Why THUMP & SOUL Will Save The Music Business From The Industry
We Gotcha Groovin', Gotcha Dancin', Gotcha Feelin' Good!
The GroovaLottos are a powerhouse soul - funk Afrobeat jam band on a mission to make music of the good vibes... for people who want to dance, groove, and feel good. The group has undergone quite the evolution over the last decade. From their origins as a fun bar, party and street band, comprised of veteran touring and session players, into a production team thatyielded a multi-Grammy nominated album (Ask Yo' Mama, 2017), and the creation of their THUMP & SOULsound and movement.
It's 1 am in the morning, and the muffled BOOM of an infectious dance groove can be heard coming from a black truck parked in front of Polyphonic Studios. It's a remix of "BOOM Bu-Cha", the latest track by The GroovaLottos, undergoing the Quality Control Point G stage; "We always check the mix on a bunch of speakers, car speakers being the 7th and last checkpoint," explains drummer/ vibraphonist /composer/ vocalist/ producer, and mix engineer, The ZYG 808. "The Downstreeter Mix of "BOOM Bu-Cha" is ready for mastering.
Recordings like "BOOM Bu-Cha" and the Kwanzaa holiday inspired "7 CANDLES" represents The GroovaLottos reaching into their Afrobeat and Caribbean influences As a band of session players, Musical code switching is a signature aspect of the band, whose styles include soul, rock, jazz, funk, Afro-Latin, Caribbean, Afrobeat, and House Music.
"Music isn't supposed to be about genres; it's supposed to be an emotional experience," said band keyboardist/ composer/ vocalist/ producer/ band director and elder statesman, Mwalim DaPhunkee Professor, "when you hear our music, it's about good vibes... that's what makes it THUMP & SOUL ."
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Mwalim,who started his career in 1984 at the age 16 as a session musician, rose into the roles of multi-award winning songwriter and producer, earning numerous grants and fellowships for music composition. With his son and band drummer, The ZYG 808 following in his music making footsteps, and an acute shortage of commercial-grade recording studios in the area, he opened Polyphonic Studios in 2020 with the assistance of his bandmates, particularly guitarist/ bassist Chuck V., an accomplished recording engineer who is heralded as the independent music industries secret weapon. While opening during a pandemic cut down on clients, Polyphonic became a hot bed for in-house production projects as well as a home for projects by NPR, Harper-Collins, UNICEF, and Penguin Books. This also provided The GroovaLottos with the time and space to cultivate their Thump & Soul sound and production process.
What Makes One A GroovaLotto? Obviously the ability to groove is at the core. One journalist referred to the band as what would happen if The Grateful Dead and Parliament Funkadelic had a a baby, the ability to jam and improvise is essential to being a player in this band. "Not by design, but pretty much everybody who has been in this band had been in the jazz band of their high school."
One result was the album MAMA's HAMPER, the band wanted to re-create the vibe of a Saturday television music in the late 1970's; from morning cartoons, to Soul Train and karate flicks, to evenings dance grooves and the late night, Don Kirshner Rock Concert.
It did not take long for artists of the region to learn about The GroovaLottos sound and facility, leading to them collaborating with regional soul and jazz legend, Chops Turner to produce the Mwalim penned maxi-single, "GET TOGETHER" and Christmas season song, "THIS HOLIDAY WITH YOU".
The top priority of The GroovaLottos can be summed up by a quote from KRS- ONE, "Making funky music is a must." With a top level production facility and production team, a growing list of clients and a full roster of their own projects to release on Polyphonic Studios Records, the sky is the limit for THUMP & SOUL and The GroovaLottos.
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