An Interview With The British ‘Nu-Eyed Funk’ Group, BARBUDO!
Posted On 26 Jun 2018
Barbudo are a British ‘Nu-eyed funk’ group from the south coast town of Havant, Portsmouth. Fusing elements of old-school funk, psych rock and smooth R&B, brothers Ben and Harry Stanworth, along with Elliot Salter have established an intoxicating sound which oozes charm and flamboyancy.
Taking inspiration from the pioneers of 70’s funk, soul and disco, as well as acts such as Steely Dan, Shuggie Otis and The Isley Brothers, Barbudo have concocted a sound equal parts contemporary with yesteryear’s glow. This unique marriage has given the band the distinct sound that has been winning over audiences across the nation.
Following the success of their last EP Pleasures, released under Pie & Vinyl Records, Barbudo are now ready to unveil their latest single ‘Secret Admirer’. Drenched in funk-fuelled melodies, shimmering vocal harmonies and groove-laden basslines, the single radiates sonic colours. Barbudo have succeeded in capturing the sound of summer , complete with the band’s signature clavinet and playful percussive elements. “We were going go for latin-infused funk vibe, like a blend of Michael Jackson and Santana” explains Ben. Thematically ‘Secret Admirer’ is a tongue in cheek interpretation of having guilty pleasures. “It’s a playful confession of secretly liking something that is deemed ‘uncool’ by most people. You might not publicly admit to liking it, but beyond judging eyes you see it for what it is. Like listening to Coldplay when you are sad…”, reveals Harry.
Barbudo have already received both critical and commercial success, having performed to sold out venues, whilst racking up a number of support slots with internationally renown acts. DIY Magazine editor and record label executives recently chose Barbudo as the winner of ‘Record Store Day Unsigned’ competition for their video ’SXC’, resulting in an EP being pressed to vinyl and sold in stores nationwide.
Barbudo continue to enthrall audiences with their distinguished sound, with ‘Secret Admirer’ currently available worldwide.
Connect With Barbudo Here:
Learn more about Barbudo in the following All Access interview:
So how has 2018 been treating you all? What is one musical goal that you have had for this year and how close are you to reaching it?
Pretty well so far. We’ve released a couple of singles that have gone down well. Our aim is to build on the momentum we picked up last year and to keep gigging, releasing music and widening our fanbase. We also won the unsigned Record Store Day competition and will be releasing a vinyl with them, which is great!
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this group together? Has anything surprised you about it all so far?
Me and Ben had a few songs we had written which were in a similar vein so we thought it would be a good idea to make a shared project.
How difficult was it to come up with your band name? What other names were you considering?
Not hard at all. Barbudo means bearded person. Ben came up with the idea. He has a beard …
How do you think your hometown has influenced the sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group? If you don’t think that it has, why is that?
I wouldn’t say our hometown influences our style really. There’s not much groove in this neck of the woods.
How would you say that Barbudo has grown over the years since you first formed in 2008?
We started in 2015 as a bit of fun. The music was more psychedelic but we decided to funk things up a bit around a year ago.
Let’s talk about your newest single “Secret Admirer.” What was the inspiration for it?
The song has a mixed bag of influences from Santana to Michael Jackson. It wasn’t inspired by a particular event though. It just sort of came about naturally.
When do you hope to release your next collection of music? Why did you decide to release “Secret Admirer” as the first single?
We thought it was a strong single and our best to date. We have plenty more and will have something out after the summer.
Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
We like both. I don’t think we are happier doing one more than the other. Recording and writing is great fun as you get to develop your creative ideas. But performing brings it all to life and you can see peoples reaction, which is nice.
Do you have any upcoming tour dates this summer that you would like to tell our readers about?
We are playing at the Shaklewell Arms 3rd July. Bring your mates.
How do you think being musicians and in this band gives you all the most joy in life today?
It gives us a creative outlet which I think we’d go crazy without.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period? If you don’t think it is, why is that? Would you say that other musicians are making music that has been influenced by this climate?
We have some tongue in cheek songs about the affects on technology on our society. And obviously we write from our personal outlook which is influenced by what goes on in our lives. But overall I guess our band’s approach is more of a dissociation with the overly serious nature of the world. Sometimes you’ve just got to try and have some fun. Its not a new thing though. All artists, to varying degrees, reflect of the environment in which they live.
How important do you think social media has been to this band? Do all you help to maintain all your sites or is one of you more into it all? Or do you rely on your PR/management team to handle it?
We are in control of it all. It’s really useful for sharing our music and info to our fans. But a pain to update!
Who would you love to work with in the future? Who are some of your favorite artists right now? What do you think would be a dream collaboration for this group?
Kanye, George Clinton & Jonathan Rado. Right now we are listening to a lot of Tatsuro Yamashita, La-Z-Eye and Little Beaver.
If you guys were all going to be stranded on a deserted island, what musical item would you want to take with you and why?
Probably a walkman with the Harry Potter audiobooks narrated by Stephen Fry. His voice would be nice company.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
To have some fun on the rock before body your drops.