The six-piece band hailing from Oakland, California finds their biggest influence in the best of soul from artists like James Brown, Prince, Michael Jackson, and Al Green. Today Trace Repeat's vocalist/guitarist/bassist Wesley Woo shares a playlist of songs that have inspired the band's music exclusively with Musical Notes Global. Here's what he had to say:
"Funk and soul, both the old and the new. I find myself always revisiting the old and the new, because they were did it right the first time. I could listen to James, Prince, Michael, the heavy hitters, all the pioneers of funk music my whole life and still learn from them. The best experiences musically in the world is the little nuances that you catch only after having revisited an album or track for the 20th time. For me, there’s the original innovators, then the artists who appreciate, and that’s where we (Trace Repeat) fall. I’m thankful for the opportunity to create music that encompasses multiple generations of groove, and at the end of the day, we’re not creating anything new, but we are rather just contributing a bridge or a funky bassline.
"Old School Funk" - Trace Repeat
"Trace Repeat’s opening statement to the Oaktown Sound. It’s fast, punchy, loud, and one of my personal favorites from our debut album. Old School Funk exists as a musical tribute to the aforementioned funk fathers such as James Brown and Prince, and I get a real kick out of playing this song with the band. It’s a very different kick when it is performed, Why? Well, because we dance, and there are times where it takes everything you’ve got just to get through the song! For me, it always feel great, especially when executed correctly between songs!"
"My Summertime Thang #3" - The Time
"How could I make a playlist and not include a song from The Time? Prince’s close to home bandmates who also crafted the Minneapolis sound we all love. I think of disco jams and wildly appropriate synth parts that are not too overbearing. 'My Summertime Thang #3' does just that. Give it a listen, as it ‘feels so good’, and ‘we could have a total ball’. One of my personal musical idols D’Angelo, performed this song at Bonnaroo not too long ago, alongside an all-star band that include members from Prince’s musical projects, and I was absolutely floored by it. Also, it marked a comeback from him, as he had been gone from making music for so long."
"Afro Blue" feat. Erykah Badu - Robert Glasper Experiment
"Afro Blue featuring Erykah Badu. This. This is what I was listening to over and over again during my Neo-Soul immersion phase. Who doesn’t love Robert Glasper? The guy does everything. What I love the most about the song? Sheer simplicity, yet full of subtleties. Try to count how many instruments you hear that only add to the existing feel of the song."
"Come Down" - Anderson .Paak
"Come Down, by Anderson .Paak, another hip-hop funk jam that I wanted to slot in this playlist just because. The guy is playing drums! It has a James Brown vibe that I really dig, and the first time I was exposed to this song was when he was doing a Tiny Desk performance for NPR. For those of you reading out there, NPR Tiny Desk is a wonderful way to discover music. But back to the song. It’s short, sweet, and deep in the pocket, my favorite track from his album Malibu."
"Lady" - D’Angelo
"I could hardly make a funk and soul playlist that pushed my musical boundaries and assisted in the creation of our album without including D’Angelo. A die-hard fan of Prince’s music, I find myself constantly revisiting this song. It features Raphael Saadiq on additional instrumentation, and it’s just soulful from beginning to end. I can safely say that a huge part of my vocal intuition comes from this guy. This album. Brown Sugar is over 20 years old, it can be called a classic in my opinion."
"Get on the Floor" - Michael Jackson
"Get on the Floor! Exactly what the title sounds like. Getting your dancing shoes on and moving across the dancefloor the way Michael would have wanted. I have stolen so much feel and vibe from this song that I think it’s impossible for me to write a dance track without referencing Off The Wall in some way or another. A few dance jams we’ve written have nothing but Michael written all over it. It’s a song about groovin’, dancing, pretty straightforward. Funky basslines, disco beats, an upbeat vibe, all the elements you need to get moving!"
"Groovin’" - Trace Repeat
"Another song I want to include here on my playlist is 'Groovin', which heavily references the previous track. It's my personal tribute Michael Jackson, and I even state his name in the song. If you listen closely, you'll hear it! Groovin' is a song that went through a lot of production changes but we're very proud of the finished product. We play it extremely fast in a live setting, but I think that's kind of the point. Think heavy synths, bass driving, and syncopated guitar parts, and that's Groovin'. Give it a whirl and I'm sure it'll make you wanna sing too."
Listen to the full playlist on Spotify here.
Trace Repeat is Zach Hing (Vocals, Guitar, Bass), Wesley Woo (Vocals, Guitar, Bass), Ben Peterson (Drums), Dan Wilson (Tenor, Baritone Sax), David Kaiser-Jones (Trombone), and Khrizia Kamille (Vocals, Tambourine). Check out their latest music video "I Do" here and for all of their latest news and updates, follow the band on social media: