When you ask “Funky C” about his musical influences, the Chilean-born composer will start telling you an eclectic list of musicians that expand from the baroque to the grandmasters of funk, soul, rock, Latin jazz, bossa-nova and Latin alternative rock. On any given day, his house was filled with music starting with his very own father’s, Hugo Moraga Lacoste, one of the most prolific singer/songwriters in Chile to the recordings and LPs from Jobim, Frank Zappa, Hector Lavoe, James Brown, Prince, Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Snoop Dogg, Tupac, Stevie Wonder to Argentina’s Luis Alberto Spinetta and Charly García as well as Satie, Debussy, Ravel, Bach amongst many others.
Born at the twilight of the 70s during the Pinochet dictatorship era, Cristian Sol Moraga Farías-known as Funky C- began his musical career at an early age when, at 14, he accompanied his father on stage performing on keyboards. As his passion for the arts grew, he became a regular in the Santiago music scene rubbing elbows with some of the most prolific artists in his native country. At 16 and changing a keyboard to the electric guitar, Funky C met David “Rulo” Eidelstein who shared his love for music, months later they established a band by the name of Los Tetas, and thus changing the way funk was portrayed in their country and the rest of Latin America. It was a breath of fresh air for Chileans by offering an alternative to the aggressive punk scene of the time which exploded as a direct response to Pinochet’s oppressive regime. Signed to Universal, Los Tetas shared the stage and toured with bands such as Cypress Hill, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Molotov, Marilyn Manson, Plastilina Mosh, Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas, Control Machete, Dante Spinetta and many others. The band quickly became a Latin Funk/Dance hit, reaching the top of the charts in their homeland and as far north as Mexico with Gold and Platinum record sales along the way.
In 2004, and after a decade performing in front of hundreds of thousands Los Tetas called it quits, Moraga pledged not to set a foot on stage again. But, the music was stronger than ever and the idea to take his funk to a new level kept his mind busy with new songs to show the world. Following steady collaborations as a producer and guest performer including a recording with his own father, Funky C assembled a band of very close friends; Felipe Foncea on keyboards, Roberto “Chicho” Espinoza (bass), Francisco “ Pepino” Gonzalez (Los Tetas) on drums, and Michele Espinoza on vocals to record “Joya”, his solo debut. Hungry for new genre bending music Sonic360 signed Funky C worldwide ex. Chile. The album features a sound described by Funky C as “Funk Latino, Old and New, Classic and Modern… with the sound of today mixed with music from the old school days… real live sound mixed with computers.”
Recorded in San Francisco, California, “Joya” includes songs laced with funk, hip-hop and dance and is perfumed with a distinctive Latin soul; the album features a parade of treasured jewels in the form of guest musicians who pay a visit throughout the production, including: Dante Spinetta, who shared his love for funk and alongside Funky C was one of the pioneers of the 90s Latin funk revival in South America; Juan Sativo from Tiro de Gracia; Sonido Ácido; Maximiliano Alarcón; Anzuelo; and Julio Briceño from Venezuela’s gosadera superstars Los Amigos Invisibles. The album also includes the song “City Funktasma,” a track written by his very own father- Hugo Moraga-, who also performed alongside Funky C.
Described as “monstrous funk” by Rickey Vincent (History of Funk), “Joya” was released in Chile in 2006, where it was quickly embraced by fans and media alike and was voted the No.2 album by Chilean journalists and the general public in the “Best Albums of the Year” list. His concerts have been collecting rave reviews from some of the most important newspapers in Chile, “keeping the funk” alive and well in a country that has seen a rebirth of freedom and has started to put behind an era that saw many musician’s dream crushed by a ruthless dictator.“Joya” US release is in stores May 15th 2007 on Sonic360 the label that brought the world Kinky. It will be followed by a promotional appearance in Los Angeles and other key cities.