Asheville singer/songwriter and Grammy-winning vocalist Ryan “RnB” Barber recently collaborated with local filmmaker Kira Bursky on a video for his latest single, “Funk Yo Feelings.” Shot primarily in Asheville, the picture begins inside Barley’s Taproom, which Barber notes is one of his favorite places to perform.
Other scenes, including those in neighborhoods and homes, were based on practicalities, says Bursky. “We’re still living out this surreal pandemic, so for the most part we chose easy-access locations that were controlled environments without random people coming through,” she explains.
Below is more from Xpress’ talk with Barber and Bursky, along with the video premiere for “Funk Yo Feelings.”
Xpress: The lyrics for “Funk Yo Feelings” are about rising above negativity and living your best life. What inspired the song?
Ryan Barber: Last year during shutdown, we had a lot of time on our hands, and one of the things I did to pass the time was scroll social media — I know, pretty lame, right? While I saw a lot of good things like fellow musicians’ livestreams and other folks being creative and adapting to life, the majority of what I saw was lots of fighting, both politically and socially. … I’m the type that likes to see everyone happy. Funky music makes me happy, so I figure if it gives me that feeling, I want to share it with everyone, especially the ones I feel need it most. Music has brought people together for centuries, so I want to do my part to keep that feeling going until I can’t anymore.
The video certainly has a lot of personality. It’s hard not to smile while watching it. What was the process like in coming up with the concept and how important was it to include humor?
Kira Bursky: All of the visuals and scenes are inspired by the quirkiness, character and charm of Ryan’s music. I knew I wanted the video to reflect the overall concept of transforming people through the power of funk. But I wanted to make sure it was not too serious. We wanted people to leave with a big old smile on their face after watching the video.
Barber: Laughter is medicine that we all need, so that was a must.
What do you hope viewers take away from the new video and song?
Bursky: I hope people watch this and feel funkified! What more could we ask for? … There’s so much seriousness in the world, so it makes me smile to imagine this video making other people smile.
Barber: You don’t have to rain on someone else’s parade in order to have sunshine on yours. We’re all in this world just trying to get by and have some happiness along the way. If you feel the need to sabotage that for someone else, maybe you need to put some funk in yo feelings!