“FREEK” funk bassist, Chris FREEKBASS Sherman has been on the funk and jam seen for sometime now and he returns today with the second in a trilogy of singles. This track is called, “Steppin Outta Line” and features an all-star cast of collaborators including GRAMMY award-winning producer Itaal Shur, long-time Snoop Dogg collaborator Lonnie “Meganut Marshall” and Turkuaz vocalist, Sammi Garett.
The song is an over-the-top funk free for all with catchy hooks and foot-stompin groove. The bass liner is killer, and the synth bass is thick.
Naturally FREEK needed a concept to match the monstrous sound, so they dreamt Godzilla /Kaiju homage to give the funk the right flavor. Check out our conversation with FREEK below:
Q&A with Freekbass about the song
How did the song come about?
The initial blueprint for the song came from a beat that my good friend, and former bandmate, J Reynolds sent over to me. From there, I started building the rest of the music, and I sent that along to funk guru, Lonnie "Meganut" Marshall, to check out. Lonnie added in some vocal ideas and lyrics. We decided to have Lonnie fly out to my studio in Cincinnati for a few days, where we worked together more organically. About the same time, I played what we had been working on for my good friend, Itaal Shur, who also just happens to be a Grammy Award winning songwriter and musician/producer. He offered to produce the track, and there you go.
Tell us about your collaborators on this track?
Well, Lonnie co-wrote and sings on the track. He's written songs with everyone from Snoop Dogg to Macy Gray. Producer Itaal Shur, co-wrote and won a Grammy for the song "Smooth" by Santana. Itaal has worked with Maxwell and Jewel, to name a few. As we were recording the track, Itaal suggested that we add a female vocal onto the track. I naturally thought of Sammi Garett, who I'd been working with on some other tunes. Sammi is a member of the Brooklyn-based funk group, Turkuaz, and now also sometimes tours with us.
What do you want people to get from this track?
The lyric "Steppin' Outta Line" was the one that got stuck in my head. It's about not being part of the norm or mediocrity. Don't feel you need to conform to what others think you should be. Be who you want to be! Don't feel confined by society and what's expected. Be radical and just be your yourself!
Q&A with Freekbass about the video
How did the concept come about?
We were brainstorming and listening to the track, and the first thing that grabs you is that big, monster bassline. So the immediate imagery was a huge bass-wielding Freekbass, stomping through the city! The classic Godzilla and Kaiju movies all came to mind, and we knew it had to have dancing...so, it all so came together from there. We wanted it to have an overall retro feel - and as a nod to classic "Freekbass", we brought in my ol' 1-2-3 custom bass.
How long did this video take to shoot?
We had some logistics to deal with, with Lonnie Marshall being in LA, on one coast, and Sammi Garett in NYC, on the other coast. So we actually shot Sammi's part in May, 2018, when she was in Cincinnati for some tour dates. The dancer shoot was shot on same location in June, a month later. We then shot the monster scenes on a closed set in mid-July. And finally, Lonnie filmed his "newscaster" scenes from LA, end of July. So the entire filming took over two months to shoot.
Did you really destroy an entire city?
Yes, we did! ...our ray guns did a real number! (ha!) We had a great set builder, Jim Wilson, build detailed buildings and props, just for the video (important to have in a Kaiju scene).
Anyone you want to shout out for helping make the vid happen?
Yes! Director, Angie Wilson really honed this concept and brought the vision to light.Thank-you, to The American Sign Museum in Cincinnati, who provided a lively backdrop for our town scenes. And to Cheyenne Wright, who created my monster makeover (and is a mean fog-machine operator).
“Be radical. Don’t conform to what others think you should be.” That’s the mantra that inspired FREEKBASS’ latest release, “Steppin Outta Line” released today via Kobalt/AWAL.
The track was written by FREEKBASS and longtime Snoop Dogg & Macy Gray collaborator Lonnie Meganut Marshall. The track was produced by GRAMMY Award winner Itaal Shur and features additional vocals by Turkuaz vocalist Sammi Garett.
The song is an upbeat two stepper with an infectious groove, catchy vocals, and retro synth sounds reminiscent of funk masters like Prince, Parliament Funkadelic, and Zapp.
FREEKBASS comments, “the lyric ‘Steppin Outta Line’ was the one that got stuck in my head. It’s about not being part of the norm or mediocrity. Don’t feel you need to conform to what others think you should be.”
A funk bass master, FREEKBASS is known for his technical virtuosity and dynamic live performances. Legendary funk icon Bootsy Collins calls FREEKBASS "The new Spiritual Warrior for the Funk.”
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