Record label and magazine Funktasy stands proud as one of Canada’s biggest and most exciting music exports. As a label, Funktasy scouts international and homegrown talent across a spectrum of sounds from electronic dance music to urban, working closely with artists and producers on levelling up into the mainstream.
Funktasy’s magazine channels the same passion establishing itself as a hub for A-list interviews and industry insight across the world of music, fashion and entertainment.
Overseeing Funktasy’s every move from start until finish is director Hoss. A revered producer and DJ himself, Hoss founded Funktasy the label in 2010. Since then, he has brought a wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience across media, production, and events to deliver a 360° approach in how Funktasy supports its artists.
Having had the pleasure of getting to know Hoss and his team as of late, we jumped at the chance to delve deeper with Hoss on the story behind the Funktasy brand.
1.Hey Hoss! Thanks for speaking with us. Can you please tell us a little bit about the Funktasy brand and what projects you’re working on at the moment?
Funktasy is a brand created by and for creators. It’s rooted in our team’s passion for music and entertainment. On the record label side, we have an exciting release schedule for 2024, featuring a mix of house, dance, Hip Hop, and a whole lotta Pop and radio-friendly tracks. In 2023, Funktasy Magazine reached new heights, as we embarked on collaborations with major brands and PR agencies like Urban Rebel PR. Additionally, we’re conducting exclusive interviews with A-list artists from a wide range of music genres.
2.For Funktasy as a label, how do you scout new talent? And what criteria are you looking for in a potential signee?
We’ve been in the industry for over a decade, and this longevity has established us as a household name in the realm of independent record labels. All demo submissions are sent directly to us. Some artists also discover our record label through our magazine, which brings in tons of additional submissions.
The primary criterion when signing new artists is ensuring the organic nature of all musical elements in their music. For legal compliance, we must confirm that any samples used by artists have been cleared. Additionally, we pay close attention to the overall image, presence, and the effort an artist invests in shaping both their sound and brand.
3.What is the biggest lesson that you’ve learned from running a record label?
Patience, LOL! Most artists expect overnight superstardom, but in fact, this is a long journey for most. From mastering the craft to shaping your sound, to promotion, touring, and more… patience is a virtue.
4.You’re a DJ and producer yourself, tell us about your sound? What inspires you? And of course, do you have any upcoming shows that we can check out?
My journey began with the release of my first EP back in 2010. Initially, my sound was quite experimental and a fusion of different elements. In fact, it was the struggle to find a label willing to sign my music that led to the creation of Funktasy!
Over the years, my music and sound have matured alongside me. My inspiration is my life and all its ups and down. As a multi-instrumentalist, producer and DJ, I’ve concentrated on delivering the highest quality of production. Today, I’m very comfortable with the level of quality in my sound which also reflects the sound of Funktasy. Collaborating with many talented artists, I’ve learned to experiment with various styles, spanning from House to reggae to pop.
With the onset of COVID, I temporarily paused DJing, except for the occasional live streams. My focus shifted towards production, the label, and the magazine. However, 2024 promises a change as I plan to get the show rolling, so be on the lookout for my upcoming shows!
5.Music is clearly a huge part of your life, what’s your earliest memory of music? And how did it make you feel?
Music was all that I loved as a hobby and in my time alone. Video games never held my interest, and I didn’t spend much time playing football/soccer with the neighbourhood kids. Instead, I would grab any instrument I came across and create sounds with it. My first instrument was a melodica, a birthday gift from my grandma. I still have it, and to me, it’s like the key that unlocked a lifelong treasure chest of music, memories, happiness and fulfilment.
6.You’re chatting to us all the way from Canada, in your opinion what is the current position of the Canadian electronic music scene? Who are the front runners of the scene either as artists or industry figures?
Canada has consistently shown a deep appreciation for and support of electronic music genres since their emergence. I remember growing up listening to Canadian radio legends like Chris Shepard from Toronto and MC Mario from Montreal. Interestingly, MC Mario is signed to Funktasy, and I’ve had the opportunity to release several tracks with him.
Similarly, Canada has numerous talented artists and industry professionals. Producers and DJs such as Richie Hawtin, deadmau5, and A-Trak, and record labels like Monstercat and, of course, Funktasy, are among the notable front runners in the Canadian electronic music scene.
7.Not stopping there, Funktasy is also an established and successful magazine where you have interviewed top names such as Mark Knight, Cosmic Gate and more. In your experience, what has been the most memorable takeaway from an artist interview?
Every artist we interview offers a unique experience. Initially, we establish a connection with each artist through our conversations and the interview questions we ask, as well as the thorough research we conduct on them prior to the interview. These artists we interview come from all parts of the globe, enabling us to engage in intimate discussions not only about their music but also about their lives, cultures, and the delightful stories they share.
8.For upcoming DJ/producers, media interviews can be a daunting experience. What advice would you share for them from an editorial side?
Know yourself and be yourself!
9.Outside of music, what are your other passions?
I have a deep love for life and animals. I cherish everything around me. I go to bed with happiness and wake up with a smile. My life is filled with wonderful people and a multitude of animals. The incredible positive energy and love I receive from animals is truly special. In addition, I also enjoy the company of good family and friends, tasty food, exploring unique destinations, and living on the edge (at times LOL)
10.Where do you see the Funktasy brand in the next five years? What are you most excited for?
Funktasy is growing rapidly. Years of dedicated work are bringing in results, and the entire Funktasy family is putting in relentless effort to contribute to the music and entertainment industry.
We have ambitious goals, including Canadian Junos and Grammys. Moreover, with Funktasy Magazine we are committed to developing a world-class publication that not only spotlights A-list artists but also supports up-and-coming talent from around the world.
Funktasy can be found on Instagram at @funktasyrecords
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