WHAT IS PULSE?

Pulse Music Journal is Saskatchewan’s hub for music indulgers. We ‘eat/sleep/breathe’ the music and entertainment industry – plug into our outlet while we highlight new music, recap live performances, and interview the biggest names, local legends, and the newest initiatives surrounding our local music scene. We are honoured to be a leading cultural staple in the Saskatchewan music and entertainment scene.

WE SUPPORT SASKATCHEWAN’S ENTERTAINMENT & MUSIC SCENE

Whether it’s reaching out to a newly released project, musician or creating a spotlight for local talent to be heard on any of our stages, as well as opportunities to be heard opening for larger acts on our full-venue stage. We look forward to reopen and launch our newest concepts that strongly support the local music in our city. The local music scene is super important to us – we are a small city, but we have big dreams. Let’s grow and support each other – putting Saskatchewan on the map for premium music and entertainment experience.

“I HAD NO IDEA WHAT A RAVE REALLY WAS”

– FLATLAND FUNK

FLATLAND FUNK IS THE PREMIER OF EDM IN SASKATCHEWAN, PUTTING SK ON THE EDM WORLD MAP – THIS ALL DID NOT HAPPEN OVER NIGHT

Dan Bartake is Flatland Funk. Flatland Funk is more than a DJ. Dan has put in work, creating a streamlined network surrounding him. If you think of the Saskatchewan EDM, you think of Flatland Funk. Why? Because Dan has a created a community of DJ’s, creatives and like-minded individuals helping create this scene. Touring, playing the Main Stage at many festivals, working on the board of directors for Emengy Label, promoting events through Mad Society, working closely with Blueprint Events, and so much more. Flatland Funk is Saskatchewan’s focal point for EDM.

We sat down with Flatland Funk to go over his start in the EDM world, his favourite moments in his career, and what it takes for upcoming DJ’s to get their foot in the door. We also learn how he met STVNKFVCE, what his name was before Flatland Funk, who he would like to collaborate with, and so much more.

WHAT INSPIRED YOUR START IN THE ELECTRONIC MUSIC SCENE?

FLATLAND FUNK: Music has always been a passion of mine. All genres. It runs in the family too. I have family members who have toured and played in many bands. I was actually a huge guitar fanatic before I got into EDM. I had about 6 electric guitars in my collection at one time. I was heavily influenced by guys like David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Van Halen.

I was living in North Battleford and working at the casino when a friend approached me and invited me to a rave in Saskatoon. At the time I had no idea what a rave really was so I decided “Why Not?” I remember walking in the door of this rave, the event was called PPM Party 6 featuring Deepsky, Dave The Drummer, and Dekoze, and was completely stunned. I had entered an entirely different world. The decor, the lights, the stage, the sound, the fashion, the music… I had never experienced anything like it. I just fell in love instantly. I remember I stood in front of the stage watching the DJ the entire time (from like 7pm to 6am – back when events went all night long). The music was just so incredible and uplifting. That’s when I decided “This is what I want to do”. The rest is history.

FROM STAGES BIG TO SMALL, YOU HAVE PLAYED THEM ALL.

WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR FAVOURITE TOURING STORY WHETHER IT BE AN EMBARRASSING MOMENT, MEETING AN IDOL, OR YOUR FAVOURITE FESTIVAL.

FLATLAND FUNK: Although I am super grateful for every event and experience I have had from promoters – I think having been asked to play the main stage at Chasing Summer Music Festival five years in a row now has been an ultimate highlight. The festival brings something like 20,000 people and the energy is unbeatable. Being apart of that festival, I have been lucky enough to meet and hang out with so many of my idols and incredible artists like: Marshmello, Don Diablo, Tiesto, Martin Garrix, The Chainsmokers, CID, Malaa, Steve Aoki, Jauz and many many others. It’s unreal to me.

