top of page

Coup de ♥️ #3 : Interview with Nino GOTFUNK

Updated: Jun 4, 2021

© Photo : Emmy COSNEFROY

Nino GOTFUNK is a young singer, songwriter, composer and producer.

Born in the famous town of Gruchet-le-Valasse, in Seine Maritime (France), he decides on leaving the maternity ward to put down his suitcases, with his parents of course, in Lillebonne, a Norman town that I love. This is for the “in” side. On the “off” side, I can add that I was lucky enough to know Nino GOTFUNK in his early days and I dare say that today, Nino is one of those young artists with a wise soul from ancient times ! A warrior with essential values ​​with his vocal weapon, his talent and his faith in a fair world ! A true courageous man, in this musical universe where making one's place is won every day, with notes skillfully assembled. But for now, I invite you to meet him...

TYNDIAYE : Dear Nino GOTFUNK, hello, I am so happy to welcome you to TYNDIAYE's Coup de Coeur Blog. A long-standing wish ! There are several essential questions for all blog guests, here is the first one.

T : In this beautiful month of May and a very special period of gentle exit of the 3rd confinement, what is your voice telling us about yourself ?

Nino GOTFUNK : Dear Virginie, hello ! It is a pleasure for me to answer your questions ! My voice, in this month of May is very calm, much more than it has been. I can say that my voice has changed, it is a little deeper for example, softer too. I think this is due to a long time without concerts, I was able to put it to rest... But I am so impatient to get back on stage that I have been working hard to find some power and vitality ! It's okay, we've had enough rest now, let's go !

T : Your journey is just atypical and incredible, could you please tell us about it in a few words?

Nino GOTFUNK : I started playing the guitar at a young age, thanks to my father and my uncle Azdine, who passed his passion on to me. In high school, I put on my first radio show, then the desire came to form a group, to write, to do concerts… I had the chance to record and to play in Luxembourg, London, at the studios of Peter Gabriel, before going solo 4 or 5 years ago. I had the honor of being selected from over 1,000 applicants to be a finalist in the "Il était une voix" (there was a voice) competition at the Virgin RADIO office in 2016 and to meet YODÉLICE in its studios in Paris. Then, in 2017, as a musician and composer, I was spotted by ROOF ("Validated" the CANAL + TV Series) to do studio sessions.

During this period, I observed, experimented, and was approached by different artists, until I came back to a more personal project.

© Photo : Emmy COSNEFROY

T : Nino, in full transparency for our readers, for many months, I have been following your journey. I knew you when you started out with the group "Papam Faya" and Oceng ORYEMA. Since then, you went separate ways and I dare say "How well both of you are doing”. Many questions have been asked about the breakup. What interests me here and I put it this way : What do you keep as positive from this first experience ?

Nino GOTFUNK : First of all, I have been learning from it, in every sense of the word. Playing in a group is a rich learning experience, you learn a lot with others, and you learn a lot about yourself. I have always believed that collective momentum can trigger what Albert Jacquard called "emulation" : enriching the creative process thanks to everyone's input. Currently, everything is done to break the notion of "group" in favor of solo projects. That’s why I wanted to stay in a band for a long time, with Oceng of course (Oceng ORYEMA), but before that, with several musicians and friends, who all brought their touch to music and to concerts. The public teaches us to be humble on this subject, because they are sometimes attached much more to what they have seen: people playing together, a “band”, an osmosis, as much as to the music itself. So I keep the image of this osmosis, of this alchemy that made me experienced my first adrenaline on stage.

Afterwards, when I say that playing in a group teaches a lot about yourself, it's because I've always been at heart, a composer, an arranger and at the same time a leader. However, artistic work like intellectual work sometimes pushes you to have to defend your ideas yourself, to be as faithful as possible. Going solo, I had the feeling of regaining a certain freedom, a certain independence and I was able to deploy other skills such as mixing, or arrangements for example.

Finally, what I also really remember is this promise to never give up, to do this job until the end of our lives !

T : Let's move on to your album! What a very nice adventure you are offering us with your very first album "HYBRIDITY" ! I, who loves traveling while staying at home, I admit having “taken off”, with this feeling of time suspended above the Musical World !

A feeling of traveling through life from the sixties to the present day, with a subtle sequencing.

Nino GOTFUNK : Thank you very much TYNDIAYE !

© Photo : Quentin DMR

T : Nino, what kind of chemistry do you use ?

Nino GOTFUNK : 90% groove, soul, funk, my first loves, some oriental spices, reggae, Latin. I bring it all back with a zest of Hip Hop and trap. All heated over the fire of joy and hope : "Good Days are coming ! "

T : We can feel your influences there, expertly tuned to create your own vocal writing personality ! What comes first : the writing, the melody ?

Nino GOTFUNK : In fact, the melody, yes, but in the broad sense of the term. In my opinion everything is linked, all the time. I was talking earlier about the importance of having an idea, of the final rendering, rather quickly. The term that would work best is harmony.

I seek harmony between what I think and what is heard. This is a special moment that should not be missed, the faster we find harmony, the less time we will spend retouching it : as in love, it is the first glance that marks people's minds. Music is the same, at the first second you have to be won over.

