With no shows taking place we’ve had to switch around our weekly music news just a little bit. However we will still be here every Tuesday with a Leicester music update for you in partnership with PPL PRS Ltd.
INTERVIEW: Vijay Mistry
Vijay Mistry is the man behind the 2Funky empire, comprising 2Funky Arts, 2Funky Music Cafe, 2Funky Street Kitchen and Radio2Funky. Since 1997 2Funky has been dedicated to the creative development of artists and diverse communities. As well as their vast range of live events they also run workshops and youth projects. We caught up with Vijay to find out more about their upcoming virtual concert series and also the launch fo Radio2Funky, with the station set to be Leicester’s home of black music & arts.
How has life been for 2Funky since venues closed in March?
Surprisingly very busy still. Although the venues have been closed we have been busy planning & programming from September onwards and our diary is quite full up until Xmas. We are also launching Radio2funky on 95.0fm this Friday 19 June so have been busy programming all the DJs and shows and planning for our soft launch with an official launch for Friday 17 July. Radio2funky will be Leicester’s Black Music & Arts Station aimed at 16-35 year olds. Projects wise we have been adapting some to online and again planning and fundraising for future projects and big plans for 2021.
You’re launching a series of virtual concerts starting this weekend, what can people expect from those?
We have planned to do a series of 12 concerts every Saturday night at 8pm online. If people can’t go out then why can’t they enjoy great live music from the comfort of their home. We have a range of bands covering soul, funk, hip-hop, jazz, ska, motown and plenty more. We put a call out for local bands and with the support of the Arts Council we have been able to pay all the bands more or less what their standard fees are, which was great for all the artists involved.
Tell us a little about the artists you’ve got involved?
We have programmed a range of bands from some of your favourites like King Brasstards & Johnny & The Goodtime Boys, through to ones to watch like Morgan Munroe to the classic Soul Kinda Wonderful.
You recently launched sales for your first event after lockdown is lifted and it sold out within minutes, tell us more about it and will you be announcing similar events?
Yes. With the government announcing that beer gardens can open from July 4th we are extending our venue to open out into the car park and transforming it in to an amazing space with artificial grass, bean bags, decks chairs and great house DJs. The first 3 Saturday events all sold out literally in a matter of minutes, we are now programming and planning the Friday nights and Sunday daytimes, keep an eye out on our socials for updates.
How will the future be different for 2Funky Music Cafe, The 2Funky Lounge and 2Funky Street Kitchen once hospitality re-opens?
Mainly limiting numbers and making sure people adhere to the safety guidelines. Our staff and security will be very strict and hopefully as the laws ease we will increase numbers, we are confident venues will be back open by September and getting back to some kind of normality.
What music have you been listening to during lockdown?
Chilled vibes, including albums from Lavel Jackson, Bobby & Steve, Eric Roberson
Who are some of your favourite local Leicestershire artists?
Jafro & Strizzy Strauss
Where can people find out more about the Virtual Concert Series and Radio2Funky?
Enjoy this week’s best of Leicester playlist! Each week we’ll be pulling together some of our favourites as well as recommendations to highlight some top local talent. This week’s list features the likes of interviewee picks Lloyd Luther and Ho•Fu, plus other great tunes from acts across Leicestershire.
Have a listen and get in touch to tell us which tracks you’re loving.