If you look through your parents' vinyl collection, there is a good chance you will find remnants of an era that prided itself on swaying hips, big foot-tapping beats, and even bigger hair. Also known as the era of the funk. But unlike Bruno Mars who tried to bring it uptown, or Fatboy Slim who tried to make you check it out, Raleigh-based artist Boulevards is effortlessly adding it back to the mix with his newest single "Take It to the Top."
Velvety smooth, "Take It to the Top" is a dream come true for those nostalgic for more invigorating and dance-dominated times. Heavily influenced by his father's radio DJ tastes, Boulevards (Jamil Rashad) immersed himself in blues, jazz, R&B, and most notably- in his hometown's punk scene. Every genre taught him a valuable discipline with none as prevalent as the desire to make music that will make people move. Having released three previous works, his forthcoming album YADIG! hopes to elevate Rashad's unique brand of funk by modernizing heavyweight influences by the likes of Prince, Rick James, and Earth Wind & Fire. An ambitious undertaking, but if "Take It to the Top" is any indication of what's to come, then I'd say that Rashad nailed it. In this lead single, 70's inspired strings usher in the sinuous bass-line, the lifeline of any groovy funk number. Supporting percussions and jangly keys add a swaying layer, as Rashad's theatrically fluid vocals lead us to the dancefloor with an exceptionally catchy hook. It's a signature Boulevards sound, the kind to put a skip in your step, pep in your talk, and sugar in your drink. With the self-release of YADIG! scheduled for June, we will gladly keep on bobbing along to "Take It to the Top" to satisfy our funk cravings until then.