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Around the world in 60 days

The Funk Hunters play the GLC, then hit the road with Chali 2na



My call catches Duncan Smith of the electronic music duo The Funk Hunters in a lineup at the bank.

"It's kind of a crazy day. We're just back from four shows up the mountains (a.k.a. Fernie, Golden, Revelstoke and Banff) and there's a lot of prep work for the shows that are coming up (a.k.a. Whistler, Vancouver and Tofino)," he says.

"And we've got a bunch of meetings. I've just started walking down the street."

The interview continues as Smith heads to his next meeting.

The Vancouver duo has had a fantastic 2015, which promises to leak fantasticness into 2016.

They started touring with iconic rapper of Chali 2na of Jurassic 5 in February, playing dates in the U.S. and performing at the Commodore in Vancouver. There were further shows together in the States and Canada over the summer and fall.

And early in the new year they are headed to Europe with Chali for four weeks, performing in England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Amsterdam, Switzerland and Germany.

In fact, it's a bit of a world tour. From Europe they go straight to Australia and New Zealand, returning home by the end of February.

"It will be a lot of shows in a short period of time. It's pretty exciting," Smith says.

"In the past we've had a more relaxing time on our international tours. This one is actually not going to give us any time to relax. It's pretty insane. But there are a lot of new places for us."

Smith describes Chali as a musician of diverse talents.

"He has collaborated with more artists than any other I've seen. He's extremely open to it," he says.

The Funk Hunters got to know Chali when they approached him to do vocals on a track in 2013. He'd been an inspiration to Smith and Nick Middleton, the other half of the Funk Hunters, for years. Smith started listening to him at the age of 14.

"He said what we were doing was really dope and told us to release it, so we did," Smith says.

"The relationship just warmed from there and then he suggested touring together, and we were, like, absolutely!"The Funk Hunters are also currently working on an EP with Chali.

"We've got a bunch of sketches and tracks in progress... they're a bunch of ideas that have come more from our live show or maybe old songs of his that never really got finished or released," Smith says.

"We've also been working on a lot of original funk music for the shows (coming up)."

He says they've also been writing for other musicians and friends.

"Electronic music is just evolving so much these days, and also moving back to a blend with real instrumentation and soul. We're always inspired," Smith says.

The Funk Hunters are performing a sold-out show at the Garibaldi Lift Company on Saturday, Dec. 19. Doors open at 9:30 p.m.


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