twentysomethings at Matt & Tenille’s Wedding

twentysomethings are our most recently signed act and they’ve been making a seriously huge impression since we started working with them in early 2014. A 4-piece outfit consisting of lead vocals/keys, guitar, bass and drums, these guys have a flexibility and sound affiliated with a much larger lineup; owing majorly to front woman Tash’s masterful handle on both lead vocals and keys, and additional backing vocals from the rest of the band. Their dynamic, Like A Version style take on current Top 40s tunes and retro favourites conveys both an edginess and a fresh, exuberant energy totally unlike anything else on the Sydney covers scene; culminating in non-stop dance floor vibes. Subsequently, when Tenille and Matt approached us with the brief for their wedding reception – a good mix of classic and modern tracks that would keep their guests pumped and moving – we knew twentysomethings would be a perfect fit.

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Having selected a range of  both new and vintage soul-funk style hits to be played on the night  (including Uptown Funk, Cosmic Girl, The Way You Make Me Feel, I Want You Back, Signed Sealed Delivered and Get Lucky), as well as a cheeky cameo of Living On A Prayer, Matt and Tenille managed to provide something for every demographic in attendance. The couple also chose the following songs for a few stand out moments in the night:

Bridal Waltz: Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran. Matt and Tenille put a personal spin on this current wedding darling by having Matt’s sister sing lead with the band. A very nice touch!

Bouquet Toss: Single Ladies – Beyonce. Everyone knows that this one was made for the bouquet toss!

Garter Toss: Like I Love You – Justin Timberlake. With its noughties-nostalgic r n’ b dance groove, this was a great track to finish the night on.

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Congratulations Tenille and Matt! We had a blast working with you guys in the lead up to the big day, and we’re absolutely thrilled that you loved the band!

All the best,

The Funkified Team

Congratulations Kristy & Ben!

What a lovely couple  Kristy and Ben are! We had so much fun collaborating with them in the lead up to their wedding at The Boathouse in Palm Beach. As a member of the wedding industry (currently working as part of the wonderful team at WEOA), Kristy found us after watching our MD Gus give a talk at The Wedding Planner Workshop – apparently his presentation on our live acts, namely The Usual Suspects, made her rethink her decision to book a DJ for her entertainment!

The brief Kristy gave us was for her guests to have ‘an amazing time and be up all night dancing! I really want it to be an ABBA and John Farnham free zone’ – which with TUS was certainly something we were able to deliver. Ben and Kristy chose the following songs for their special moments:

Bridal Party Entrance: Feel So Close – Calvin Harris. That drop never fails to get the party started.

Bridal Waltz: The One I Love – David Gray. A personal favourite of the bride and groom.

Farewell Song: Everlong – The Foo Fighters. The lyrics ‘And I wonder/When I sing along with you/If everything could ever feel this real forever/If anything could ever be this good again’ convey a beautiful message of togetherness, as well as so much love and positive hope for Ben and Kristy’s future together. After the official farewell, Kristy came back into the venue to request a cheeky last-minute encore of Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson. This feel-good crowd pleaser was the perfect high to end the night on – when the groom ends up crowd surfing, you know it’s been a good gig!

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On the monday following the event, Kristy sent through a little note that absolutely made our day. Our whole month even.

Let me just start by saying….. WOW – WHAT A BAND!!!!!!!
We had the most incredible time last weekend, the dance floor was packed all night, I have had countless people ask me who the band were and how I found them, followed by ‘best band ever!’. From the very beginning TUS had people on the dance floor and many never left – there was one point where I walked away for a second and when I came back I couldn’t even find room on the dance floor – lucky for me though I was the bride so was able to kick people out of the way ha! 
So many people have said it was the best, most fun, wedding they have ever been to – and I honestly believe if it weren’t for the The Usual Suspects the feedback wouldn’t have been so amazing. I don’t know what else to say but thank you, I am almost disappointed I won’t be getting married again, but if I do I will be sure to book The Usual Suspects haha! Ben would say the same thing so I don’t feel bad 🙂 
Again, thank you – the usual suspects helped make our wedding day one of the most memorable, amazingly fun and best days of our lives.

Thanks Kristy and Ben! It’s been so fantastic getting to know you guys and it was a complete pleasure working with you both!