Introducing AriZona Hard Tea Available in Green Tea – The #1 ‘best-for-your-buck’ drink has joined the Molson Coors Family – AriZona Hard Tea is here to stay.  ‘Here to stay’, well sort of – AriZona Hard Tea are flying off the shelves. The perfect Summer Companion made it’s debut in late Spring 2020, definitely the most sought-after drink this Summer. Just like the classic “Shake well”, AriZona Hard Tea is made with real brewed Green Tea accompanied by Ginseng and Honey. The Hard Tea is spiked with premium vodka and available in 6 Packs.

The Reinvented Hard Classic – 5% alcohol.

YOU JUST SIGNED TO MODERN MGMT, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOUR CAREER?

FLATLAND FUNK: I was ready to take the next step with my music career and management ensures I have a team behind me to ensure I can take my music to the next level in a calculated way while still having fun doing it.

MUSIC RUNS IN YOUR BLOOD.

EVEN WHEN YOU ARE NOT PERFORMING ON STAGE YOU ARE HOSTING SHOWS THROUGH YOUR MAD SOCIETY PROMOTION COMPANY, OR PROMOTING OTHER ARTISTS THROUGH EMENGY – WHAT KEEPS YOU ALWAYS STRIVING FOR MORE? AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO BE INVOLVED IN THE SCENE IN A DEEPER CAPACITY THAN A PERFORMER.

FLATLAND FUNK: This music and this scene pretty much saved me. I grew up moving around almost 2 to 3 times a year up until I was about 19. I was never able to really fit in anywhere. Discovering this scene gave me a feeling of hope, a feeling of acceptance, a feeling of love, and a chance to express myself. Then I eventually wanted others to experience that too. Which is why I started throwing events. I wanted to give people a place to feel accepted and to provide an escape from their daily life and stresses.

WE HAVE HAD THE HONOUR TO WELCOME YOU TO THE COORS EVENT CENTRE STAGE MANY TIMES, FROM HEADLINING SHOWS TO SETTING THE TONE FOR INTERNATIONAL SUPERSTARS LIKE REZZ, BTSM AND MORE.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU LIKE TO GIVE TO THOSE ASPIRING TO BECOME A DJ IN SASKATCHEWAN?

FLATLAND FUNK: First of all – thank you so much for giving me these types of opportunities. I absolutely love playing at the Coors Event Centre. It is hands down, the best venue Saskatchewan has to offer. I am so grateful to be a part of the events there.

My advice for younger aspiring DJs would be to really put in the work. Perfect your craft. Practice playing multiple types of time slots. Learn how to play multiple genres. Learn how to become a proper opening DJ, so you can successfully set the tone for the night. Supporting slots can be difficult for a lot of people because you must learn to set your ego aside as you are there to support the headliner. It’s not about you. And do nooot play any of the headliner’s music or the label’s music as to which the headliner is signed to.

Make sure you get out there and promote yourself hard and get involved with anything you can. Ask promoters or venue owners if they need help with anything like: promoting, set up, take down, etc. Support goes a long way! Support other local artists as well – we are all in this together. And most importantly, always be professional and humble.

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE NAME FLATLAND FUNK? WERE YOU ALWAYS FLATLAND FUNK? WHAT WAS YOUR NAME BEFORE?

FLATLAND FUNK: Oh boy. I was hoping to avoid this question haha. Yes, I did not start out as Flatland Funk. Back in the day, I was really into Hard House/Hard Trance, Progressive, and Funky Breaks. I was then known as DJ Tiki. How I got THAT name is a long and inappropriate story that I’ll save for next time.

As “Tiki,” I had a few online weekly radio shows called: The Gong Show. It aired on NSB Radio, where I had met a guy named Joe Wallace. He had very similar music tastes as I and we just clicked. We became great friends and started throwing events together and going b2b at those events together. He went by “Phaty McLefto” at the time. Since we started playing so often together back then, we just decided we should become a duo. This is where “Flatland Funk”came from. Flatland was originally a duo. The name pays homage to Saskatchewan of course. Joe and I played together for about 5 years. He then retired to become a family man and to focus on his own business. Which left me to carry on with the Flatland Funk name, which I have done now solo for about 8 years.

