Spotlight: Optimus Funk
— 27 Jun 2018 by Lauren Furey
We sat down with our very own resident master of feel good funk, Adrian Burton aka. Optimus Funk, to get the lowdown on his own musical influences, and what you can expect from his awesome sets at Boxpark Shoreditch.
Tell us who you are and what you do.
I’m Adrian Burton, more commonly known as Optimus Funk. I’m a London based DJ, radio host, and record collector. As the name suggests, I specialise in funk and related styles, both old and new. I’m probably one of the few UK DJs repping modern funk, which has been gaining popularity in parts of Europe and the USA over the past few years.
When did you first realise that you wanted to be a DJ?
Around 2011. I hadn’t really given it any real thought until a DJ friend invited me to play based on my musical knowledge and taste. From there I’ve progressively spent more time learning about music and DJ culture. In any case, it’s always been about sharing a vibe and telling a story through music.
Who are some of your biggest influences in music?
Dâm-Funk, Kon, and DJ Koco - aka. Shimokita.
Have there been any standout moments for you so far?
One of my favourite moments was a last minute set ahead of, house and disco extraordinaire, Bill Brewster at Oslo, Hackney. Probably one of the best sets I’ve ever played. I actually own his book, How To DJ (Properly), and used it as a manual of sorts when I first started out.
What can people expect from your sets at Boxpark Shoreditch?
A rich selection of feel-good classics, cool remixes and underground gems spanning funk, boogie, disco, and house.
Who should everyone be listening to right now?
Most definitely The APX. They’re an outstanding modern funk/boogie duo blowing up in the US right now, following their debut LP, Electrik Funk (The Sleeperz Recordz). Check out the opening track, Sweet Surrender.
I also recommend listening to Ourra for silky smooth Eighties vibes, Will Sessions for James Brown style funk, and Flamingosis for lo-fi hip-hop vibes.
What was the last song you listened to?
Buscrates - You Got Me feat. Laura Benack
What does the rest of 2018 have in store for you?
Aside from DJ sets I’ve got an upcoming guest appearance on Boogie80.com as part of their Crate Diggers show. They’re a great platform for boogie and modern funk, so I’m looking forward to sharing a few records there.
I’ll also be spending more time in the studio in coming months working on funk and disco edits, and a side project exploring video game music and the genres that have influenced it over the years. Keep an eye out for more on that via my website or social pages.
You can follow Optimus Funk online on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.