Kwame seems to operate on two levels, either highly exuberant or quite reserved and in some cases quiet. Possibly this is the Funk/Kwame juxtaposition. Nevertheless, I was more than disappointed to say the least to find out his real name wasn’t Frank. He was however an Eastender, so 1 out of 2 wasn’t bad.
East London native Kwame Safo aka Funk Butcher ‘officially’ started his DJing career on pirate radio station Blaze FM some 8 years ago.He then moved to the esteemed underground institution that was Deja Vu FM where he first started his show Houseology 101 in 2007. Kwame’s branding of Houseology 101 was designed to showcase House music and its many facets in a full 360 degree style. The thinking behind this was to create a bridge between the two listenership of what was deemed traditional House music and the new hybrid sound which would later take on the term “UK Funky”. In 2009 Funk moved the Houseology 101 brand to the iconic station Rinse FM, whilst also witnessing the historic awarding of the FM Radio licence to the station. The journey continued in 2014 with Funk joining his new home at Kiss Fresh on Sunday nights.
Funk’s love for Funk as a musical feature, is what has shaped his musical selection. The “Funk” as it were, is defined by Butcher as that innate energy within music which is “what makes people dance”. If it makes your neck move with syncopated finger snaps, chances are what you’re listening to has that Funk in it.
Always careful to classify himself as a DJ/Producer, he is not under any illusions as to what came first. But it is in no means an indication of what he prefers more. Articulating a bounce or skip in his own production has always been a key aim. The progression from DJ to Music Producer was not only a natural one, it was the only one.
Funk Butcher set up his own label Houseology, in 2009, aiming to release House music that captures sounds along the full spectrum of this rich genre whilst also reflecting musically the inner-city House community of London. In the very same year, Funk released on the renowned soulful house label Restless Soul owned by Phil Asher. Also that year Pull Me Close with Shea Soul was released on the newly formed Houseology and was selected for a Ministry Of Sound Compilation CD in 2010. The release of Streets Of Africa on Restless Soul brought about a chance meeting with pioneering UK Garage and Dubstep producer Zed Bias. Zed provided a remix for the Pull Me Close EP and later the two collaborated to release on Loefah’s Swamp 81 imprint under the joint pseudonym Funk Bias. Other collaborations since then have included work with Marcus Nasty, releasing the Nasty Butcher EP on Marcus’ We R Bass imprint. Funk currently also has music forthcoming on Scratcha DVA’s DVA music label.
Funk’s own imprint Houseology itself is going from strength to strength, deciding now to place it roots more firmly within Deep House as a genre. Releases subsequently have been getting widespread radio support from BBC Radio 1, Kiss FM and Rinse FM from esteemed DJs such as Jazzie B, Spoony, Skream, Mosca, Wideboys to name a few all supporting the forward thinking House label and the visionary sound of its label head. Albeit a lover of all music, Funk is definitely having fun with the sound he is currently making and playing. Its reflected in his personality!