Bringing nightlife to the masses, The Funktion House has been living up to its mission since its creators made the decision to launch the visionary DJ company. Maturing and evolving over time, the visionaries behind the brand filled us in on how The Funktion House has grown since they started changing the game three years ago.
Their innovative Live From Red Hook series offers DJs the opportunity to showcase their talents with a 1.5-hour set in the style and genre of their choice. The ensemble is live broadcasted across The Funktion House website, social media channels, and cross-promoted through the artists’ channels. The series also allows the talent a chance to fill their existing fans in — as well as gain some new followers — with a 20-30 minute interview.
We caught up with Michael Gentile and Anthony Vitale following a first-hand account of The Funktion House. The guys’ behind the brand sat down with us to bring us up to speed on The Funktion House and how they believe it lives up to their vision. From the vibe of the room to the DJs that have played the space — and those who they hope to still perform there — Vitale and Gentile fill us in on what The Funktion House stands for.
The Nocturnal Times: How, when, and why did The Funktion House first come to fruition?
The Funktion House: The Funktion House was an idea that was born while we were renovating our space in Red Hook. We came together to start DJing again and The Funktion House space was going to be our office/studio/warehouse. As the space was coming together our creative wheels started to spin. As DJs who came up in the 90’s, we felt the culture of DJing was missing its true artform. We wanted to have a dedicated night with just hanging with friends playing rare records. Putting a show around that concept inspired us and that is when The Funktion House was born.
The Nocturnal Times: When did you guys first meet and what was the initial vision before The Funktion House was formed?
The Funktion House: We met when we were in our early teens. We DJ’d local teen parties together and then eventually went our separate DJ ways but always remained in contact through the years. Then about 3 years ago we decided to partner up again as DJs purely focusing on the private events side. So our initial idea was to DJ parties together which we currently still do. Another lane within our business model is a mobile entertainment company.
The Nocturnal Times: Is your current vision or mission any different from when you first began The Funktion House?
The Funktion House: It has definitely matured and has taken on a different direction as we continue our journey. When you start something in the area of DJing and livestreaming it’s an industry that has a lot of challenges and obstacles. You have to stay focused and most importantly positive. Our primary vision of keeping the art of DJing alive hasn’t changed. How we monetize our vision is what we have adapted. The Funktion House is helping us build a network of DJs and industry people. Through this network it will enable us to pivot to a new platform that we are working on that we will feel will have a strong impact on how everyone will DJ going forward.
The Nocturnal Times: You guys just took The Funktion House to the DJ Expo in Atlantic City. What can you tell us about your experience at this year’s conference and expo?
The Funktion House: We wanted to do something that would shake up the Expo and help build brand awareness for The Funktion House. We also wanted to be different. We felt that being on the Expo floor would not have gotten our message across as good as being off the beaten path. We took a suite in The Harrah’s hotel and transformed it into a mobile Funktion House. The DJ’s were excited to be a part of what we were doing and it gave us a great opportunity to network with different brands. Table 87 was kind enough to sponsor delicious Pizza for the event and Heineken provided the beverages. We were fortunate enough to have Pioneer provide us with all the DJ gear and BassBoss provide us with the sound system. They were also a part of our live streams along with Melissa Nikita from Denon and OP Miller from Serato. We plan on doing more of these in the future with all brands involved.
The Nocturnal Times: Having hosted three seasons of the Live From Red Hook series, which of the streams have been the most memorable or your personal favorites thus far and why?
The Funktion House: There are so many to choose from. With the help of Johnny D from Henry Street music, we had Todd Terry as our guest for our 2nd show which was truly special. To have a legend like Todd on our show at the infancy was truly inspiring and we really felt like we had something that early on. Dennis Ferrer was also a very special show for us as he has been a big inspiration within the NYC house music community.
It’s always a pleasure to listen to one of the greatest DJs of our time DJ Riz. We’ve also been able to showcase DJs that we weren’t aware of that turned out to be incredible talent such as DJ Encore and DJ Rumor.
The Nocturnal Times: Who are some of your personal favorite DJs and producers? Dream guests or visitors you hope to one day have play The Funktion House?
The Funktion House: We are big fans of Danny Tenaglia and the Master at Work guys. They have played such a huge role in the house music world not only in NYC but across the world. On a hip hop tip definitely a guy like Premier, Jazzy Jeff or Scratch would be an amazing show. To have anyone of those guys on the show would be an honor. It’s not only about having them play but getting to sit down and interview them would be really cool.
The Nocturnal Times: What are some of your favorite things about what you do? What are some of the pitfalls to working in the music industry?
The Funktion House: Showcasing, discovering and mentoring DJs is what we truly love. We get to see people who come on the show and express what they truly love to do. That is one of the most satisfying aspects of what we do. Nothing feels better than inspiring people to want to come on your show. When they play an unbelievable set it reciprocates the inspiration!
The industry right now is very saturated in all aspects and everyone is trying to capitalize on it. You always have to be onto the next thing. We truly believe that if you stay consistent and provide a good product people will recognize it and want to be a part of what you’re doing. We are definitely seeing that. Keep it real or keep it moving is what we say!
The Nocturnal Times: What can you share with us about any partnerships or sponsorships The Funktion House has, had, or potentially would like to attain in the future?
The Funktion House: As we continue to grow and mature the platform we have come across some great opportunities that have created unique collaborations opportunities. We began a relationship with Beatport and they support and get behind our streams that pertain to house music artists that are synonymous with both brands. With the help of Eddie B Swift BReal. TV has also gotten behind our content and they broadcast our streams through their channels as well. We also started a show called The Network with Hector Romero. This show has helped to grow the brand and has opened up the doors for us to experience some really well respected DJs in the industry. The plan is to touch every DJ with The Funktion House and through awareness create relationships with the big brands so that we become a top streaming platform for all DJs.
The Nocturnal Times: After visiting The Funktion House studio, everything is well-planned, the space and equipment are the highest quality, and the vibe was unparalleled. What can you share with us about the space?
The Funktion House: It’s our baby. We take a lot of pride in the space. If you ask anyone who walks through our doors they will all tell you the same thing, “There is something special about The Funktion House.” We felt it as soon as we started building it. There is something in that room that inspires everyone who visits. The buzz grows every day.
The Nocturnal Times: What’s in store for the immediate future of The Funktion House? Where do you see the brand in five years?
The Funktion House: We are constantly working and looking for new ideas that can help us to diversify our content we produce at The Funktion House. So in the near future, look for us to be out in the field producing content and incorporating different styles of shows. They will still pertain to the music and DJ world but may have less to do with a live set. We also see ourselves aligning with a big brand that will pivot us to curating streams for big DJs across the globe. We also have our new platform that is in development that we will disclose at some point in the near future. We see ourselves worldwide. Stay tuned!
The Nocturnal Times: Reflecting at The Funktion House within a huge scene and community, what do you hope to leave behind with the show’s legacy?
The Funktion House: The Live From Red Hook show is for each DJ to create and document their own story. When it’s all said and done you will be able to go back and reference any DJ you want and find out what their story was! We want to be remembered for making every DJ known and keeping the culture alive and in the forefront.
For more information, visit thefunktionhouse.com.
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