Let’s get funky
Take a song sample, transpose the pitch and lay a drum beat over it. For senior Liam Funk, the process of mixing and mastering can take up to several months. It involves modifying songs and combining them together to create a unique piece that is polished to make the final product.
At the age of five, Funk began playing the piano. Just last year, he purchased his first mini keyboard and started making beats in November. Funk spent three years saving up to purchase the keyboard after watching videos about music production on social media. He expanded his musical talents to the harmonica, guitar, ukulele and incorporates the piano into the melody of his music, drums as the main beat and saxophone, organ and flute into the backtrack.
“I had an idea [of what I wanted to do with music], but I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to commit to it because I didn’t realize that producing music had such a large budget,” Funk said. “I was back and forth with the whole music thing, but after getting the keyboard, I plugged it in, started making beats and fell in love with it.”
Funk’s favorite styles of music to mix are trap, a genre made from the formula one-third hip hop, one-third dubstep and one-third strong repetition, and lo-fi, a genre of music that consists of high distortion and mellow sounds.
“I started listening to chill hip-hop beats, and that inspired me to make my own music,” Funk said. “The enjoyment of being able to share my music and receiving feedback from other people is great. I feel like music is the best way to express yourself.”
By uploading to Twitter, SoundCloud and Instagram, Funk’s social media presence has created a platform for promoting his music, establishing a fanbase beyond Walnut High School.
“There was this one time when I was at Costco, and this girl came up to me and was like, ‘Are you Liam?’ She knew me from my beats on Twitter. That was really cool,” Funk said. “It kind of made me realize how well social media works and how small the world we live in is.”
Funk has made beats for his friends’ video blogs and is in the midst of a collaboration with Walnut alumnus, Anthony Robison who will rap over two of Funk’s trap beats that were produced during summer break. Since working with Robison, Funk hopes to collaborate with more rappers and singers.
“If you find a passion for something, and you’re truly committed to it, then you’ll have to fight through the haters and do what you love,” Funk said. “Seeing the growth in my music is what keeps me producing it.”
By Bhalpriya Sandhu, Staff writer
Photo courtesy of Liam Funk