YHP Interviews Makeda Wilson
How are you doing today?
I’m good thank you.
Can you give some background information about yourself? What do you do?
Well I like to describe myself as a writer at one moment and a music journalist at others, so I guess you can combine the two. I first started to make my mark on the Facebook networking site with notes and I’ve just evolved from there. Now I have a blog which documents developments within the UK Funky Movement named exactly that, as well as writing freelance and being co-owner/founder of an online magazine.
You recently started up an online magazine called It’s Alot Magazine, how did that come about? How has it been going so far?
Starting up It’s Alot Magazine really started from feeling restricted with the blog. It was getting traffic but couldn’t be expanded in content due to the title. I wanted somewhere I could combine that information with other elements of the House genre and also the other UK music scenes without having to maintain various different sites and therefore felt the best way to combine them into one place was to start a magazine, following the online concept of blogging.
It’s been going really well. Since we’ve launched, the feedback we get from readers as well as the people featured is always positive, which is a really good feeling. With it being something that we feel still needs a lot of nurturing for its development, it’s good encouragement for our enthusiasm to ensure that we remain innovative and progressive.
You call yourself a funky junkie, how did you get into music especially funky house?
Well I can’t really tell you when I got into music. I was definitely too young to remember though. My mother has tapes of me singing Chaka Khan’s Ain’t Nobody before I could even pronounce the words properly. But Funky now was something I was defiant against when it first started to filter into the circuit. Being heavily into Garage, it was something many friends suggested to me, I even had a friend who was an upcoming DJ at the time make me a personalised CD strictly consisting of tracks that were my kind of flavour, but I’m hard headed and refused to be a follower because of its ‘in thing’ trend.
I weren’t really into Grime and had reverted heavily back into R&B in the Grime stages. It was only after taking a break from raving, following the birth of my son, I went out one night and I was intrigued by the way everyone was screwing up their faces and getting down. It reminded me of my first days on the circuit during adolescence. The following week I copied off a Pioneer CD that me and my boyfriend had been listening to while decorating his flat, but I still weren’t convinced. But the rave I went to following that, Pioneer was on the decks and he played one of my favourite tracks on the CD, there was no turning back. I never even left the dancefloor to relieve myself, I just about went to the bar for a drink and I’ve never been able to look back since.
What is your favourite funky house song/artist at the moment?
OK I need to clear up one thing.... It’s not Funky House. This was something I found out when first getting into the music. Funky House is something you’d find on a Hed Kandi or Pacha compilation and sounds nothing like what you’d get from Crazy Cousinz, Naughty, Geeneus, Fuzzi Logik or any of the other producers. But my favourite track at the moment would have to be Black Coffee – Turn Me On. The song has song magical powers I swear!
What inspires you to do what you do?
WOW!! What inspires me? I just wanted to do something new and innovative that wasn’t already being done. I knew straight away that I wanted to be a part of the movement but I wanted to do something original which I already found enjoyment from and was also beneficial to the scene. As long as what I do remains beneficial to the others within the movement, just doing me will inspire me to continue. When you have a real passion, its inspiration within itself.
What do you like the most about what you do?
Meeting new people mostly, and learning about other people’s experiences within the industry.
Why did you start the blog, what you think people wanted to hear what you had to say?
When I first started the blog last year October, there wasn’t a place people could reference to find out about the music. Nobody knew where they could purchase it either so everybody was reliant on who they knew to get their hands on the music. Tracks were usually identified by sound and anybody on the outside of the movement was left high with curiosity.
I had been writing before hand and had approached a large number of magazines and websites but there was a major stigma against emerging sub genres. This infuriated me because I knew that there was a market for this information, but it was only until I loaded one of my articles onto the Beatport music website that it was confirmed in fact how big the thirst was. Following this I approached the magazines again and searched for blogs, anywhere that provided some kind of information on the music. All I found was my same article, copied and pasted and credited to me. I didn’t really need any more thought about it. The blog site was started as soon as the penny dropped on October 4th 2008 after the hours of 11pm, when I should’ve been going to my bed.
What do you hate seeing in the funky scene?
Hmmm.... there are a few things. The main thing is the lack of quality control. It’s like the stem of most of the negative things, especially the politics. The issues in the scene are all related to quality control in some sense or another. There also seems to be a lack of unity too which I think has a negative effect on the movement. Everyone just wants to eat their cake and not share, which means there’s no sense of community, it’s more like a stock market.
How do you cope with the business and raising a kid?
I don’t! Coping I see as a word that defines a struggle, like a burden. It takes up a large amount of my time as I’m a mother before anything else and in reality, I would be able to dedicate that time on something else, but he was there before the business so with time management and a supportive unit, it all works out in the end. There are some opportunities I have missed out on, but I believe that if there is will, there is a way and having a child just increases my desire to succeed.
The funky scene, where do you see it going?
Boy.... Who knows? This is a frequent topic these days but none of us are able to see the future. The skank tracks have become tired very quickly but are still being produced. Many say they won’t last past Napa, but Napa might make them blow considering the ratio of ages that are flying over to the island this summer. But there’s also commercial interest now so we could be looking at some upcoming top 10 hits. They can also bleed it dry and force it back underground. So there’s a few options, the scenes really split right now so what happens on one side of the scene may not happen on the other. We shall see.....
Who is the king and queen of funky house?
Marcus Nasty is undoubtedly the King of the scene. He’s pushed the scene forward on another level. He’s like the Bob Marley of Reggae or the Bruce Lee of Kung Fu. Straight Ambassador. Pardon me, I do try to be modest, but if you want a Queen of the Funky scene it can only be me. There are many females out there that have pushed the scene forward though, I’m not taking anything away from any of them but if I had to pick one, it would be Angie B. She’s been here from the start but she doesn’t get the respect she deserves for some reason.
What do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
I don’t even know where I see myself in one year let alone 10! I can tell you that I’ll be 35 though so hopefully I will have achieved a lot. Don’t rush life, it can be cut short at any time.
Do you have any musical talent?
I’ve dabbled in a lot of things growing up. I was always in the school choirs and did a few live performances singing and dancing from 5 years old upwards. I’ve also fiddled around with a few instruments. I went from the recorder to the piano to the violin and then steel pans. I was quite good at the piano and violin. I may pick up the violin again one day, I’m a big fan of Vanessa Mae.
Have you got any advice you’d like to impart on Journalists, media personalities or music critics?
Just do you and have your own style. Remain individual and true to yourself.
What should we be expecting from you in the future?
I like to keep my cards close to my chest. This is a saturated market with many plagiarists, but those that need to know are aware and those that aren’t will know when all is revealed. But I can tell you to look out for a new Urban web based TV channel called Champagne Bubblee TV. I’ve been writing the celebrity news for them and will soon actually be presenting it.... So look out for that cause that is coming very soon.
Thank you for your time.