Maybe it’s the never-ending sunshine, maybe it’s the relentless breeze, but there’s just something about sitting in the car on a cool summer evening, listening to seamless funk tunes that makes the whole world come into focus. Feelings like this are hard enough to bottle, but Montreal born-and-bred DJ and curator Walla P has manages to it somehow with every live event and radio show he hosts. Head honcho at the well-regarded funk staple Voyage Funktastique, Walla P is known for his ongoing love affair with 80’s boogie and funk, and shares fans with similarly minded talents such as DâM-Funk, Onra, and Peanut Butter Wolf.
For today’s MIXED BY, Walla P does not hold back—this sultry and laidback effort weaves rare groove with modern and old-school funk alike. Listen for yourself and be sure to read Walla P’s interview below; just make sure the car’s in park.
The very first vinyl you bought or owned?
I bought O.C. « Word Life » & Showbiz & A.G. « Goodfellas ».
Who or what are your main influences?
A lot of Djs have had a huge influence on me; when I was growing up, it was all about Tony Touch (his famous mixtapes, I’d get bootlegs down at Cell Block). Later on, I’d say that Scott C (The Goods) has played a huge part into me opening myself to different genres. It was also around that time that I was starting to do a lot of sampling, which definitely helped me to broaden my musical spectrum. Another Montreal Dj that has influenced me a lot is Lexis, from Music Is My Sanctuary. Also Professor Groove and Dj Static from WEFUNK Radio. On a global scale, DâM-FunK is at the top of my list, along with Dj Spinna.
How did you start joining forces with Dr. MaD?
I was a huge fan of Dr.MaD, when Alaiz was starting to make a lot of noise in the city. Met him once at a Slum Village concert, and we talked a bit, but it was later when a friend in common made the link up between us, because he knew we both wanted to do a 80’s Boogie Funk/Modern Funk night in Montreal.
Can you recall the context of some of your digging session/spots, local or worldwide?
I can recall an amazing session in Chicago with Buscrates, Dj Chicken George (Austin Boogie Crew), King Hippo, John Simmons, Kid Dragon and GQ. We were all trying to show something for one another, with no competitive purposes. I played all of my digs later on that night, just like the other fellas, and that was quite amazing to be able to do that.
Whenever I’m on tour, my priorities are focused on playing the gigs and digging sessions. I can’t live with the possible fact that I might missed out on a record in a city that I visited (laughs)
I also love going to Cosmos Records (both locations) in Toronto, Kops Records also for 45’s is dope. Heartbeat Vinyl in Paris is a sure shot for rarer records, Betino, and Beers & Records in Montreuil (Paris) is my go-to spot when I arrive in Paris – they got a super selection of Boogie, Funk, Soul, Dub, Hip-Hop (both U.S. and French), and a diversified crafted beers selection. Citybeats in Frankfurt got a bunch of 12′ Boogie Funk selection, European and U.S. press.
Where did your love for music and dj-ing got you on the planet?
I’ve had the opportunity to travel/play in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Toronto, Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Lyon, Marseille, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Cologne, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, Nantes, Montpellier.
Favorite moment/gig during your travels or in Montreal?
In Montreal, I’d say our 1st Piknic Electronik was extremely memorable, along with when we invited Temu and Buscrates to play/perform at Voyage Funktastique.
Abroad, Funkmosphere in Los Angeles was a highlight (back in 2014), the Happy Milf Parties at La Marbrerie (Montreuil/Paris) are always crazy, Frankfurt as well knows how to party and Nantes this year was amazing, where Dj Pharoah played in my opinion the best set I ever heard (selection wise).
Whats coming up for Walla P and Voyage Funktastique?
I just came back from touring Europe for the 4th time, preparing the 2nd vinyl release of the Voyage Funktastique Label, I got a collaboration with the New Era caps coming out shortly, going to Mexico for 2 gigs in June, Festival d’Été de Québec and Piknic Electronik in July, and of course continuing the monthly Voyage Funktastique party at Artgang Plaza.
Interview by Jon