Formed in a twist of fate, Honeydrip is a 5+ piece Funk ’n’ Soul enterprise that has exploded out of the suburban sprawl of Inner West Sydney, Australia. Bandleaders Ryan Light and Elliott Falzon have forged a powerful vision out of stylistic fusion, effortless flair, raw passion, spectacular theatricality and playful mischief. From humble beginnings as an amateur songwriting partnership, Honeydrip has embarked on an odyssey of musical exploration, evolving into a multidimensional creative powerhouse that consistently defies categorisation and grows more impressive at every turn.
Drawing inspiration from a vast array of sources, Honeydrips’ influences include the contemporary vanguards in Sydney’s independent scene such as The Regime, Boomchild, CINTA and Thunder Fox. On an international level, their sound pays homage to such super-stars of today as Bruno Mars, Vulfpeck, Dua Lipa, Lizzo and The 1975. The result is a rich sonic tapestry that seamlessly weaves together the Classic Soul of a bygone era with the future of R&B, adorned with delicious Funk grooves aplenty and the unapologetic grandeur of Arena Rock.
Their third single “O.T.F. (On The Floor)” is the long-dormant disco anthem that the world has waited for. After 3 years of radio silence, Honeydrip is back from the dead with a studio record of electrifying artistic and commercial ambition. Dynamic, infectious and elaborate, “O.T.F.” is a feat of collaboration that fully showcases the collective’s vibrant, enigmatic identity and sonically diverse horizons.
Listening to it catapults you down a psychedelic rabbit hole from an alternate universe where Jamiroquai meets Jacob Collier in a supercharged fever-dream, with the echoes of Quincy Jones at every step and the epic scope of Earth, Wind & Fire. It is elegant, heartfelt, adventurous and bursting at the seams with an irrepressible sense of joy and euphoria.
They say “O.T.F. (On The Floor) is about the liberation of our personal inhibitions, often constrained by pre-conceived societal expectations that stifle us all from surrendering to the truth of a moment. Like all Classic Disco, it is an invitation – a reminder – to free our impulses and not lose faith in the beauty of our differences as human beings. It’s also just a bloody good time. This banger goes hard.”
It’s simply genre-defying musical fun, with changes at every second – switching mood, tempo and sonics with grace and charm. “On The Floor” feels like the perfect introduction to Honeydrips’ magical, otherworldly sound. Their music transcends boundaries, leaving audiences grooving for their lives and entranced in a state of atmospheric beauty. The question is – where will they go next?
Check out Jammerzine’s exclusive interview with Honeydrip’s co-bandleader, Elliott Falzon!
SOURCE: Official Bio
What’s the story behind the band name?
The story has become a little vague because the name was coined by our singer Ryan around 7 years ago, in the middle of 2016 – long before we had ever written a song, jumped on a stage to a full house or even settled on the final line-up of players.
We co-founded Honeydrip together and have navigated the roller coaster of this adventure ever since as relentless bandleaders and the closest of friends – brothers. Originally, he always wanted to have the word “Honey” in our name but I always thought it needed something extra and we couldn’t decide what. “Honey” on its own was also taken by an established band. I remember sitting outside a bar in the Entertainment Quarter one night with him, near Fox Studios in Sydney, after the premiere of a mate’s TV series. I was throwing out random, really bad ideas like, “Honeyzest?” He was rightfully looking at me completely unmoved the whole time like, “Nahh, no way man”.
I can’t remember how or when but Ryan came back to me another time and was like – I have it: “Honeydrip.” To be honest, I wasn’t sold on it at first. Then, we started asking everybody we knew what they thought and the rest was history! The name has really grown on me since. It fits beautifully because we really do write and perform super smooth, sexy and striking anthems, ballads and everything in between – much like Earth, Wind & Fire, dipped in the RnB swagger of an Anderson .Paak or Bruno Mars tune.
Random side-note: look up the definition of Honeydrip on Urban Dictionary. So good.
Your latest single feels classic, yet fresh at the same time. In your opinion, what makes Funk ’n’ Soul timeless?
