Funk! Passes the Torch to a Crowdfunding Generation

Brian Culbertson’s Funk!.

Brian Culbertson love music, but his crowdfunding efforts for his funk album demonstrate the special passion that he feels for funk. “There’s no other music like it,” he says. “It just makes you feel good, makes you laugh, dance, sing along and pretty much get down.” The album is already recorded and according to Culbertson, “it’s in your face.” That’s a comment that he makes with relish, because funk is, by its very nature, not intended to be subtle. Culbertson calls himself a throwback. What he’s creating is an old school, funkadelic record “in the style of P-Funk meets Prince.” In order to make that happen, he needs crowdfunding support so that independence and creativity are beholden to no record album and can forge a new appreciation for a classic musical sound.

Brian Culbertson’s Funk! Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign.

Making Funk! has led him to call on Indiegogo support for a crowdfunding campaign to raise at least $50,000; backers have donated more than $30,000 so far to help Culbertson with his project. Making a record isn’t cheap, but for Culbertson, who went independent three years ago and relishes his creative freedom, the financial burden is compounded both because there’s not a record label footing the bell and also because the process of actually buying albums in the modern era has changed dramatically.

Culbertson hopes to raise between $50,000 and $100,000 so that he can mix the album, get it mastered and manufactured and then marketed, which will cost approximately $75,000 or more. He’s already paid $75,000 for the initial recording costs, which include paying for the equipment and photo equipment rentals, the musicians and recording engineers, the site fees, hard drives, hair and makeup, airfare and accommodations, Uber rides and car rentals, and meals.

Rewards for campaign supporters include bobblehead dolls; a day in the studio with Culbertson, followed by dinner; VIP passes to the filming of the Funk! Culbertson will write a song for supporters; he’ll come to your house to play piano or your cartoon self will be included in the animated video that is being made.

Brian Culbertson’s Funk Fame.

What exactly is funk? The word itself is derived from the Latin word meaning “to smoke” and showed up in the English language in 1620 but at that time, it was a reference to an odor, not a sound. In the earliest days of the 20th century, the word began showing up in jazz slang as a reference for something that was deeply or strongly felt. It’s a style of music that combines the elements of soul with rhythm and blues. Originating in the late 1960s, funk traces its roots to the African-American musicians who blended jazz, soul, and R&B to create a rhythmic, danceable sound where melody and chord progressing are de-emphasized; drums to the foreground and a bass line played by an electric bassist are the dominant traits of the funk genre of music. Famous masters of funk include the inimitable James Brown, Sly & the Family Stone; LaBelle and Chaka Khan. A style of music known as funk rock is played by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Culbertson’s musical network is impressive. He’s worked with Maurice White, Herb Alpert, Michael McDonald, David Sanborn, Musiq Soulchild, Chris Botti and the late Natalie Cole. His love of music has also led him to found the Napa Valley Jazz Getaway, which is a five-day festival that takes place in the California wine country.

Brian Culbertson Spreads the Funk Message.

In 2007, when he recorded Bringing Back the Funk, he spent $175,000; that amount didn’t include the manufacturing or marketing, but he was on the Universal label and the record company footed the bill. Making a record, and the all-important promotion of the record, isn’t cheap, especially when the musician refuses to compromise quality. Culbertson strives for the highest levels of quality that he can achieve and he won’t sacrifice those lofty goals because his musical integrity won’t permit him to accept anything less than the best. Like any visionary who believes in his cause, Culbertson wants to spread funk all over the world, which requires a strong marketing campaign.

Supporting his album involves more than the financial support that backers are providing. He’s asking the Indiegogo community to spread the message to friends, remembering to ”share” through the Indiegogo share buttons. He also has a certain level of legacy initiative going, as he asks supporters to educate the young about funk. “Let’s get the next generation to carry the torch someday because the world needs this kind of music still.”

Funk is a style of music that Culbertson believes needs to be shared with others. It’s time for the torch to be passed to a new generation of fans who will appreciate this sound and style. Support The Funk and get ready to listen to the sound of Culbertson’s love coming through the speakers.