“ PHUNKPLAYAH’S 411”
Born in Goldsboro, North Carolina, Kirby L. Hamilton, Jr. (aka “Phunkplayah”) has been active in the music industry for over three decades as Artist, Studio Musician, Producer, Arranger, Entertainment Director, Special Events Coordinator, Promoter, Nightclub Manager, Director of Marketing, and Educator. He received his Bachelor of Science in Music from Winston-Salem State University, and during the same year of graduation, recorded with platinum R&B/Funk recording artists “Brick,” known for such hits as “Dazz”, “Ain’t Gone Hurt Nobody”, and “Dusic”. After a brief stay in Atlanta, he returned to North Carolina where he recorded his first single “You’re In Good Hands” and “I’m Trying”, followed by the LP “RIP Life”. After receiving regional airplay in the southeast, and being recognized by Billboard Magazine as “Pick Hit of The Week” with the single “A Different Place” (from the RIP Life LP), he relocated to Palm Springs, California where he continued his musical career as drummer (and later bass player) for the local favorites “Tonal Eclipse”. During this time he was recording Muzak and local television theme songs, while teaching in the public school system. The group disbanded after their sold out debut performance at the famous Hollywood Palace in Hollywood California.
Staying active in the industry by way of recording, producing, and writing, Phunk then started his career in gaming (casinos), and with a strong entertainment background, he held positions as Nightclub Manager, Director of Marketing, Entertainment/Special Events Coordinator and finally Asst. General Manager. During this time he hooked up with Dr. Dre’ (Death Row Records) who was producing platinum hits back to back. Phunk performed on Snoop Doggy Dog’s debut CD “Doggystyle” which debuted double platinum and sky rocketed his career. Phunk also was in Snoop’s first two videos “What’s My Name” and “Gin and Juice”. Dr. Dre is responsible for introducing Phunk to the talkbox, made famous by artist such as Roger Troutman, Peter Frampton, Sly Stone and others. Now he is hooked on the Roger/Zapp sound that he had always loved. Phunk continued producing up and coming Black and Latino Hip-Hop artists throughout southern California that were in search of that “Ol Skool” Roger/Zapp sound. While still “dunked in funk”, Phunk played drums with The John-Stanley King Band (one of Palm Springs local favorites in classic rock) and performed on their debut CD.
Relocating back to North Carolina, with years of experience behind him, along with today’s technology, he has put together an exciting one man show concentrating on “GFM” (Grown Folks Music) where takes you through a musical journey of Dance/Funk hits from the 70s, 80’s, and 90’s and beyond, along with his own originals. His Funk show includes a “Tribute To Roger Troutman” which is a crowd favorite. This is after delivering some Smooth Jazz for your listening and toe tapping pleasure.
He has also put together a Gospel show that has the energy and flavor of “Ol Skool Funk (Parliament, Roger, Bootsy, Gap Band, Rick James, The Time, Prince, and many other funkateers), but with a message of spiritual awareness, praise, and worship.
Kirby Hamilton aka “Phunkplayah” completed his debut Contemporary Jazz/Funk & Smooth Jazz CD in March of 2010 where he produced and performed the entire CD.
It is entitled “ISOLATED” and can be found and purchased at CD Baby.
Phunkplayah has shared the stage with such artists as:
Frankie Beverly & Maze / The Emotions / Bootsy’s Rubber Band / Roger & Zapp / One Way / Marvin Gaye / The Dramatics / Ice Cube & Westside Connection / Herbie Mann / Art Blakely / Vince Neil / Phil UpChurch