Originally published on Myspace
Conjuring images of smoky
discothèques, groovy roller discos and uninhibited dance-offs, this L.A. producer
with a rich musical background creates undeniable boogie jams.
Los Angeles, Calif.
B. Bravo's cosmic grooves
and talk-box experimentation push the boundaries of funk while spreading the
positive vibes of a far from gone genre. The LA based producer's natural
progression toward intergalactic tunes was partly stimulated by the G-Funk
sound of 90s rap and he continues to be inspired by the forefathers of funk.
Bravo has graced Red Bull's Music Academy and he keeps busy working with
production partner Teeko as well as playing sax and keys in San Francisco band
What drew you to funk music?
I remember going to the
Monterey Jazz Festival when I was a kid in school and Tower of Power were
playing there. The reason they stood out to me was that they were so different
than all the other acts. Everybody was sitting down for the other performances.
They [Tower of Power] were just like this powerhouse and they had this horn
section with a driving beat. Everybody just jumped on their feet and started
dancing. It was an instant reaction, everybody was dancing even like the
security guard. I remember seeing my friend's dad just dancing and smiling. I
was just like "wow what is this? This is crazy." I was like
"what are these sounds?" Just the feeling and the energy they created
was totally different so that was one of my first experiences seeing it live.
Have you played with any of your personal funk
Years ago, back in the Bay
Area, my band Bayonics were playing on KPFA Radio in Berkeley. George Clinton
came in the studio with his bass player named Thumpasauras Rex. We got a chance
to meet George and talk with him, and we ended up jamming all together in the
studio. That was pretty epic; this must have been in probably 2005. It was
pretty crazy, the whole time we were kind of looking at each other like,
"Woah man. This is insane." I remember he had the thickest, manliest
hands I'd ever shook, it was like grabbing on a tree branch or something.
A large part of classic funk and soul music was
related to the struggles of Black America. Did you find it hard to relate to
that growing up?
Myself growing up, I
wasn't necessarily from a poor family. My dad was actually from a really poor
family in Japan, so he basically came to the States with nothing in the late
70s and so through his stories I've known a lot of that- the struggle of making
your own way and being your own man. The area that I grew up in was definitely
working class, but I think it's a universal message. Funk music was originally
made by people in the struggle, whether it would be race, economics or class.
Do you see funk regaining the same relevance it had
in the '70s and '80s?
I mean a lot of people are
like, "Oh you guys are bringing back funk. It's a like dead genre." I
don't really see that. It transcends through a lot of different genres to me. I
don't know whether there's going to be top 40 funk songs or not. I'm not sure
if that's where it's heading, but I don't think that's really the aim. The aim
is to spread the message to people. We're not trying to make pop music. We're
trying to make music that will touch people and uplift people, give them
something they need in the world that they're not really getting from other
You've collaborated with Salva and released music
under his label, how did that happen?
He's the one that really
got me started releasing music as a solo artist. We met at this regular job in
software. This was in about 2007. He hired me to work for him and on my resume
it said I had an interest in music and DJing. We got to talking and we were
listening to each other's music. He was like, "I want to create a label
and release some music; do you want to do something?" So I put together an
EP and that was kind of my first solo release. That's what started everything
for me. He's right here in L.A. so we've been working on stuff together and
that's my main man.