What happens when a songwriter and Hip Hop artist from France puts together one of the most bad ass funk bands Canada has seen yet?
Meet Ron Littlejohn & The Funk Embassy.
This project was initiated when Thierry Matrat started the Funk Embassy project in 2009. His intent was to create soul/funk songs for rappers.
Eventually he changed focused and decided it was time to hire some of the best musicians and singers Toronto and Montreal had to offer. Where did he turn?
Ron Littlejohn has a long history in the Toronto soul and funk scene as part of the group Planet Earth. It took 5 seconds of Ron’s music to convince Thierry he had found his ideal vocalist.
Let me introduce the members of the band: Ron Littlejohn (vocals, lyrics), Alana Bridgewater (vocals), Dwight Chase (drums), Joe Hackl (guitar), Olivier Babaz (bass), Moise Matey (percussions), Kevin Turcotte (trumpet), and Thierry Matrat (keyboards, songwriter, producer).
Additional contributing musicians include Guillaume Larouche (flute), Etienne Lebel (trombone), Steve Donald (trombone), Glenn Crosse (solo guitar and video production), DJ Mana (turntables), DJ Horg (turntables), and Obed Jose (graphic arts, animated movies).
- Ron Littlejohn (singer, songwriter) has opened for James Brown, Maceo Parker, Bettye Lavette, KOS, Holly Cole, and War during his career.
- Thierry Matrat (songwriter, keyboards) has opened for Warren G and The Roots and is the original member of the Funk Embassy.
- Kevin Turcotte has recorded and toured with Time Warp, The Mike Murley Quartet, Rob McConnell, and a list of Who’s Who that keeps on going…
- Olivier Babaz (bass) has played across many countries including Montreal Francofolies and Jazz Festival, Sakifo Music Festival (Reunion Island), Jazz In Marciac (France), Angeradona (Madagascar), Jazz a Port-Au-Prince (Haiti), Milatsika Festival (Mayotte), New Morning (Paris, France).
- Alana Bridgewater was the voice of the 2008 Olympic Bid. She received a nomination for a Gemini Award in 2007. She also has a recurring role on Nick Jr.’s Dino Dan and she played the role of Killer Queen in the Toronto production of “We Will Rock You”.
The group won the 2012 International Songwriting Competition in the dance/electronica category for their song ‘Unity’.
Shining On (the new album) will be released soon. Visit the band’s website for the latest news.
Staying true to the classic funk vibrations of James Brown and the soul of Marvin Gaye and Issac Hayes, The Funk Embassy has created an authentic yet modern sound that will takes us back as much as it moves us forward.
DJ Mana and DJ Horg come in to ice this cake with ill turntablist skills on ‘Soul Devotion’, ‘The Village’, ‘Cream #9’, and ‘Unity’. This fusion of Thierry’s Hip Hop background with his love for funk and soul adds a depth to the project you will not find anywhere else.
The record was produced by Thierry. It was mixed by Jason Steidman at Number 9 Studios in Toronto and Karl de Serres at Saint-Phonic Studios in Montreal.
Steve Corrao at Sage Audio in Nashville mastered the album; except for ‘Shining On’ which was mastered by Glenn Crosse in Toronto).