Zachary Campos - "The title 'Funky MC' serves as a homage to the old-school rap records I love so much. I wear my influences on my sleeve & chose an album name that honors the artists I study on a daily basis." - Stereo Stickman

Zachary Campos “The title ‘Funky MC’ serves as a homage to the old-school rap records I love so much. I wear my influences on my sleeve & chose an album name that honors the artists I study on a daily basis.”


Prior to the launch of his brand new album Funky MC, and to coincide with the release of the teaser single Scorching, we caught an interview with punk-rap artist Zachary Campos, to find out more about his inspiration for and intentions with the project. Here’s the conversation in full.

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Zachary – great to catch up with you, and congrats for the upcoming album! For those who don’t know, how would you describe your current sound?

I would describe my current sound as a mix of 2000’s indie rock, 1970’s punk rock, and 1980’s old-school hip-hop.

Why the album title Funky MC?

The title Funky MC serves as a homage to the old-school rap records I love so much. I love funky hip-hop from artists like the Beastie Boys, Kurtis Blow, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Eric B. & Rakim, Ultramagnetic MC’s, Cold Crush Brothers, and Run-D.M.C. I wear my influences on my sleeve, and I decided to choose an album name that honors the artists I study on a daily basis.

Scorching seemed like a fitting introduction to the new project – what inspired this approach, this fusion of retro punk and old school rap?

The biggest influence for the musical direction of Scorching was the Beastie Boys. For this song, I set out to make a track that I myself would listen to. I would say I succeeded in that goal.

Do you play the guitar on this album, and if so, how long have you been playing, and who are your influences?

The person you hear playing guitar on the record is Tim J Abbott. He also plays bass on all of the tracks. The influences I gave Tim for the guitar sound of this album were the Beastie Boys, the Ramones, and Joy Division.

Was there a conceptual plan with the album, or more of a stylistic and fun intention?

It was a mix of both. The majority of this album was written while I was at a gig for a birthday party. It definitely added to the experience of writing since I felt so creatively inspired. The songs were written in an efficient manner. I wanted to create my dream album in a sense. A mashup of punk rock and old-school rap with a modern day indie twist.
The sound is fairly minimalist – what’s your production set-up, and is this an entirely self-made release?

The process of how this album was made started on my phone. I recorded the demos for Funky MC using my GarageBand app. I then sent them to Josh Zuckermann and Tim J Abbott of Kingdom Voice Productions in Santa Clara, California. About a week or so later I came into the studio and recorded the entire album in a day. Tim played the guitar, I recorded the drums using a keyboard, and both Josh & Tim handled production. It was a very fun and effective process. I returned 2 days later to finish mixing & mastering the album with Tim And Josh. It was an incredible recording experience.

Most of the songs note significantly short runtimes. What was your creative process like, was this a freestyle approach on the mic, or pre-written, and does the short timespan represent anything in particular?

All songs for this record were pre-written. Most of the lyrics come from freestyles I do at my live performances. For example, “I’m feeling great, I believe in fate, and destiny, you heard it straight from me” is something I would definitely say in a freestyle. Songs such as “Traffic” and “Everything” came from my usual writing style of writing as a poem first and song second. The short timespan of the songs is an homage to the Ramones and their first album.

We get hints of connection to a more personal story with the likes of Funky and Everything – how important is authenticity and heartfelt reflection for this project?

I always put my heart into everything I do. The biggest contributing factor to the sincerity in my lyricism is the fact that I’m going to be a dad come this fall. It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me and has made me want to be more honest, not only to the people in my life I love so much, but to myself as well.

What’s your plan of action for the rest of the year, post release?

My plan of action is to be at peace with my spirit, to be good to the ones I love, and to be a great father.

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Find Zachary Campos on Apple, YouTube & Instagram.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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