This week in the Artist Spotlight we have another one of Chicago’s fine Djs. Funky Mack has opened for big name acts such as Morgan Page, Bad Boy Bill, Bartosz Brenes & Alex Gaudino, amongst others. He also played at our event Afterlife 4 not to long ago. We asked him a few questions about his career, read the interview below.
What made you want to start DJing/producing?
Ever since the young years I was always into Music, jamming out to old school tunes and wondering how they were made. Back in the day before I was even 10 years old, we had a Digital Keyboard at my house and I remember always messing with it and trying to come up with all sorts of different beats. It was very interesting to me. When I reached the age of 15, I was able to purchase my very first set of CD Players and that’s where it all started. Learning the tricks and the art of DJing made me only want to progress more into Producing. Made me want to create some of my tunes to express my love for Music!
Who is your biggest influence(s)?
My biggest influence of all time was and still is Robbie Rivera. I remember being in High School sitting around in computer class and always searching for his newest tunes. When I started DJing his Music was always my favorite, I loved it and it only motivated me to do more! Fedde Le Grand & Kaskade were also some of the biggest influences for me. The love for Music they have in so many different ways, making the Music they love & sometimes the underground style/sets/clubs is very motivational for me.
Whats you’re favorite record of all time?
Going to have to say “Tell Me Why” by Supermode. Old school but always a great track. Could never get enough of it. When I started DJing it always played in many of my sets. Was and always will be a great tune for me!
What is your favorite party in Chicago?
My favorite party is probably the MID & Century Room at the MID. I enjoy playing at the Century Room as well, people there always give out a good time & good vibes! Another great party for me would also be at Vertigo Sky Lounge. Love the view and the chill scene at that place. Always enjoy coming out there!
Who do you want to collaborate with?
There is many I’d like to collaborate with, but one main person would be Fedde Le Grand. Love lots of his new tracks, remixes and would love to see what we would be able to produce.
What’s the most embarrassing thing thats happened to you at a show?
Probably a thing that happens to almost every DJ at least once. A little while back while I was playing, the mixer and the CD Players were right next to each other. I was using effects on the mixer and accidentally touched the CUE button on my right CD Player. Not a good thing, Music stopped. You start turning red and hot on the inside and try to bring back the Music fastest possible, very embarrassing.
What do you like to do when you’re not working on music/DJing?
I used to work full time as a Assistant Manager. Had very little time for Music because of that job. This year I quit the job and made music/DJing my career now. So I mainly try to spend the most time I can with Music/DJing. Although, whenever I do have spare time away from studio or DJing, which sometimes can be very little, I’m still constantly a busy guy. I am currently starting a “FM” clothing line which is handled when not working on Music or DJing. Also want to start my own Record Label so doing lots of research on the business side as well, but also like to spend my time relaxing, clearing my mind, hanging out with some friends and sometimes even playing Battlefield 4!
What is your opinion on the current EDM scene?
The current EDM scene is a lot different then it used to be. I remember when I started DJing everything was still so underground and not out there. Now you have people getting into DJing that go just for the fame & not for the love of Music. You have people outside of EDM scene looking at it like it’s some sort of a “DRUG” scene. Everything is different, technology, shows, Music and people! Truly honestly it’s something new for a lot of people, there is gonna be haters and there is gonna be lovers. It’s a different type of Music scene which will bring different type of vibes and feelings just like every other scene of Music does. Do I hate it? No. Honestly I am a Music lover. Love all kinds of Music and respect all kinds of different types of Music. It’s just a factor of other people getting adjusted to it and living the age that we live in and knowing that everything will always change.
What do you think will be the next big thing in EDM?
The next big thing in EDM, I think will be the discovery of lots of new talent. Knowing how the technology has evolved within these few years there is so much new talent that probably without the technology that we have now, would not be created. Lots of newer and younger talent will be coming out. The electronically produced sound will only evolve more and become different year by year. Since the technology is also growing so fast this kind of Music will be the new type of Music everyone in the world will be listening to. Slowly but surely it’s happening as we speak. More shows, more Electronic Music, more talent and newer experience every time.
Is there any upcoming releases/shows we should keep an eye out for?
Have lots of bookings in the works, will also be doing a big show soon in the Chicagoland area. Other then that, my main focus right now is getting lots of my original tracks completed. Have lots of projects I’m going to finish this year. Getting lots of different Remixes together as well and hopefully looking to do a tour outside of Chicago next year. First things first keep a lookout for lots of releases coming soon!