Funkmata – Is It True? & Realpayback

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The effortless uplift of “Is It True?”, the first of Funkmata’s two most recent singles, starts off with an understated flourish before locking into a groove that will sustain the entirety of the tune. The vocals are obviously given prominence in the song’s mix, but never too much at the expense of the backing track – none of the instruments attempt competing for the same prominence in the mix of “Is It True?”, but they nonetheless ably support singer/songwriter Robert Bannerman’s vocals while still ferreting out chances for the instruments to briefly shine. This is a song focused, primarily, on composition rather than individual performances.

Bannerman’s vocal has a conversational sound for much of “Is It True?”, but it’s sweetened by some upbeat backing vocals that bring a jovial mood to an otherwise not so jovial lyric. The sense of “Is It True?” is that, in the end, the narrator will find his way through any of the hurdles life throws down in his path and endure despite the trouble. This is well in keeping with Bannerman and producer Roy C’s ambition that Funkmata’s music serves as therapeutic entertaining for troubled times and never smacks of pretension. Instead, this is fully realized entertainment with a level of intelligence seldom touched on in popular music today. It’s cut to an ideal length, as well, and certain to appeal to a cross section of the music buying public.
“Realpayback” is an instrumental and, perhaps as a result of that choice, a much richer musical experience than what “Is It True?” ever claims to purports to be.

There’s a lot of good natured dueling running through this song. The players Funkmata has recruited to bring these two songs to life have an apparently innate understanding of what Bannerman and Roy C’s music requires and sharing the same frame of reference musically allows them the latitutde to express themselves fluently while still paying due respect and deference to Funkmata’s aims with each track. The guitar playing is particularly stunning with this cut, invoking every bit of the soul and funk influences shaping Funkmata’s musical identity, but the bass playing on “Realpayback” is truly exceptional – snaking it way through the arrangement with a level of fluidity and rhythmic excellence we don’t often hear these days from such work.

Funkmata wants to bring African musical talents to a global stage and this act, hailing from Ghana, definitely fits the bill for such an ambition. Their musical talents are, in no way, affected by borders or hemispheres and, instead, boast the sort of global accessibility you’ll have to possess if you hope your music reaches a worldwide audience. “Is It True?” and “Realpayback” are songs with the fundamentals mastered, but they are something more – uniquely personal and heartfelt performances from top notch musicians with polished production making everything all the much better. Funkmata’s name and renown will only continue spreading from this point forward and we can look forward to their first full length release with a great deal of anticipation.

Music of Funkmata on I-TUNES: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/funkmata/203285419

Michael Rand

FUNKMATA’s music has been heard all over the world due to the radio plugging services offered by Musik Radio Promotions. Learn more – https://musikandfilm.com/

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