Too Funky humming along <font size=1>(+video)</font>
Wellington's hottest young musicians are barely old enough to drive, but they have raced through the year scooping up awards left, right and centre.
Music video: 'Hazard' by Too Funky
Kapiti College students Anthony Feauanati-Deadman, Tommy Delahunty, Isaac Simmonds, Shaan Singh, all 15, and Douggie Coombs, 14, are the members of Too Funky, who have gone from strength to strength since the band formed three years ago.
The band's success this year began when they won third place and the People's Choice award at the Wellington Smokefree Rockquest finals – the same awards they won at last year's regional finals.
Soon afterwards, they made it to the final three in Nickelodeon's Nick Rocks competition, and had their video played on the young people's television channel.
Their string of awards continued when they won Television New Zealand's Studio 2 "Big Break" competition for their song Hazard – their prize was to have a film crew and director come from Auckland to produce a music video for the track.
The chance to meet and work with the experienced crew taught them a lot about the production side of being in a band.
"Making the music video was really fun. The guys were really professional and told us what to do," Shaan said.
Capping off their high-flying year, they were runners-up in Juice TV's My School Band Rocks contest, winning $2000.
Drummer Isaac tentatively describes the Too Funky sound as "alt funk rock", but the band are reluctant to label themselves.
"There's aspects of dub, and some of our influences are the Black Seeds and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but we play a lot of different styles," guitarist Douggie said.
Songwriting is a collaborative effort, although lead vocalist and saxophonist Shaan writes most of the lyrics.
"We just sort of jam – someone will play a riff and then we'll all jam around that," Douggie said.
Between their prize money and several gigs that have paid up to $500 each, mentor Elan Mills said they must be the best paid 15-year- olds in the Wellington music scene.
With the school year winding up, the band are planning a series of summer gigs at Wellington events such as the Paekakariki fair, the Anything Vintage festival, and the Waikanae summer festival.
Their first album is due out soon and if things keep going so well, the band have no plans to break up any time soon.
The Dominion Post