At 74, George Clinton is still blazing trails when it comes to music.
The legendary R&B funk musician has been at the forefront of music his entire career. His latest album, “First Ya Gotta Shake the Gate,” with Funkadelic is chock-full of new music.
“It’s always good to keep moving,” he says during a phone interview while driving to Los Angeles. “We’re already working on a new Parliament album.”
Clinton revolutionized R&B during the ’70s, twisting soul music into funk by adding influences from several late-’60s acid heroes: Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa and Sly Stone. The Parliament Funkadelic machine ruled black music during the ’70s, capturing more than 40 R&B hit singles – including three hitting No. 1 and recording three platinum albums.
Clinton says the method to his success and staying ahead of the curve is simple – pay attention.
“I am aware of what kids are listening to and what parents hate,” he says. “This is usually the new sound of music. On the new album we’re working on, we pulled in Kendrick Lamar for a track. It’s turned out great.”
After more than 40 years of touring, Clinton still looks forward to making music.
“The process of making an album is great,” he says. “Then we get the chance to get out on the road and tour it and present it to the masses.”
Clinton says his music isn’t specifically made for the charts. When he began to make music, he wanted it to be around for the long haul.
“Having new generations of fans coming to shows is proof that the music is lasting,” he says. “I always told myself I wanted to be like Jimi Hendrix and Muddy Waters. Their music is still around. It feels great to see different people listening to the music and it still be relevant.”