Dance with Funky Dirt | Sunday Observer

Dance with Funky Dirt

Ridwan Ousman, Murshard Huvais and Shenal Maddumage
Ridwan Ousman, Murshard Huvais and Shenal Maddumage

How did the three of you get attracted to music?

Ridwan, Shenal and I were friends from our school days. We attended Isipathana College, Colombo and we had lots of fun singing during free periods. One day, Shenal came up with a song, and the three of us created a melody for it including a rap part. This made us even more interested in composing songs. This enthusiasm led to us forming a band. Those days half the class was in the band and that was fun. But none of us knew how to produce a song professionally.

But we continued with our music. At the end of our A/Ls, Shenal did his own song as a project, and he got better exposureto music. We had the chance of performing at the school’s ‘Interact Birthday Bash’. Seeing our dedication towards music, Pasan Liyanage who was a senior student in school created his first song for us. Today, he is a popular singer representing the younger generation. ‘Sasara Puraa’ is another song we did at the end of 2008. Leaving school did not stop us from what we were doing.

How did you gain popularity?

At first, we named our band as ‘Max’ but we felt that it was not very catchy or trendy. As we were into hip-hop, we picked the name‘Funky Dirt’replacing the name ‘Max’though it doesn’t convey any meaning at all. Under the new name we released ‘Pissu Kelinnata’. But ‘Ada Ape Thaththa’ is the song that has brought us into the limelight. As a band we introduced a variety of songs which have simple dance steps and lyrics.

What is your musical style?

At the beginning we tried almost every style of music. For a while, we made hip-hop, rap songs. Later on, we created pop songs. Then we switched to a mix of pop and baila. This is the unique ‘Funky Dirt’ style’.

Who writes the lyrics for you?

Shenal handles the music, Ridwan and I do the lyrics.

Who creates the visual concept?

We three create the visual concept after doing the audio tracks. Later, we usually let the video team to do the rest.

What is the song you are going to release this year?

Every year we create four to five songs. But we usually don’t release them all. We only release the songs which touches our hearts the most.Last time we released ‘Kiyaganna Baeri Wu Preme’ which is an exception.It has a very slow tempo when compared with our other songs such as ‘Bus Eke’ and ‘Doppi Nakin’. We have a separate fan base who listen to our fast beat songs and who always expect dance tracks. However, our next song will follow the old ‘Funky Dirt’ style.

People embracewhatever song you release. What is the reason behind it?

Our music style is unique. As we think out of the box it gives us the ideas to create simple, fun type songs. It is all about simple lyrics plus pop mixed baila music which makes you dance.

What are your views on the current musical industry?

In the past, low quality music producers were everywhere and were also popular. With time the quality of music producers conquered the music industry and as a result we hear meaningful creative songs. Today, we hear meaningful music with the combination of EDM and Dubstep music style.This mix is very unique and is embraced by the masses. The artistes who created thisstyle are the ones who created the trend. Sanuka, Ridma are the artistes who experiment with new versions of music while being a good example for the young artistes.

What is the role of rap within a song?

Hip hop is an American style of music. In Sri Lanka there is a pop mixed rap music style. Bhathiya and Santhush, Iraj are the ones who introduced that to Sinhala music. It is something that highlights the melody and gives punch to the song. At the same time a rap should highlight the theme of the song. A rap should go with the flow of the lyrics. Actually, anyone who is into rap music should study it first.

Does featuring an idol in the visual of a song make it famous?

Actually, we cannot say it as such. When we take the song ‘Kuweniye’ as an example,at first it was released as a lyrical song. A massive audience gathered around it and they reacted to it with positive feedback.But some artistes think that an unpopular idol doesn’t make his/ her song reach the audience. Therefore,they use famous people in order to increase their audience. Avisual is not essential to make a song famous. We can reach people just by doing an audio track like the ‘Kuveniye’ song.

Are there peoplewho have copied your songs?

No. No one has copied our songs yet. But we have seen the ones who have followed our trend and we are proud about it. We are proud that we have achieved something.

What kind of comments doyou receive from the audience?

We have both positive and negative feedback. But we are glad to say 90 percent of them are positive comments. We have received positive comments from the senior artistes as well.

The awardsthat you have won?

The song ‘Ada Ape Thaththa’ received the award for the ‘Most Popular Hot and Spicy Video of 2013’, and the award for the ‘Best New Artiste’.

What kind of message would you like to give the youngand upcoming musicians?

Work hard. ‘Funky Dirt’ also had a tough period at the very beginning. There were times that our tracks were not aired by television networks. But we didn’t give up and this took us to the place where we are today. Chase your passion until you get what you want.

Message for the fans?

A new beat is on the way, be prepared to dance.