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Funk seasoned with seasons

BY MCKENNA PAULUS | MARCH 06, 2014 5:00 AM

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For the funk band whysowhite, the ever-changing seasons of Chicago continually shape its sound. Vocalist D-Pop Fantastic said the summers play a huge part in inspiring the band.

“There is nothing more exciting to me than summertime in Chicago, and it’s almost like Chicago starts to come out of its skin,” Fantastic said. “The whole summertime is a party, and I’ve never felt a collective unified love like that.”

Whysowhite will play at 10 p.m. Saturday at the Yacht Club, 13 S. Linn St. Admission is $6.

Summer is not the only season that plays an integral role in whysowhite’s music. Winters in Chicago normally involve strong winds and frigid temperatures, and guitarist Dngr Miller said that weather also played a part in whysowhite’s construction.

“The Chicago winters really force you to be introspective because you have to bear down with what is really important to you, and we really transform in the winters,” Miller said. “Only to be catapulted into our brains as much as we despise the winter, it really adds to our consciousness.”

Since the band formed in the summer of 2010, the members have been busy touring and recording music. Along the way, they have strung together an impressive list of accomplishments, such as opening for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and performing at the North Coast Music Festival.

However, they may have gained the most publicity when they were featured on Jay Z’s website Life + Times.

Vocalist Charlie Moonbeam said the Chicago community helped the band receive the opportunity because of the strong sense of family in the area.

“It was a really cool opportunity for us,” Moonbeam said. “We got that [opportunity] because of the way our community in Chicago has been built — just loving and positive connections with people.”

Whysowhite is a funk band, but many members sing or rap vocals. In the background of most of their songs, groovy guitar riffs and melodic percussion beats catch the ears of many. George Clinton, a funk artist who the band believes is the king of their genre, influences the group’s sound. Fantastic said that opening up for Clinton was one of the band’s best experiences.

“We believe Clinton is a channel for the funk, and he is the captain of this ship,” Fantastic said. “When we opened for Clinton, it felt like funksgiving, because it was around that time, and there’s something about the movement that represents us because of how free it is.”

Live performance have been part of the band’s repertoire since its formation, and Fantastic said being onstage is the only place where he “really feels comfortable anymore.”

More than half the band members have participated in theater, which Moonbeam said prepared whysowhite for performing live music.

“A lot of times, theater felt like a story and an audience, but for us [music] feels like a collective feeling,” he said. “In conveying a groove and energy, and the only way that exists fully is when an audience is involved. There is really no barrier; we are all communicating on the same wavelength.”


MUSIC
whysowhite
When: 10 p.m. Saturday
Where: Yacht Club, 13 S. Linn
Admission: $6


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