When Tucson MC Zackey Force Funk got a call from Anticon Records Manager Shaun Koplow, he had no idea what would come from it.
Ultimately, Koplow’s interest resulted in the Arizona-based singer getting connected with Thomas Fec – aka Tobacco, of the psychedelic weirdos Black Moth Super Rainbow.
A seemingly perfect match, the pair’s new project, Demon Queen, is an otherworldly, dark-funk classic, fusing fresh Tobacco beats and Zackey’s haunting delivery.
But while making their debut album, Exorcise Tape, the duo quickly found out they had even more in common than they initially realized.
“I’m just really uncomfortable recording in front of people,” Zackey told SoundDiego from his Tucson home. “I’ve been asked to come into the studio before, and I just can’t. And it was funny, because Tobacco told me he was the exact same way. He was the first person I ever met like that. So it was perfect for us to send files back and forth.”
And that’s exactly how Exorcise Tape was constructed. An ex-convict and current jet mechanic, Zackey would take the beats Tobacco sent him from Pennsylvania and work on lyrics during downtime at work. The pair didn’t even meet in person until last year at a show in San Francisco. But Zackey believes their lack of stage time won’t make a difference when Demon Queen plays at the Casbah on Sunday night.
“We’re totally on the same wavelength,” Zackey said. “We just get up there and do our thing. We don’t really put any effects on my vocals or anything. I just grab the house mic and do my best to make the songs sound like they do on the record. He kills the beats, and I just get up there and try.”
Whatever the result, Mr. Force Funk knows that this is just the beginning. While he’s only made music for a few years, it’s made an immeasurable impact on his life.
“There are a lot of crazy things in my past,” Zackey said. “I’ve been in and out of prison, and music is the thing that saved me. Music is my therapy. Swear to God, it saved my life. When I was on house arrest, the streets were so close, and I just couldn’t leave. Then, my brother brought me some beat-making software, and it changed everything. All I wanted to do was make an original and different record with a good artist that was going to be distributed properly. And I’ve done that. But I can’t stop now. It’s become everything to me, and that’s where I am today.”
Blogger Scott McDonald covers music in San Diego for a few different publications and is the editor of Eight24.com