We like music that makes us dance, music that makes us happy, and music that makes us feel all the nice things inside. Chiara Hunter makes some of the funkiest tunes our ears have ever had the pleasure of hearing, tunes that tick all three of those boxes.
Fresh off tour with the pop queen that is Jess Glynne, Chiara sat down with us to chat everything 'Future-funk', her inspirations, and how it was playing packed out venues every night with miss Glynne...
Hey Chiara, thanks for taking the time to talk to us here at Popshade. Can you tell our readers a bit about who you are and what you do?
Sure thing. I’m a musician/songwriter and I’m originally from Australia but I now reside in London. I make music for myself and I also write songs for other people.
You’ve been described as “Future-Funk”, which is possibly the coolest genre name ever. How have you found your sound? What influences it?
Haha, thank you! Well to be honest, the sound kinda found itself. I was very lucky growing up cos I had a dad who had a very eclectic and extensive record collection so from the get go I was listening to and absorbing all different types of music. But down the line my heart gravitated towards anything to do with soul music, funk, r&b.. Stevie Wonder, Prince, Erykah Badu.. the list goes on. So I knew I wanted to make something that reflected those influences. Then when I started working with producers here in London who were making music with more electronic sounds, we started fusing the two together, and voila… we came up with some kinda futuristic funk pop hybrid. Strange Relationships was the first song we wrote where I was like … Ok that’s it, let’s go !
We’re funking about all over the place at Popshade HQ to Hammer (and the EP in general!), is this a taster of what’s to come in 2016?
Definitely. Hammer is a fun one, it felt like a real explosion of joy when I wrote it. I like songs that feel like moments, that are a real expression of a mood or a way I’m feeling. I want to keep exploring this sound, write some big songs, see how far we can take it!
What was the writing process of the EP like? Did it take long?
I think we wrote it over a period of about 6 months. Strange Relationships was first song, and that was really the catalyst for the sound of the EP, so once we had that, the rest came quick. I wrote the whole EP with my friends The Dealer and Bearcubs, both excellent producers in their own right, and we really went in on the sound and had a clear vision for the whole thing.
You’ve just come off tour with the pop superstar that is Jess Glynne, how was that?
Oh my gosh, it was mental. Her fans are amazing.. really receptive and into it. Every night the venues were pretty much packed when I went on. Playing Brixton Academy was insane… It made me want to tour forever.
What gives ya the bigger buzz, playing live or crafting in the studio?
I come from a performing background so that will always be my number one. Nothing makes me happier than being on stage. Writing in the studio is amazing, but in a different way. It’s a slower form of gratification, sometimes it can be a real grind but once you get there and create something you think is special and a real expression of where you’re at, it’s a pretty awesome feeling. But nothing beats being able to get up there and perform that creation for an audience.
Speaking of a Chiara live show, what can peeps expect?
Well, I have an amazing band that I perform with as much as I can, and when we play we try and do something special with the songs. I always love seeing live shows where you can tell an artist and their band has really gone in on the arrangements and making sure that it’s not just a reproduction, but a moment for the audience. Every artist I really admire does that… Erykah, Kendrick, Justin Timberlake. Their live shows are always exciting because you never know where it’s going to go. That’s the real end game for me, and I’m really fortunate that I have creatives around me who help me realise the vision that I have for my live set. It’s getting more exciting every show we play.
We are a pop site, so we have to ask - who is your favourite popstar of all time?
Oh my god. Can I only pick one? Ok… I have so much respect for Justin Timberlake. Not only was he a part of one of the biggest pop groups of all time, one who’s music I was pretty much raised on, but he then transformed into this absolute BEAST of a solo artist. All the way from Justified ’til now, he’s made incredible albums, and been so smart in who he brings on as collaborators, both in the studio and his live shows. Getting Pharrell on his first album was genius. He came out of *NSYNC and could have made some middle of the road, forgettable record and instead he makes Justified, one of the best pop albums of all time. And he is SO good live. Everyone needs to watch the Future Sex / Love Sound show.
What is your earliest musical memory? Was there a point where something “clicked”, and you knew music was what you wanted to do? Or has it just always been there?
I was always surrounded by music as a kid. I think my earliest musical memory is being at kindergarten, and playing these bells they used to have in the classroom. I went home and worked out how to play what I had been playing at school on the bells on our piano. From then on, I bugged my parents for lessons until they relented, and that was kinda it. I can’t remember a time where I didn’t want to do this.
And finally, where can peeps find you?
People can keep up to date on my Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc... just find me @thechiarahunter on all of them!
We'd like to thank Chiara for taking the time to answer these questions!
Have ya started busting out those funky moves yet? Don't worry, we won't tell anyone! Even as we're about to hit publish on this post, we've got a little groove on at Popshade HQ, and we can't wait till Chiara takes over the world with her Future-Funk.
Cop the single HERE. And spread the funk!