By Sarah Badran
With the weather leaving gloomy droughts over Dallas the ultimate remedy comes in the form of new local sensation Valenti Funk’s new multi instrumental groove to pick us back up. On the brink of debuting his first solo project set to be released June 19, Mr. Funk himself is looking to bring a fresh new sound to Dallas, separate from the award-winning The Effinay’s, whom he still currently tours with. Valenti had the opportunity recently to sit down with me for a one on one, get to know session.
Let’s start with where are you from? How has your background influenced your music?
I was born in Dallas and raised in Irving where I still currently reside. I have traveled a lot and taken influence from everywhere. I like to think I am centralized and have a taste of everything from both coasts. Mostly dirty south, being in Texas period but I am still centralized since I get something from all sides.
Who and what are your biggest musical influences?
Oh my goodness, well Prince first of all then you go to the other greats such as Stevie Wonder, third George Clinton but overall 70’s funk, obscure funk, 80’s synth, country, pop and rock.
How did the name Valenti come to fruition?
Valenti is short for Valentine’s Day which happens to be the day I was born.
Where did your musical journey begin?
In a good ole southern Baptist church as a drummer. My mother played the piano and music was something that was instilled in me at such a young age. Never stopped.
How long have you have you been jamming with The Effinay’s?
3 years now but they have been around 6-7 years. I started as a quick fill in for their past drummer initially that eventually turned into a full time thing. I love it! It’s still another outlet for me to get my music high on, they let me do a lot of writing and what I do now seems like an extension of The Effinay’s as well.
How many instruments do you play and which ones?
Drums, piano, bass guitar. I’m a one man band rhythm section but drums are my main love. I like to keep it funky.
When listening through your tracks I pick up on several different genres of music. How would you describe your musical style on your album?
It’s all different and in a weird way, all ties in. It shows how across the board I am. I do listen to whatever the groove is and it forms all around mood music! I am a cool control freak and I like to have free reign to express what’s going in your my brain.
What are your plans for the year and your new album?
Just doing whatever it takes for everyone to have it or hear it. Book shows and push the album. I want to fill that cubby hole in music that’s empty right now.
Tell me about all the collaborations you had on your album?
Well there’s Big Spook, lead singer on two tracks. My home girl Lala Johnson on another single, she killed it for me as well! I graduated high school together Zach Pohl, who wrote one and sang on the other. I have known all of them for years and kept a mental note of whose styles I liked and when the time presented itself I reached out to them and brought all the forces together.
What has been your favorite moment thus far in your career?
Winning the Dallas Observer Awards in 2013 for “Best Live Act” with The Effinay’s then opening up for Snoop Dogg at the St. Patty’s Day parade after.
What’s your favorite aspect of music, touring, performing?
Recording and performing are therapeutic! Everything I have been thinking about all month I can use music to see it all come to life. I love seeing the reaction people get off of my music and how they groove to it.
What piece of advice could you offer to young people trying to follow the path of a musician?
Don’t stop and know that you can do it even if you are told by family and friends that you can’t do it. Some have been supportive. My classmates knew I was a star since 3rd grade!
What does the future hold for Valenti?
A successful album and being everyone’s go-to guy for when they want the funk!
What is your definition of bringing on the funk?
It’s that groove that makes you inadvertently nod your head, move or make that “stank face!”
Where can our readers keep up with what you have going on?
My website www.valentifunk.com , Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Hopefully some upcoming shows as well!
Multi-instrumentalist and producer Valenti “Funk” Thomas’ official release of his self-titled debut solo album will be Friday, June 19, 2015. Valenti’s debut album is the artist’s first solo endeavor and features an eclectic mix of 11 genre bending songs. The album will be available for purchase through iTunes, Spotify, Pandora and the artist’s website at www.valentifunk.com.