*Once upon a time there were many great self-contained R&B and funk groups, innovative, immensely popular artists such as Earth, Wind & Fire, War, The Meters, The Commodores, Kool & The Gang, Lakeside, Slave and many others who created a body of work in the 70s and 80s that still thrills audiences today.
ConFunkShun was one of the successful bands in this wave, scoring 25 chart hits between 1976 and their break-up in 1987, including such smash hits as “Ffun,” “Chase Me,” “Electric Lady,” “Baby I’m Hooked” and others-many of which have been liberally sampled by the hip-hop generation.
When the band re-united with lead vocalists/songwriters Michael Cooper and Felton Pilate, after more than two decades apart, they were welcomed back by their fans as they toured nationally to adoring crowds. Not content to ride on their past hits, they began writing and recording new material which they found got great response in concert.
“More Than Love” (out now) is the band’s first new studio album in more than two decades. Their new music finds ConFunkShun as irresistible as ever. Comprised of some of the most soulful, seasoned and respected musicians on the scene, ConFunkShun is: Michael Cooper (Lead vocals, guitar, keys), Felton Pilate (Lead vocals, trombone, keys), EQ/Eric Young (bass), Karl Fuller (trumpet, flugelhorn), KC/Kurt Clayton (keys, vocals), Ron Moton (sax, vocals) and Brian Collier (drums).
“We believe music must invoke emotion and promote body movement,” confesses Michael Cooper. “It should bring smiles and tears and draw people to you. When you perform you want your shows to be talked about positively as people have worked hard for their money and they are spending it to see you. So we work hard to please them.” Felton Pilate adds:
“When our fans hear “More Than Love,”: we want them to experience a sense of familiarity but at the same time we want to deliver to them a dose of refreshing newness.”
“This album was clearly a must do for me,” Michael Cooper confides. “The main reason is simply because we can, we are able and we should. Too often people are falling much too early. We have been blessed to still be playing and loving the music, and to still have fans who are still buying and following our music.
Our love of the music, drive, family and determination has kept us going all these years.” Felton adds, “We have been blessed to work with some amazing producers, songwriters, and arrangers such as Skip Scarborough, Maurice Starr, and Eumir Deodato.
Plus, as a Top 40 band and as studio musicians at Stax and other recording studios, we absorbed all of that great music that not only came before us, but what was being created at that time. We’ve taken all of that and tried put that back into our recordings. Over the years our fans have responded and here we are.”
The challenge for any band with past success is to create new music that will please their already devoted fans but at the same time generate a fresh take on their music that connectswith today’s contemporary audience.
ConFunkShun has been collaborating with P Music Group Inc.’s Marlon McClain. P Music Group, Inc.’s founder, Michael Paran, has been the creative force behind the hit-making second career of R&B icon Charlie Wilson, generating numerous accolades for Wilson including number one records and nine Grammy Award nominations.
“More Than Love” is an exciting chapter in the evolution of ConFunkShun. For over two decades they have found a way into our hearts and ears with their timeless and funky anthems and memorable slow jams. The new album is a testament to their staying power and ability to deliver music that is right on time and in the pocket. Michael Cooper sums up the secret to their success simply: “ConFunkShun is still all about Funk ‘N Love. That’s what we’ve always promoted.”
ConFunkShun – More Than Love (Official Video)