STVNKFVCE AND FLATLAND FUNK HAVE WORKED CLOSELY TOGETHER 

– WHETHER IT BE ROCKING A SOLD-OUT SHOW, COLLABORATING ON A TRACK, OR THROWING THE PARTY. HOW DID YOU CONNECT? AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE SOMEONE YOU CAN ‘BIG BROTHER’ ALONG THE WAY?

FLATLAND FUNK: It is quite a funny story actually. Apparently before we met, Riley went to Chasing Summer Music Festival and saw that I was on the line up. He knew I was from Saskatchewan. So he went around the nightclubs in Calgary all weekend telling girls he was playing the main stage and that HIS artist name was Flatland Funk and that they should come check out his set. He was using my name to pick up girls. Apparently it didn’t work out too well because we look nothing alike. Then later that Summer, I had posted on my Instagram story about needing a gym partner and Riley messaged me. After we started hanging out more I found out he was an aspiring DJ too. So I took him under my wing and have been mentoring him ever since. He reminds me a bit of myself when I was young and first starting out. I think it’s great to be able to mentor someone and share my experiences and help them with their journey. We have definitely become brothers.

#CERTIFIEDHEADBANGER – IT’S WELL KNOWN IN THE EDM COMMUNITY. WHO COINED IT?

FLATLAND FUNK: It’s just something I always say whenever I hear a track that I really love. And usually when those tracks are played out, they go off and…quite literally make people headbang and lose their minds. So I figured I might as well brand it!

IT MAKES FOR A LONG DAY.

AN EDM SHOW FROM THE START OF THE DAY TO THE ‘WEE’ HOURS OF THE MORNING. WHAT TIPS HAVE YOU PICKED UP ALONG THE WAY TO KEEP YOURSELF ROCKING THE SET UNTIL 2AM?

FLATLAND FUNK: I don’t really get tired come show day. It’s just the excitement of it all and the anticipation of the event that keeps me going. When everything is set up and it’s actually show time, my anxiety kicks in. Then I am too nervous to really ever feel tired *haha*. My nerves calm down and my energy intensifies though after I see all the smiles on people’s faces. The crowd keeps you going all night. Truly.

Flatland Funk opening for Cash Cash at Coors Event Centre on March 22nd 2019 – photo by Taylor Swenson

IT IS A TREAT TO HAVE YOU IN ANY ROOM, WHETHER YOU ARE ON STAGE OR JUST THERE SUPPORTING THE EVENT.

YOU ARE AN ALL AROUND GREAT GUY WITH A GOOD SUPPORT SYSTEM EVERYWHERE AROUND YOU. WITH THE LONG TRIPS, LATE NIGHTS YOU MUST ALSO HAVE A GOOD SUPPORT SYSTEM AT HOME. IS IT HARD TO BE AWAY FROM HOME SO OFTEN OR DOES YOUR WIFE TRAVEL WITH YOU? WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART ABOUT HAVING HER ALONG YOUR JOUNEY?

FLATLAND FUNK: You know, I’m so lucky to have someone like her who is very supportive and understanding of what I do. It’s definitely not easy, but she constantly supports me and pushes me to be the best in everything I do. She knows how passionate I am and understands the amount of work, time, dedication, and commitment that I need to put into it to be successful with it. She’s the best.

IF YOU COULD COLLABORATE OR WORK ALONGSIDE ANYBODY – WHO WOULD THAT BE?

FLATLAND FUNK: To me it’s not necessarily a specific person per say. I just like collaborating with real and genuine people who are extremely passionate about what they do. People who work hard and push themselves to become better artists. People who also use their platforms to support their scene and support other artists. But if I had to choose someone famous… I’d love to collaborate with Kayzo!

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT FLATLAND FUNK, AND ARIZONA HARD GREEN TEA – SEE BELOW.

UPCOMING EVENTS

WHAT EVENTS WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO…

Nov 3rd

BUY TICKETS
BUY TICKETS

Nov 27th

BUY TICKETS
BUY TICKETS

Dec 4th

BUY TICKETS
BUY TICKETS

July 30th

BUY TICKETS
BUY TICKETS

LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT’S TO COME…