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Starchild Jr. of Parliament-Funkadelic Brings Masterclass to KMG Academy in Denver [Event Review]

On Thursday, January 4th, Starchild Jr. of Parliament Funkadelic brought his musical wisdom and incomparable experiences to Denver in the form of a masterclass at KMG Life ®. Founded by Greg Kimble in 2010, this “by the musician, for the musician” space offers anything and everything an artist could need and want under one roof, including production, writing, recording, mixing, mastering, full artist-development, photography, video services, press, promotion, social media management, graphic design, branding and more. Starchild Jr. Masterclass

Over the years, KMG (Keep Music Going) has become an educational institute for creatives wanting to learn and grow in their crafts and expand into new ones. It was my first time visiting the space and the magic they have and are crafting there is truly next level. The event of the night was co-produced by D’Vibes (a local producer & Grammy-nominated keyboardist) so I knew it would be an experience to remember. 

 Starchild Jr. funk masterclass The masterclass featured Starchild Jr. a.k.a Garret Shider of the one and only P-Funk showcasing a delectable slice of his recording and production techniques as well as a peek into life growing up in the most famous funk outfit of all time. As we settled down in the intimate studio space, it was certainly felt that we were about to get a tangible taste of something truly magic – it is not everyday you are able to sit in front of and listen to a funk connoisseur and someone who is a part of a band that paved the way of an entire genre that influenced music for decades. 

Starchild Jr., son of ​ Parliament Funkadelic’s guitarist/vocalist Garry Shider, aka Starchild, Garrett toured with the infamous funk conglomerate his entire life. Following his father’s legacy, Garrett laid down some musical truths for us by walking us through the “P-Funk choral effect,” his signature guitar tone and playing style, and allowed for attendees to ask him questions about his music and legacy with the band. 

Featured on a recent release and collaboration with D’Vibes’s Watermelon Funk album Enter The Galaxy Of Woo called “Funk ‘N Vibes,” Starchild Jr. showed us the intricacies and thought process behind the vocal stacking and lyric creation on the super funky track. It was really neat to see the vocal layerings compiled together to form the iconic signature “choral effect” you hear on a majority of the legendary Parliament catalog.

A tip to musicians who make overthink in the creative process:

“We must remember that we make music to soothe our own souls, but ultimately, we are in this profession to do music for the people. If you are in the studio with other folks and they are nodding and grooving to it, you are probably on to something. If you are an overthinker like me, keep that in mind. If it feels good, just go with it. Simplicity is beautiful here.”

On the topic of his guitar tone and style, he likes to mimic the rhythmic guitar base found in P-Funk’s music. He gathers his guitar inspiration from his father, milky, mid-heavy, a true “drip,” that he is still to this day attempting to fully decipher. His go-to pedals are the Phase 90, the vintage Jimi Hendrix Fuzz Phaser, and a Wah-Wah pedal for added effect. 

Stay tuned for information on masterclass round two with Starchild Jr. and KMG Life. If you are into THE funk or a musician or music lover looking to learn more, you will not want to miss it.

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