Bull Funk Zoo is the brainchild of producer, multi instrumentalist, vocalist, and accomplished guitar player Assaad Lakkis. Taking on influences from Frank Zappa, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against The Machine, to John Coltrane, Miles Davis or Tom Waits, Bull Funk Zoo is a colourful musical project that feeds from a buzzing variety of nearly every genre.
Bull Funk Zoo had featured Eslam Jawad -M.C (former Gorillaz and Wu Tan Clan) and Hamdan Al-Abri on many live shows in the past. On his new album he will be on vocals and guitar and has put a new rhythm section together. He describes the outcome as sounding “like a big bad bull fornicating and stompin’ the grounds with an attitude.Bull Funk Zoo brings together individual vibes of creativity that keeps everyone guessing – even us.”
Bull Funk Zoo’s debut album was recorded in 2013 and got the highest ratings for an unsigned band’s record byRolling Stone. In the Middle East, he has made a name for himself, playing in front of up to 30000 people at concerts. In 2013, he also supported Sting . Bull Funk Zoo is continuously working on new material, videos and other creative endeavours. He says: “Creativity is my drug of choice, it has got me in a vise.”
Assaad was born in Dubai after his parents had to escape the devastating war in Lebanon in the 70s. Music has always played a big role for him. He was growing up to the likes of James Brown, Earth Wind and Fire, Boney M and various Motown artists. When he was four years old he first saw Kiss performing on TV and, for the first time, the idea of rock’n’roll both intrigued and scared him. Enchanted by the magic that those kind of performances had over him, he later moved on to listening to bands like Metallica or Megadeth and broadened his musical horizon as much as possible, constantly craving new experiences.
At the age of 17, he moved to the US for a few years to go to university and further dig into unknown musical realms. During this time, he also discovered punk rock and realised that the mentality of this genre fitted in perfectly with his own worldview. Both musically as in life, Assaad is a free spirit who is willing to cross boundaries in order to expand his mind. He’d surround himself with like-minded people such as the spoken word artist Eric Bailey or Glen Burris, a well known horn player who played and recorded withMiles Davis on “Man With The Horn”.
After moving back to Dubai in 1999, Assaad released his music as part of his musical project Abstrakt Collision. One of the songs he recorded with Abstrakt Collision got nominated for the independent music awards in the U.S and another was featured in the movie ‘Papers’.
His alter-ego and musical concept Bull Funk Zoo derived from an idea he had: ”It’s a description of the energy of the music I wanted to create. Growing up on funk and rock, I thought “Bull Funk” is the ideal description; it’s got attitude, heart, grace and an in-your-face kind of approach. Zoo is the description of the Bull Funk collective, hence ‘Bull Funk Zoo’. A lot of my good friends told me to have Bull Funk Zoo as my stage name”