Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with Huw from unsigned London duo Goodfoot to find out more…
Who is in the duo, how did you meet, where are you from and how did you come up with the name?
Goodfoot is primarily a writing duo - Danny Sharples (vocals) and Huw Foster (bass)… however, in the studio we get various great musicians to step in, and for live gigs we perform with a 10-piece band - rhythm section, BVs, horns, the lot!
We first met at a half-empty open mic that Danny was hosting (whilst simultaneously working at the bar), and played numerous covers gigs together after that. We discovered a few things: firstly, that we live pretty close to each other in West London; secondly, we were both frustrated songwriters, struggling to finish ideas as individuals. Also, we get on well, sharing a similar sense of humour and taste in music. We decided to give ourselves some accountability by getting together to write and faff about once a week.
Eventually, we had a few half-decent demos, but no name. We made a list, mostly of suggestions that made us laugh - ‘Erroneous Monk’ and ‘De Nero De Faro’ are two that spring to mind - but the joke would probably wear thin eventually. ‘Goodfoot’ is actually shortened from either ‘Mr Goodfoot’ or ‘Dr Goodfoot’ - we can’t remember which… We write primarily in the funk and soul genre, so we think it suits us pretty well - anyone who knows their (funk) apples will be able to picture James Brown shouting, “get on the good foot!”
To make sure no-one else had taken it, we did some searching and couldn’t find any other bands with that exact name. Although, if you google ‘Goodfoot’ you have to trawl through thousands of James Brown videos before you get anywhere near anything else! We like a challenge though; we’ll beat that algorithm eventually.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
Huw took up bass at age 13 and tried to learn every Red Hot Chili Peppers bassline he could, then became equally obsessed with Jamiroquai, CHIC and Prince. Danny was introduced to Luther Vandross and Stevie Wonder by his parents.
Right now, we take influence from anything and anyone we can. Legendary artists like the ones above; or newer acts such as Anderson .Paak, Janelle Monáe, and Emily King. When we meet up, we often find ourselves quoting The Funktipus (from Bounce FM in GTA San Andreas), so that definitely counts for something. We like things to be fun and not too serious - we’re both big fans of Vulfpeck, Louis Cole and Marc Rebillet.
How would you describe your sound?
Intelligent pop, heavy grooves, good vibes.
What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
We just released an EP called Love Come Down, which is also the name of the lead single. The song itself has been a real labour of love - it was the first thing we wrote, around 5 years ago! The original demo had a middle 8, but we got rid of it after some persuasion. Our producer Ben Ziapour had a big hand in that - the arrangement is now much leaner and poppier. Despite the pop influence, it’s still in the soul genre, and Kat Deal’s layered, uplifting backing vocals give it more than a hint of gospel. Lyrically, it’s about allowing oneself to become more vulnerable: “All the walls that I built, you’re tearing them down”. The main inspiration for the lyrics was Danny’s first ‘proper’ relationship.
The EP also features our most successful single to date: ‘The One’. It’s probably the song that best sums us up; it features Earth, Wind & Fire-inspired horns, a heavy four-to-the-floor beat, driving Bernard Edwards-esque bass, and touches of contemporary production.
What’s your local music scene like?
We’re lucky to have so many incredible musicians to work with. We both went to music college - Danny in London and Huw in Leeds - and have forged many musical friendships as a result. We both make a living from music full-time, playing covers gigs, touring, session work and teaching.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
We’ve actually just started planning our first album! Hopefully we’ll be looking to release it this time next year. It’s a bit ambitious given our other commitments, but we’re keen to get it done somehow.
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
Too many to mention! We’d love a guest artist on one of our next releases - a rapper, singer, instrumentalist - whatever works!
If we’re aiming for the stars, then our top 3 collabs would probably be one of Erykah Badu, Nile Rodgers or Quincy Jones.
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
We’ve recently started doing Sofar Sounds shows. At the first one we scaled the band back a bit (just a 9-piece). I don’t think anyone knew quite what to expect, but we got an encore, which we honestly hadn’t prepared for! We played ‘Get Up’, a tune we hadn’t played together for about 6 months, and somehow it worked. Sofar gigs are often intimate, sit-down affairs, but by the end everyone was on their feet. We were dead proud of that.
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
The Funktipus got many legs to dance with!