A West End resident and rapper said he wants to sell more records than Drake.
Ryan Funk started from the bottom, now he’s here. The father-of-one started rapping as a teenager with the single line, "My name’s Ryan the Lion, don’t you know cats kill?", which led him to his alias, CatSkill.
"I started entering freestyle battles every weekend, (going to) house parties in the West End," Funk said.
Funk started recording his own original music in 2005. In 2009, he received a message from producer and DJ Clinton Sparks, who had heard his music. Funk and Sparks collaborated on a song together called Sugar Town.
Funk’s latest song and video, Zelda, is his pride and joy. He produced, directed, and paid for the production, including hiring the actress (Natascha Bollenbach), finding the locations, and acquiring the costumes.
"It’s the best song I ever wrote," Funk said. "Everything else to this point has just been practice."
Zelda was produced and mixed by 12-time Grammy Award winner Ken Lewis.
"I spent $1,700 (from) sanding hardwood floors," Funk said. "I put all my money in that song. I thought, ‘Man, this could be special.’"
According to Funk, the song was inspired by his daughter.
"I made so many promises to my daughter (Chloe) that we’re going to make it. We’re going to get a nice, big house. We’re going to figure this out," Funk said.
Funk said he had a troublesome past, getting involved with drugs and having his daughter taken away from him. However, with all the positive feedback on Zelda, he said he feels ready for a fresh start.
"I don’t feel like going back to the old me. I was lost, and I was hanging around with a lot of
people that were lost. It was a dark period in my life," Funk said.
Funk said when he was writing the song, it felt like an adventure parallel to the Legend of Zelda video game, so he took it in that direction.
"Zelda is basically about me trying to get to the next level," Funk said. "I was making music, but nothing was ever happening. I was getting buzz, but I never had a team."
In addition to writing about his daughter, Funk’s musical repertoire ranges from writing about his hometown to emotional ballads.
Those interested can watch and listen to Zelda on Funk’s YouTube Channel at youtube.com/catskillmc
"I would like everyone to check it out, share it, support it, and see what happens," Funk said.