Bootsy Collins Shares The Crucial Advice He Got from James Brown

The funk pioneer also released a new single this week to benefit music industry professionals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In case you missed the memo, the mothership’s own, Bootsy Collins, has returned.

Earlier this week, Parliament-Funkadelic bassist known for his slinky fretwork and a cartoonish vox released the new single “Stars” to raise money for MusiCares COVID-19 fund. Money raised through the organization will be donated to music professionals put out by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Premiering via Spin, the track’s release was accompanied by a few words from the iconic bassman, including an account of a lesson learned from the late funk forefather, James Brown.

In March of 1970, Bootsy and his brother Catfish’s band, The Pacemakers, were hired as the replacements for Brown’s touring ensemble. It didn’t last long (by 1972, both Collins brothers had been absorbed into the Funkadelic collective,) but before he was able to hit the studio with Mr. Dynamite, he was required to ditch the DIY bass he’d fashioned out of an old electric guitar body with four thick strings. “Son, you can’t come on my stage with that thing,” Collins recalls Brown telling him. But for Bootsy, it was merely a test of his dedication and ambition. Collins goes on, “That was a lesson for me that I ain’t gonna let nothing stop me from what I want or what I feel I need to do.”

His latest single “Stars” arrives on the heels of last year’s Bootzilla Records Vol. 1 compilation. Collins’ latest full-length studio album, World Wide Funk, was released in 2017, featuring appearances from Kali Uchis, Musiq Soulchild, MC Eight, Big Daddy Kane and more.

Hear Bootsy Collins’ new song “Stars” below. Head over to Spin to read the full interview and hold tight for his next dispatch.




Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers music.

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