T : A quick note about the people around you on the album ?

Nino GOTFUNK : There are the choristers, JEANETTE and AMINATA, with whom I have done a few stages between Rouen and Paris. They came to put their voices on "Only One". On this track there is also the paw of DICÉ (Mickael RÉBOUX) who recorded the voices, mixed and co-arranged. I met DICÉ at the DIN RECORDS studio, he works among others for MÉDINE, recently for STING and MAITRE GIMS...

Also, there is Mary MAY, a soul/reggae artist who came to pose her voice on my track “Nobody”, mixed and recorded by Romain BREDEL.

There is Alexis BARDINET, who did the mastering of the album, and finally, for the graphic part, Quentin DMR and Emmy COSNEFROY.

© Photo : Emmy COSNEFROY

T : What are the themes that are close to your heart or at least that you like to explore for your songs ? And why ?

Nino GOTFUNK : The first theme of the album and of my music in general is that of mixing, the richness of crossbreeding. I consider myself a citizen of the world. What is important to me is to send a message of openness to others, a message of hope in a light way. A title like "The Clap Song" represents my music well. It's a hymn to joy and resilience, with a sound that is both very 60's and very contemporary : it speaks to a lot of people, which is why I think it has been listened to in many countries. I like to use what I have been able to experience myself, to help others, it is a bit the message of the gospel: "you are not alone", "keep hope", "believe in 'Love, love and love again ! ". I really believe that music can change the mindset of people, even in the most difficult times. Afterwards, I bring up the theme of loneliness and exclusion in a darker title like "Nobody". It's a more committed title, true to the values ​​I defend. As I said, I consider myself a citizen of the world and our duty to be human should begin by rescuing and welcoming with dignity those who cross the sea to survive. The same as if it was our mother, or our brother. However, we are used to selfishness and to a form of indifference towards part of Humanity : this title is therefore shouted on the chorus, as a form of call for help... At the end, the voices are sung like Sirens would. It is a reference to the Sea, to the Odyssey. We do not hear the shoutings ; we give in more easily to the songs of some Sirens...

T : Thanks Nino. Your voice is essential, how do you maintain it ? Some secrets ?

Nino GOTFUNK : I have learned to tone my voice more over time and to place it. This is already a secret, because in our societies we are subject to many sources of stress. We speak quickly, to say anything and everything, we use our voice, as we use the rest of the body. To be honest I don't exercise a lot, but I don't smoke (not anymore). But I still have a magic potion made from ginger (laughs).

T : Would you say that your singing and / or speaking voice has evolved compared to your beginnings and if so in what way ?

Nino GOTFUNK : Yes, I pushed more on my voice, I was looking a bit like in sport to gain a certain power. Then over time I learned to explore more possibilities... My voice is deeper now, a little more "mature".

© Photo : Emmy COSNEFROY

T : At a time when borders will reopen, in which country would you like to put your bags ? A dream ? Nino GOTFUNK : There are a lot of them, but I would say the USA and especially California. Maybe South America too...

T : You produced this first album. We know the difficulties that can be along the way, from its creation to its conception. Sorry for being blunt, but how did you go about funding ?

Nino GOTFUNK : I financed it all from myself !

T : Have you had periods of doubts and / or discouragement ?

Nino GOTFUNK : I have never stopped believing in it and writing, but I have had moments of intense fatigue, which also allowed me to refocus, to find a certain balance. I tend not to count the hours when I'm creating music, but like any job, you really need to take breaks. That's the difficulty of this job, you're never really on vacation, because you don't consider it "work", but a pleasure. But even the pleasures must be measured if we want to continue to enjoy them.

T : What inspire you in life ?

Nino GOTFUNK : The music itself inspires me. The weather, the atmosphere in a room, a moment… Party, love, desire, women.

T : What drives you always further and why ?

Nino GOTFUNK : I think about how far we have come, and I tell myself that there are still so many beautiful things to do, so many beautiful songs to write, so much happiness to give to people. And make my family proud too.

T : What young man are you in 2021 ?

Nino GOTFUNK : A grateful young man.

© Photo : EMELKA

T : What will be your next step ?

Nino GOTFUNK : I would like to create a label.

T : What do you say today to the little boy / little Nino that you were ?

Nino GOTFUNK : Believe in your dreams, work hard for your luck, never give up.

T : One more question, what are your 3 inspiring words of the moment that you would like to share with our readers ?

Nino GOTFUNK : Gratitude, Humor and Love.

T : Goodbye Nino, thank you very much for your precious time, looking forward to hearing your next songs on stage… See you soon !

Nino GOTFUNK : Thank you very much TYNDIAYE !

Dear readers, I invite you to sing with Nino GOTFUNK and join the more than 40,000 pairs of ears who are already listening to him on SPOTIFY, or to danse on " THE CLAP SONG " on YOUTUBE, impossible to resist to the rhythm that captivates our feet… Another beautiful artist to follow closely…


Layout : Cynthia Akel

Translation : Sebastien Lapray

25 views0 comments
bottom of page