All the best,

The Funkified team

Funkified’s Top 5 Favourite Party Songs For 2014!

We’re often asked for our favourite dance-floor fillers, and for our first blog of the new year we thought it could be fun to take a look back at what you guys were moving to throughout 2014! Each of these songs work amazingly well when played by either a live band or a DJ, and will bring even the most reluctant dancer to their feet. So without further ado, here’s our Top 5 for 2014. Let us know in the comments if you agree!

5) Shake It Off – Taylor Swift

Representing Swift’s seamless segue from Country music to Pop, Shake It Off’s uptempo rhythm and catchy hook mingle cheerfully with its punchy horn-line and playful, humorous lyrics; resulting in an instant crowd pleaser.

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4) No Diggity – Blackstreet ft. Dr Dre & Queen Pen

Having experienced a recent revival owing to the 2012 Chet Faker cover, the Blackstreet original was one of our most requested songs of the year. A powerhouse rap single that was ranked at no. 32 on VHI’s 100 Greatest Songs of the ’90s, No Diggity brings a welcome nostalgia element along with Blackstreet’s trademark energy and timeless vibe.

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3) Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars

A late comer to 2014 and a short-priced favourite to become the no. 1 song of 2015. Topping charts in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and the USA, the MJ-influenced funk anthem fuses 70s horn lines reminiscent of Earth Wind & Fire and KC & The Sunshine Band with Mark Ronson’s trademark dominant bass and kick-heavy electronica – it’s been playing on repeat in our office ever since its release.

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2) Happy – Pharrell Williams.

Possibly the most-played song of the year, but we aren’t sick of it yet! A family-friendly fave, it’s the ultimate feel-good hit. Featuring a jaunty beat complete with catchy handclaps and fresh, exuberant vocals, you can’t help but sing and dance along to this one – no matter how ‘over it’ you claim to be!

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1) Get Lucky – Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams

Technically released in 2013, but we aren’t even close to done with it. A fresh, modern take on the classic disco style; owing to the harmonious collaboration between French house music duo Daft Punk, ‘Grandfather of Disco’ Nile Rodgers and the smooth vocals of Pharrell Williams. Get Lucky is 70s funk meets present-day electronica, an intoxicating fusion which has been succinctly described by Sasha Frere-Jones of The New Yorker as being ‘as close to magic as pop music comes.’

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So that was 2014… Looking forward to seeing what 2015 brings!

Til next time guys,

The Funkified team.

Ellipsis at NRL Grand Final Day!

So great to collaborate with the NRL again for Grand Final Day! Huge Congrats to the bunnies – what a game! Here’s a few of our fave snaps from the Ellipsis boys view of ANZ Stadium from The Legend’s Room:

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Awesome snap of bass player Steve with Dragons star Johnny Raper!

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Fantastic day! Thanks for having us!

Congratulations Sineva & Jim!

Sineva and Jim’s reception was a truly unique and awesomely festive affair; combining elements from their Samoan heritage with The Usual Suspects’ go-to set list of current Top 40 tunes and old-school classics. They opted to further personalise their night with a traditional solo dance by the bride to ‘Tama Samoa’ – written in 1991 during the Rugby World Cup, inspired by the performance of the Manu Samoa Rugby Team – and by having her cousin Jennie sing ‘Le Manu Tagi e’ – another Samoan favourite – as a dedication to Sineva’s late father. When interspersed with The Usual Suspects renditions of party tracks such as ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ (Whitney Houston) and ‘Get Lucky’ (Daft Punk), there was a really fantastic vibe in the room – the overall aura of love, warmth and fun really something special!

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Sineva and Jim chose the following songs for the other formal moments of the evening:

Bride & Groom’s Entrance: Happy – Pharrell Williams. ‘Happy’ has become a hugely popular choice for entrances of late, and it’s no mystery why. Its infectiously upbeat nature sets a great tone and it’s just the perfect introduction to the celebratory section of the night!

Cake Cutting: Just The Way You Are – Bruno Mars. Romantic and heartfelt, this is a great accompaniment to what is always a rather poignant moment.

Bridal Waltz: Kisses In The Moonlight – George Benson. When it comes to your first dance, you can’t go wrong picking a personal favourite!

