Respect the Funk works towards bringing awareness to the life of the “starving artist”. Sonya Jindal | Mustang News

Local San Luis Obispo publication Respect the Funk (RTF) has surely made a name for themselves since their initial establishment after releasing content a year ago. Having officially produced two magazines, the publication is now pushing towards a shift into a new field – creating their own original content.

Where they are now:

“This is a pretty interesting time in our lives,” environmental management and protection senior Nate Doherty said. “We’re all the definition of starving artists.”

Doherty, alongside art and design senior Marion Beacham, founded RTF in 2017. With a new team, Doherty sees a fresh vision for the future of the company.

“It’s a little new now that Gabe [Santos] and I are here,” Santa Cruz local Keenan Conway said.

Santos, Conway and Doherty were friends in school and have come together to collaborate on the new face of Respect the Funk.

Keenan Conway and Nathan Doherty discuss projects 2018 will have in store for Respect the Funk. | Sonya Jindal

“Gabriel dropped out of college to do this, I lost my job, Keenan is homeless and lives in the backyard and is on food stamps,” Doherty said. “Sometimes you go through hard times as an artist, but we have a dream.”

The three each provide a new insight into the creativity of the company. Santos is the brains behind all film and video content; Conway specializes in visual artistry and focuses on the production design; Doherty is the mastermind behind all things business, taking care of everyone and executing all business affairs.

“Its cool because we all have the niche that are parts of the company that we’re focusing on,” Santos said. “We have a lot of ambition. Original content is our new shift we’re aiming towards.”

Future projects

The company has many exciting new endeavors for the 2018 year. RTF will be going into contract with Shabang, a festival that strives to create a flourishing community for artists, the same mentality RTF has ingrained in their business.

“Our first magazine was released at Shabang,” Doherty said. “The next Shabang we built a geodome and had more of a setup. The guy that started [Shabang] reached out to us and was like ‘You guys are the biggest hit here and I want you to play a larger role.’”

Respect the Funk will have their own stage at the venue, with silent disco taking place in their three-story infrastructure. Cal Poly radio’s KCPR crew will be DJ-ing their stage.

“Instead of making it just our own, we want to make it a collaboration between organisms that already exist in [San Luis Obispo], so KCPR coming in with the line up with all the DJs and we’re just facilitating. Subsessions is going to be joining us too,” Santos said. “It’s about always keeping true to the nature of helping other people out and not just ourselves.”

The company has also taken a swing at producing their own original content.

“We released the first documentary as a company, which I just ran at the Austin spotlight film festival,” Santos said.

The film followed an undocumented filmmaker in Los Angeles as he takes on the world while muting his identity. The documentary brought light to contemporary issues in American politics, such as immigration and the Dreamer Act.

“This was pretty much our first project as a company showing that we can make original content. Original content is something I’m trying to hammer down,” Santos said.

Goals for the future

The company has big plans for their year, putting in all efforts to execute their dreams.

“The goal is to make things happen and pull things together,” Conway said. “Building the events [is] really cool. It’s gonna take a lot to pull it off, but it’s worth it.”

Respect the Funk has a vision of the future of their company, with every pursuit leading back to their main ideal of respecting everyone’s “special, quirky style.”

“Pushing a platform that has art with subsistence, art with good values, and art that ties back into our ethos of respecting everyone [is our goal],” Doherty said. “We wanna make feature films that talk about important topics, we want to create large scale events that unify the community and we just want to continue to make publications that illustrate why it’s dope to be young and living in California.”

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