Great question. Firstly, the history of these genres is steeped in powerful cultural upheaval and very real economic-political hostility – specifically that of the African-American struggle for liberation. As I’m sure many musicians will agree, I don’t think that anybody can claim ownership over a particular style of music or that it belongs to one specific demographic or another. To quote the great Quincy Jones, “there’s only two types of music – good and bad.” Just one of his many zingers. However, if we’re asking a historical question about timelessness, we have to contextualize the discussion within the facts of a genre’s roots. As Quincy also says, “be-bop, doo-wop and hip-hop is all sociological.” The depth of both suffering and empowerment that Soul and Funk music is grounded in is compelling because it comes from an undeniably human place and everybody can feel that – whether or not you are American or grew up in its stylistic hey-day during the ‘60s and ‘70s. It’s a sound that’s fighting for love, either profoundly or playfully. But what keeps it alive today and continues to keep it exciting? So many things. The intricacy of grooves within grooves, woven together by elaborate ensembles that sit together perfectly in a syncopated but seamless “pocket”. The groove itself – slick and contagious. The epic scope of orchestration – horns, strings, choirs – and raw vocal performance, fused with contemporary innovation within synthesized sound design. The powerful energy of the production – its “punch” – that often drives an audience crazy to see the musicians play live – where they usually play even better. The sophisticated yet accessible qualities of the compositions themselves, which often borrow from jazz harmonies but don’t stray too far away from pop conventions. You could go on forever. However, most importantly, it comes back to the songwriting. It’s a reminder that we’re all human – an invitation to open our hearts and reconnect with each other, through romantic passion, supporting a friend through hardship or just having a damn good time on the dancefloor.
You mentioned “O.T.F.” is about the liberation of our personal inhibitions. Why is it important to do so, especially in the state society is currently in?
Everybody that is alive, conscious and healthy on this planet owes each other the responsibility to step into their authentic selves fearlessly, to share this gift with the world wholeheartedly and to let others shine as they freely do the same. Too often, we shame one another within families, friendships, communities or broader cultural groups through judgment of idiosyncrasies that don’t conform to some preconceived set of expectations we believe to be right or wrong. Of course, it’s important to hold people to standards of accountability if they treat others badly. But this doesn’t mean punishing them for failing to embody some arbitrary, often hypocritical form of morality – particularly when they are just expressing themselves in the process. As artists, we might not be saving lives in the E.R. or setting legislative precedents, but we have the opportunity to change the way people see the world by opening up their hearts to the beauty of a shared, compassionate vision of humanity. We’re in a unique position to freely express ourselves without the quagmire of bureaucracy, censorship, or regulations that stifle the attempts at systemic change in other corners of society. We have an added responsibility to advocate for authenticity and the liberation of our inhibitions towards expression in general, whatever that may look like from person to person, and to encourage others to define that for themselves.
How would you describe the music scene in/around Sydney?
Live music in Sydney is in a difficult place at the moment. The on-set of lock-out laws, implemented by the NSW State Government in reaction to a couple of devastating “king hit” punches in Kings Cross and the CBD in the last decade, coupled with the global pandemic of COVID-19, have left the industry in shambles. A lot of venues have either closed down entirely, no longer offer bookings to live entertainment, or have lost part of the infrastructure they once had. However, out of this crisis, inspiration is bubbling and creativity is thriving. Plenty of artists are trailblazing paths forward into new sonic terrain and that’s really exciting. Indie Rock still has a stranglehold on the prevailing tastemakers but there’s a surge of alternative styles rising to the forefront. Plenty of solo acts, bands and collectives are proving that this city has so much to offer the future of contemporary music. The Regime are vanguards in the local funk scene that very much have been an inspirational touch-stone for our sound as we’ve been coming up – they’re an astonishing, electrifying 15+ piece ensemble reminiscent of George Clinton’s Parliament meets Earth, Wind & Fire. Other local acts we admire include Thunder Fox, Boomchild, CINTA, Chelsea Warner, RISSA, Ellen Mara, Lahgo, Slapjack, Mung Mung etc. The list goes on!
What’s planned for the rest of 2023?
A batch of juicy follow-up singles we’re currently cooking up for release, followed by the launch of our debut E.P. with a small local tour at the start of 2024. Ryan, our singer, and Josh, our bassist, have currently taken off on a European holiday for 1 – 2 months – so we’re on a temporary show hiatus. Between now and October, there’s a lot of behind the scenes business work for our band that needs attending to – including branding, budgeting, target audience research, digital marketing and consolidation of legal affairs. I’m just as excited to get stuck into this as I am the usual creative routine of writing, arranging, producing, rehearsing and performing. We’re currently in the most crucial phase of our growth as a band since our inception and our future success hinges as much on our capacity for artistic inspiration as it does on our strategic vision as an enterprise.