It was really wonderful to work with Sineva and Jim, and it really made our day when Sineva sent us this beautiful note after the wedding:

We wanted to send a quick note THANK YOU and TUS sooooooooooooooo much for making our wedding an amazing one.
 
 Our family and friends haven’t stopped raving on about TUS and me, Jim and my sister Ivona were beyond impressed and so proud to have TUS play at our day!!!!!!. We were blown away when we heard your demo’s but you exceeded our expectations on the night. The team were absolute professionals, really warm and friendly and unbelievably talented . WOW!!!! Awesome, amazing! We can’t stop smiling.
Congratulations guys! All the best for your lives together – if the wedding was any indication, they’re going to be absolutely filled with love and smiles! X

Congratulations Tanya & Matt!

Tanya’s biggest priority for her wedding was that people would dance. She wanted a band with an energy and repertoire that would guarantee that the dance floor was never quiet and her reception would be one that her guests would never forget. Fortunately, a work friend put her on to The Usual Suspects, and a vision was fulfilled.

Tanya and Matt had very definite ideas about what they wanted to hear on the night and brought a whole lot of suggestions to the band in the lead up to the big day. Must-haves included The Black Eyed Peas, Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Daft Punk and Michael Jackson – once we saw these names, we knew we were going to love working with them; and that The Usual Suspects would indeed be a perfect fit! For the special moments in the evening, the happy couple chose the following:

Bridal Party Entrance: September – Earth, Wind & Fire. Starting the party with a disco classic!

Bride and Groom’s Entrance: Finally – Cece Peniston. Showing their sense of humour with a subtle bit of tongue-in-cheek. ‘Finally’ is not only a hilarious choice for weddings, but a go-to dance floor hit.

Cake Cutting: Everything I Do I Do It For You – Brian Adams. A sentimental option always works well to heighten the moment.

Bridal Waltz: At Last – Etta James. Effortlessly beautiful and so romantic – this classic is a bridal waltz favourite for a reason.

Farewell Song: Hit The Road Jack – Ray Charles. Ending the night on yet another humorous note!

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Congratulations Tanya and Matt! It was a pleasure to be involved in such a wonderful celebration, and we hope your night was everything you envisioned and more!

Funkified’s Top Ten Entrance Songs

Entrance songs are important, as they’re basically the start to your reception. Now that the formalities are over, you want to kick off your party in a way that’s going to get you and your guests excited for the night ahead. To help you out with this, we’ve compiled a list of our top ten bridal party entrances. In our experience, these are absolutely guaranteed to set the mood for a fantastically unforgettable night!

  1.  Feel The Love –The Rudimentals
  2. Crazy in Love-Beyonce
  3. Feel So Close-Calvin Harris
  4. Signed, Sealed, Delivered-Stevie Wonder
  5. Move On Up-Curtis Mayfield
  6. You’ve Got The Love-Florence & The Machine
  7. Dynamite-Taio Cruz
  8. Uptight-Stevie Wonder
  9. Walkin’ On Sunshine-Katrina & The Waves
  10. Moves Like Jagger-Maroon 5

From an industry point of view, it’s generally best to use one song for the entire bridal party. Choosing a theme per couple can be disruptive to the flow and distracting to the moment, while one strong song will maximize the impact of your entrance! However the best (and easiest) thing to do is just pick your favourite party tune (providing it’s something both you and your partner love of course). Whatever it is you’ll be pumped to hear it, which will be infectious to your guests-the perfect way for an incredible night to start :).

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Questions You Should Be Asking Your Wedding Band

 

So you have weighed up your options, and decided a live band is the way to go. Fantastic decision – great live music stimulates a festive atmosphere, provides the day with structure, highlights key moments and will help ensure that you and your guests can relax and simply enjoy the celebration.

However bad live music can result in your dream day turning into a nightmare.

Imagine your band showing up an hour late, and sound-checking as your guests are arriving, only to then perform a completely unheard of song for your bridal waltz. Or a covers band that seems to have a repertoire consisting only of Barry Manilow’s greatest hits, succeeding only in frightening you and your guests off the dance floor…

Sydney's premier funk-infused covers band
In order to avoid such catastrophes, it’s important you ask all the right questions! The following should ensure that you get the wedding music you want, exactly the way you want it:

1)   Can I see the musicians live, or hear a recording? You want to make sure you actually like the music in the first place! Any good group will have song samples or a demo CD to give interested brides and grooms, and most musicians will have public performances you can go and watch.

2)   Am I able to make song requests? You don’t want to book a band, only to find that they perform from a very limited song list. If you are set on having particular songs for your bridal waltz, bouquet toss etc., it’s important you let the musicians know in advance so they have time to prepare.

3)   Do you provide PA, and can I use it for speeches if need be? This should be expected of every band. Make sure PA is included in the initial quote, and not an ‘added extra’ you find out about a week before your wedding. Also, some venues don’t have an in-house PA system, meaning you will require the band PA for speeches. This should not cost any extra, and if it does, make sure you find out up-front. You don’t want to receive a bill for it when you get back from your honeymoon!

4)   How early will you be sound-checking? A good band will make sure to sound-check long before the start of your ceremony or reception. That way when you and your guests arrive, the band is set-up and ready to go.

5)   Are sound engineers included in the price? For larger bands in particular, the presence of a qualified sound engineer is essential. While a large band with a markedly cheap quote may seem appealing, they may be sacrificing the sound engineer to get the gig, meaning the sound quality will noticeably suffer.

6)   Will the band/agent liaise with your wedding venue? You don’t want the group to show up on the night, only to find your chosen venue is too small, or has noise restrictions.

7)   Does the band have flexible set times?At weddings, anything can happen, and a great band will be able to adjust accordingly and keep things on track. After all, they’re wedding professionals.

http://www.funkified.com.au

The iPod Wedding

 

Weddings are expensive affairs. After the initial engagement excitement, couples are suddenly faced with planning an event that involves venue hire, catering, entertainment, bridal wear, flower arrangements – all of them offering ‘bargains’ and ‘limited special offers’. Daunting at best, the combined costs of these wedding ‘necessities’ can be immensely challenging for an already stretched wedding budget.

So when confronted with the overwhelming costs of throwing a wedding, the do-it-yourself option can suddenly appear incredibly appealing.

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One of the latest trends in the DIY wedding planning is the iPod wedding.
This involves couples choosing to skip the live band or the DJ altogether, instead opting to run the music themselves. It’s understandable – after all, your laptop isn’t going to demand money, and you’re guaranteed to hear all your favourite songs. Finally, if your guests have last-minute music requests, it’s as easy as clicking a button. Sounds like a win, right?

But before you jump onto the iPod bandwagon, it’s important you know what you’re up against.

To start with, how big are your computer speakers? Big enough to fill a room with over a hundred people? For the music to be at a reasonable level throughout the room, you’ll require at least two 400 watt speakers, paired with a mixer. Not only that, but microphones also come into the equation. After all, you’re going to want to make announcements and speeches and shouting on your wedding day doesn’t make for a great look.

Then come the playlists. Generally, wedding receptions last from four to seven hours, and music, even if it’s in the background, is hugely important in creating the right atmosphere. So to start with, you have to make sure you have enough music in your library to last for your entire reception.

Then factor in the type of music you want, and how it will change over the night. If you don’t want to be listening to the same three CD’s on repeat, you have to allocate several days to putting the playlists together, then listening to them to make sure they flow well. Consider the structure of your reception and what people will want. Do you want dancing after dinner? Specific songs for bridal party entry? Will the songs included appeal to the tastes of all your guests? And who will operate the music for your bridal waltz, and when you want it to pause for speeches?

The advantage of hiring a professional is that everything is taken care of for you. Experienced wedding bands will come with their own PA system, and hundreds of popular songs on their books. Many bands, such as The Usual Suspects, encourage brides and grooms to request songs, which they will learn specifically for their wedding day.

Professional wedding bands or DJ’s are also experts at ‘reading the room’ – after all, it’s their job! A live band can pick up on what your guests want to hear, and adjust their sets accordingly, as well as interact with the crowd to ensure everyone has a good time. They provide structure for the evening, performing laidback, background music earlier in the night, then performing dance-floor favourites later on to bring the celebration to a climax.

