Updated: Jan 4, 2020
(WARNING: This might contain sensitive language for young readers. But you'll live.)
Whether watching twitch stream or kicking my old roommate's butt in NFL 2K5 (yes, that game still rocks), I always appreciate great gaming background music. Lately, a "sub-genre love child" of EDM and trip-hop emerged from this style of music. Future Funk is a the latest trip-hop wave that I (HIPSTER alert) have been riding for about four years. Many of my "west coast associates" have put me on to "great sources", and from what I can tell, it is sure to stick around in the EDM circles- maybe perhaps it will show up on late night Adult Swim bumps. But even with this rise in popularity, I have yet to add many specific future funk artists to my list of DJ favorites- well, other than Skylar Spence, Agrume, ev.exi, and HOME.
Well, in flies GaryOAKland, a beatmaker who’s sound graces many ears of Northern California. From test running his first project Part-Time Producer on friends and co-workers, to gaining traction with his latest work through Reddit and @lofivibe on Instagram, GaryOAKland is making small-time, but chill-time waves with his music. With such an early discovery of a certain competitive gamer's next venture, I was sure to catch GaryOAKland for the second edition of The Artist in 10.
Q: Who is GaryOAKland? Who is his "Clark Kent" persona? A: GaryOAKland is a San Francisco based music producer, beat maker, and competitive Super Smash Bros. player. I debuted with some really laid back smooth jazz (kind of lo-fi but not really) in my first album Part-time Producer. In my most recent album, Paint by Numbers, I've really elevated my production by using knowledge I've gained in the last year since the first album, as well as incorporating samples into my tracks for a much more professional feel and sound. Genre is mostly instrumental hip hop, but there are couple tracks in the future funk / house genre as well…..Music is indeed a side gig, though almost all of my nights and weekends are going to the beats….. Clark Kent is in advertising sales at Pinterest here in San Francisco.
Q: Favorite Smash Bros character? A: Amazing question. I've been playing Super Smash Bros. for basically my whole life, and Smash is very near and dear to my heart. I'd say #1 is Melee Fox and #2 is N64 Captain Falcon. The movement is so buttery for both of them. If anyone wants to play I'm always down. I go pretty even with the Power Ranked N64 Smash players in the Bay Area.
Q: Are you planning on any live shows? A: I've been chatting with some other musicians about how to put these on. The stuff is mostly electronic, but I would try to incorporate some live instruments (I play piano and there are keys on most of the tracks). No plans for now but I'll keep everyone posted.
Q: Favorite Cereal?
A: Reese's Puffs. Duh, it's Reese's, for breakfast.
Q: How do you envision your music being enjoyed? A: I see my music as instrumental hip hop, so I'd love if people were writing bars or rapping / singing over it. Obviously I tried to make it stand up on its own, and think it works for chillout music like one of those chill / study / relax Spotify playlists. I have played my tracks at work and have gotten some good feedback! People have said it's good music to work to.
Q: How did this album Paint by Numbers come together, terms of the creative process and personal journey? A: The album came together when I first got into sampling. I started putting together beats using samples and I likened it to one of those old paint by numbers books, like a musical puzzle. After having made all my instruments and loops myself for the first album, it was incredible to be able to use high quality samples to elevate my music and focus on the other aspects like mixing, sound design, and song structure. The first song I put together like this I called "Paint by Numbers", which is the third track on the album.
Q: I assume you're from the bay area, so allow me to send my thoughts and prayers to Dub Nation A: Thank you. [The Golden State Warriors} certainly had a rough last couple games. Props to the Raptors, I'm certainly happy for them in their first championship. Not even that upset that we lost, but prayers are out for KD and Klay to recover quickly and well from their injuries. Games 5 and 6 were stressful as f***.
Q: What would your 13 year old self thinking about the music you make? A: He would be hyped as f***. I started playing in jazz band when I was 13 and that was what really got me passionate about playing and making music. He would be proud of how far I've come, and I think he would agree that the beats are dope.
Q: If tape decks were still around, what 5 songs would automatically get on your mixtape? A: Good Life (Kanye & T-Pain)
Nice For What (Drake)
For The Love (GRiZ & Talib Kweli)
No Role Modelz (J. Cole)
Weekend (Mac Miller & Miguel)
Q: Are you cooler than Jeff Goldblum? A: Dude seems pretty f***ing cool. I'd say it's a tie. Bottom line: GaryOAKland’s debut project, Paint by Numbers, is a blend of rich future funk and neo-jazz. Grab the N64 from our mom’s attic, get out the songwriting notepad, or enjoy a mimosa while out at Atlanta’s Phipps Plaza. It’s a funky breeze in the Saturdays of the future. You can find @gary_oakland on IG; Paint by Numbers - as well as his first project Part-Time Producer - is available on all streaming platforms.
The Best: Sunburnt, Sweet Love, 1100 Credits, Lobos
The So-So: Paint by Numbers, Party With Nardi
The Meh: Green to Blue, The Beginning
9/10 for the first listen
7.5/10 for the deep listen
All GaryOAKland links here: https://linktr.ee/gary_oakland
Llama Ruckus is an aspiring songwriter and producer from Atlanta, Georgia. His primary genre is trip-hop; blends of elements from funk, surf rock, chill hop, blues, synthpop, and psychedelic rock/jazz.