but one of the international Global Gatherings, had gigs at We Love, with appearances on the 12th and 26th September still to come, and played Benicassim, “which was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had,” he says excitedly.
“It’s their equivalent of Glastonbury, it’s so big. I played after Midnight Juggernauts who were really rocky. After they finished there was a 15-minute gap to change equipment so everyone wandered off. I thought it was going to be a disaster but I started really deep, almost chilled out, and people started to come back and back and suddenly there must have been 9,000 people in front of the stage climbing trees, taking up every available bit of space and putting their hands in the air. The music quickly picked up pace!”
It’s the subject of warming a crowd that he’s also touched upon on his cheeky blog and tweets, managing to weave the topic of DJing with premature ejaculation and Sting.
“I’m finding that more and more DJs think that coming on before a headliner and smashing the arse out of it is a great way to win new fans! It’s not. When I used to warm-up, you wouldn’t play any big records, and if you did, it was the mix nobody else played. Someone played before me at a festival a few weeks ago and he finished at 133bpm after playing Swedish House Mafia and Axwell… he was the opening DJ!”
Funk’s biggest achievement of the year, though, has been the launch of his new digital label, Funk Farm, that recently released his own massive single ‘Astana’, with a Threesixty remix, which is followed by Threesixty’s ‘Dominion’ EP on 9th September, then ‘La Bombo’ by Paul Thomas, featuring a Funkagenda mix.
“I play a certain style of music from certain producers, and I’m not seeing them get props anywhere else so the label lets me push people who I think are awesome. I want to get their music out there, so people can enjoy it.”
It’s this ear for an irresistible tune that also drew him to LA at the 52nd Grammys in January, nominated for his part in The Black Eyed Peas ‘The E.N.D’. Despite not winning in his category, he did have an equally memorable experience when — after being in too much of a rush to get one before the show — he tried to half inch a programme from somebody’s seat as a souvenir.
“I was mooching around the seats and saw one a few rows back. After I grabbed it I went to leg it really quickly and as I ran out into the aisle Beyonce was in front of me! I had to stop and say, ‘oops, after you.’”
Making him both extremely generous, and a gentleman.
For your chance to win:
Funkagenda’s 13” Mac Book with Ableton 8.4 installed
Native Instruments Audio 8
Akai APC 40 midi-controller
Answer this question:
Who wrote the original version of ‘Man With The Red Face’ as covered by Mark Knight & Funkagenda?
To enter, please send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name, a contact telephone number and address. The competition closes on 28th September.
Copyright Thrust Publishing Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.djmag.com as the source.