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Syracuse band Sophistafunk is creating a new sound by combining funk and hip-hop.

Adam Gold learned as a Syracuse University student that the city has historically been a test-market for musicians.  If a band could make it in this wintry town, then it could make it in any city. 

“It’s interesting that we happen to be in a specific market that was literally a test market for the past 40 years,” said Gold, 25.

Keyboardist Gold, lyricist Jack Brown, 23, and drummer Emanuel Washington, 25, make up the local Syracuse band Sophistafunk. The local band has grown in popularity throughout the Central New York region the past few years.

“We are literally revitalizing and reissuing the concept of hip-hop and bringing unique aspects to it regarding the lyrics content, the musical content, rhythmical content, and blending three people’s ideas of what music is and should be and turning it into this product that I think is really unique,” Gold said. “And you really can’t hear anything like it.  We’re not really emulating anyone’s anything. We’re creating something new.”

The test-market appeal of Syracuse is not the only reason the funk band sticks around the snowy city. Both Gold and Brown are SU alumni, from the classes of 2006 and 2007, respectively. Washington has always felt connected to Syracuse, his hometown. He says he has played percussion for almost every local band. 

Sophistafunk also owes thanks to Marshall Street Records, a recording label owned by SU and run by SU students, for producing its first album, to be released in May.

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