Since forming in the early ’70s, Cymande have been forming their unique brand of funk while solidifying the genre’s relevance throughout the world. Here are some of the ways they introduced the whole world to funk’s rhythmic groove.
1. Their First Album Spread the Message
In 1972, Cymande released their self-titled album, which included some of their most popular hits to date, including “The Message” and “Bra.” The former sparked a wave of interest and contributed to a large following of fans in the United States and United Kingdom. It eventually was listed at No. 20 on the U.S. pop charts.
2. Their Innovative Influence Transcends Boarders
As pioneers of funk, Cymande emerged as innovators of the black British music scene. Using their Caribbean heritage as inspiration, they created new sounds that reeled in crowds from the United Kingdom, United States, Europe, and Africa.
3. Their Samples Spread Elements of Funk to Other Genres
(Del la Soul infuse funk into “Change in Speak” with a Cymande sample.)
“I think sampling is a good thing. It gives people who have not had an opportunity to hear particular pieces of music — because it is outside of the body of music that they are accustomed to listening to or like — an opportunity to hear it. Secondly, it brings back music that might come from another era. I mean many young people who might be introduced to our music would be introduced to it through samples in hip-hop. I think it’s good for the exposure of music that might not have had sufficient exposure, and it’s also good musically, because it’s a great way of blending all sorts of different musical genres.” —Patrick Patterson
5. Cymande Were the First English Band to Perform at the Apollo Theater
Harlem got a taste of British funk when the group made history as the first band from across the pond to play the legendary venue.
6. They Gave the World of Cinema a Taste of Funk
Cymande’s hit “Bra” was included in the soundtrack for Spike Lee’s Crooklyn, while “Dove,” another classic, was in the auteur’s 25th Hour. As a medium that often defines the culture of its time, film is responsible for giving us a feel for the world of funk. Cymande’s hits reached film buffs and music lovers alike as part of Lee’s artwork.
7. They Effortlessly Blend the Perfect Elements of Funk
Cymande’s music is easy to listen to, easy to dance to, yet full of emotion and meaning. Funk as a whole is better off because of Cymande.
8. Peace, Love, and Funk Go Hand-in-Hand
Cymande have accumulated a faithful following of funk fans across the globe proudly representing the band’s mascot, the dove. Years of spreading their positive message has moved funk forward, toward peace and love, and we could always use a little more of that.
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