Going down the DIY route at weddings can be tempting – it certainly will save you money. Just make sure that you and your partner are properly prepared for it. You don’t want to get so wrapped up in sticking to budget that you forget to enjoy yourself!

http://www.funkified.com.au

Wedding Music: What, Where and When PART 2

 

Part 2 – RECEPTION

Funkified Entertainment
Now for the fun part. At your reception, you can relax, kick up your heels, and simply focus on enjoying yourself. And what better way to create a fantastic atmosphere that having music to enhance the entire experience? With a glass of bubbly in hand, mingle with family and friends, some fabulous food, and finish up by dancing the night away.

PRE-DINNER – This is a similar mood to that of pre-ceremony. Music that is easy to listen to should be playing in the background, stimulating conversation and creating an atmosphere of sophistication and elegance. Live acts serve as entertainment for guests as they await the arrival of the bridal party, and for the evenings formalities to commence. Popular choices include an instrumental jazz trio, a string quartet, or a solo musician, such as a guitarist or pianist.

DINNER – It’s a great idea to have background music playing over dinner, to maintain the celebratory atmosphere.  We affectionately term the music played here as ‘Wallpaper music’; it won’t demand guest attention and interrupt conversation, but will provide a subtle musical backdrop and prevent any awkward silences at tables! You can have the ‘pre-dinner’ music continue over dinner, or a small to medium sized covers band perform lounge favourites such as Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, and Stevie Wonder.

DANCING – This is when music really becomes the focus of the night. Many couples opt for their reception to climax with dancing later in the night, full of popular and catchy songs that everyone can enjoy. A covers band is a great option here, as they ensure a fantastic party atmosphere, great crowd involvement and will get guests of all ages on the dance floor. Other popular choices also include latin or funk bands, or a DJ.

SONG REQUEST – Requesting songs for your reception is a hugely important part of the event. Songs serve as a reflection of you and your partner, can be used as a means of expression, and are very effective in highlighting key moments of the night.

BRIDAL ENTRY – The song you choose to signify your entry into your reception sets the tone for the entire evening. Do you want a party theme, or something more sentimental and expressive? It’s completely up to you! Regardless, the song you choose should be a reflection of your relationship, and the way you want your friends to remember your wedding. Popular choices include ‘Crazy in Love’ by Beyonce, ‘Let’s Stay Together’ by Al Green and ‘

CAKE CUTTING – Music can be very effective in highlighting this moment between you and partner. Many couples opt for something romantic, with popular choices. Eg. ‘Everything’ Michael Buble, ‘You Are The Sunshine Of My Life’ Stevie Wonder, ‘Have I Told You Lately’ Van Morrison.

BRIDAL WALTZ – An expression of how you and your partner feel about one another, this is one of the most important moments of the day. Choose a song that you love and that means something to both of you. Remember, all eyes will be on the pair of you, so make sure you practice dancing to it before the day! Examples include ‘At Last’ Etta James, ‘If I Ain’t Got You’ Alicia Keys, ….

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Listen to the words! You don’t want to reach the 2nd verse of ‘I Will Always Love You’ only to realize it is about a break-up…


BOUQUET/GARTER TOSS –
A fun part of the evening, and a chance for your friends to let fate decide who ties the knot next! Popular choices for Bouquet Toss are “Single Ladies” by Beyonce or ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ by Cyndi Lauper, and you can’t go past ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On’ for the Garter Toss.

tipThe garter toss is becoming less and less popular due to the slight ‘tacky’ element of the groom disappearing under the bride’s dress to remove clothing with his teeth. It’s still very possible to do it with class (we’ve seen it done!), just be sure to keep in mind that Grandparent’s have surprisingly good memories.

LAST SONG OF THE NIGHT – As the night draws to an end, you really want to make sure that you finish on a high. Choosing a fantastic song to close your wedding celebrations with will ensure that you leave your guests with an incredible last impression, not to mention wonderful lasting memories for you and your partner. When choosing your final song for the night, try and find something that is not only a great piece of music, but also means something to you and your guests. A party song that stimulates fond memories of when you and your new spouse first started dating is a great idea, and is guaranteed to get your friends rushing to the dancefloor.

http://www.funkified.com.au