Vibing on the high of production and funk, “Portland famous” producer Tony Ozier keeps himself busy. Whether he is collaborating with funk musicians, making music with famous producers, or working with local organizations like the Portland Black Music Festival, Ozier does it all. He took a breather between projects to talk to CULTURE about the stigmas facing cannabis and the moves he is making in his musical career.
How did you get started making music?
I got started making music one night in Michigan, back in ‘95. I was in my father’s backyard surrounded by trees, smoking some herb, contemplating what I was going to do with my life. At some point staring at the moon, I saw myself giving a speech for a Grammy I had received. It felt real, like I was seeing my future, but I wondered how that could happen if I wasn’t making music. I come from a musical family and my father had a piano in the house. I decided it was time to learn how to play. That’s when it began.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
Prince, D’Angelo, Bootsy, George, R. Kelly, Dr. Dre, Ty Dolla $ign. These guys are producer, songwriters, musicians, and they are not pigeonholed to one particular style. They just make good music. Timeless music.
How do you describe your style?
[Laughs] My style of music is called Doo Doo Funk! It was created because coming up in this industry, the music I created was not, at that time, considered R&B, hip-hop or soul, but the word everyone used when describing my sound was funk. So one day sitting around, we thought about that and decided to be the funkiest thing you can think of . . . DooDooFunk! As I began performing with my band, the Doo Doo Funk Crew, and then later the Doo Doo Funk Allstars, I realized the freedom just saying the word “Dookaay” brings. There are so many things that we deal with everyday that keep us in our own mental prison. True freedom starts with self, and believing in one’s self. Only then can you truly enjoy life and love others.
How do you feel about the funk scene locally and nationally?
Nationally I feel like funk is making its way into pop music. It’s always been there, but it’s coming to the front with what Bruno [Mars] and Childish Gambino are doing. Matter of fact, have you seen his latest video with Cardi B where they do the Pharcyde dance routine from In Living Colour? Shout out to Slimkid3! This is what I’m talking about! Funk has been in hip-hop for a long time and still is, like Kendrick Lamar and Dr. Dre—a longtime Funkster.
How do you think funk lends itself to 2018? What kind of ground do you want to push with this sound?
For one, funk is the anecdote for hate—inner and outer. I believe in 2018 you’re going to hear more funk as the backdrop for social commentary. It’s already starting to present itself on the west coast. I’m hearing people redoing and sampling GFunk.
How has cannabis affected you life and/or your creative process?
In addition to influencing my musical style, it’s been helpful in treating pain. I have chronic back pain and benefit greatly from from topical treatments and oils to help manage my pain. Using a combination of acupuncture, nutrition and CBD oils has kept me off of heavy painkillers, allowed me to remain active and staved off surgery.
How do you feel about legalization so far? Is there anything you think could be done better or differently?
I live in Portland, Oregon and I’ve watched how the legalization has poured millions of dollars into my community. Not just the flower, but the other businesses that have developed because of the industry. From accountants to graphic designers to magazines, it’s really interesting to watch it grow.
Have you ever worked cannabis into your music as a theme? If so, how?
Not really as a theme, but it does make its way into my music.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I have a couple videos, a new single, and a new album coming out in 2018, so be sure to follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to stay posted.
Band Name: Tony Ozier
Genre: Production, funk, pop
Location: Portland, Oregon
Most Recent Album: AutoTone, September 29, 2017