Dam-Funk has been in the music game for a while. First stepping into the LA DJ scene, he began crafting a futuristic style of boogie and funk, something that sounded unlike anything else coming out at the time. Now, in 2014, his sound is still unique and much-deserved respect is being thrown Dam-Funk's way.

Since linking with Stones Throw founder Peter Butter Wolf around 2007, Dam-Funk has released countless projects, loosies on Soundcloud, and even a full-length with Snoop (under the name Snoopzilla). Dam-Funk stays busy. I first began listening to him five years ago, when he released five EPs of futuristic neo-funk spectacles. The series was known as Toeachizown and contained some of the coldest artwork in the game. The project was released as a two disc LP at the end of 2009 and eventually re-released in 2010 as a 5xLP box set. Anyone feeling generous, my birthday is in May.

Dam-Funk has traveled the world. He's worked with Nite Jewel and Steve Arrington. He's brought people to tears during his live shows. He's continued to leave his legacy, bringing the funk to every aspect of this chill cat's lifestyle. We spoke on the phone last week and he was in (expected) high spirits, full of positivity and funk. Let's get into it.

Hey man, how did 2013 treat you?

Pretty good. It was one of the best years. I continued spreading this sound, staying as positive as I can. Staying natural, staying away from these hip new drugs.

Are you constantly in the studio or do you take breaks?

Every day. Every night. Staying cool. I just dropped a track on my Soundcloud called "Missin' U."

What drew you to Stones Throw Records?

It's just a good label. After I heard Yesterday's New Quintet, I knew. When I saw Madlib creatively spread himself, not just hip-hop. I already knew [Peanut Butter] Wolf from the LA DJ scene. The rest is history.

Stones Throw artists are known for releasing a small percentage of their actual library. Do you have a bunch of unreleased music in the vault?

Soundcloud is my ghost catalog. I have over 80 tracks. I can't stop creating. I keep the fire burning.

Did you have the vision of the Toeachizown series mapped out or did it grow organically?

It grew pretty organically. When Wolf heard the music, we couldn't decide how to release it. Jamie Strong over at Do-Over and Wolf thought of this concept for a box set. We all high-fived each other. We released tracks digitally every two months or so, then they started promoting Mayer Hawthorne's project and Toeachizown got lost in the black hole, but we were fortunate enough to re-release it as an LP.

What was it like working with Snoop?

He's great. We always joke that we are like brothers from another. We're the same age, from the same area, listened to the same radio on the same freeway. We can relate to the street life. I chose a different route than Snoop, obviously, we see through different prisms, but we share positivity. And he's one of the original cats of funk. He grew up on it. Blue Magic. The Sound Stylistics. That's the stuff that all of them listen to. They don't listen to hip-hop all day. Cats like slow jams. Funk, soul, R&B, country western even. Snoop's always been funk. I think he was finally able to connect on his vocals when we worked together. He wrote all of the hooks and I did all the music. It was his first album fully produced by the same person since he worked with Dre (on Doggystyle). It was an honour. And Snoop couldn't be a better person. I consider him a friend.

How do you choose when you want to add vocals or when you want to keep it instrumental?

The feeling. I appreciate the freedom. I like not being expected to do one or the other. Sometimes, I have the feeling to do vocals. Other times, with a cool title, it needs to stay instrumental.

2013 saw a collaboration between you and Snoop (7 Days of Funk), as well as one with Steve Arrington (Higher). Do you see yourself doing more collaborations in 2014?

Possibly, but in the form of remixes. I have a remix (aka DF re-freak) planned with Little Dragon, Toro y Moi. Ariel Pink on the new album. But I'm trying to concentrate more on solo work.

What have you been listening to recently?

A lot of stuff. L33 from Netherlands. Henning. Reggie B. Lot of cool stuff. I still revert back to rare boogie and funk, but I mix it up with artists like Prefab Sprout. Great material. Out of UK. Big in the late 80s, early 90s.

What inspires you?

Sunsets. Cars. Experiences that I go through. Relations. Memories. Dreams. Future. Outer space. I just roll with it.

Do you enjoy touring or are you more of a studio guy?

Right now, more studio time. I enjoy both still. You can get burned out from gigs. If they keep coming and you keep accepting them, you can see a year pass by with not much studio productivity. Sometimes you gotta put on the breaks. I need to concentrate on building my own label. It's time to nurture other artists. Reissues and fun stuff.

Not a lot of music coming out sounds like your music. How do you stay unique but also appealing?

By trying to stay myself. I'll be damned if some new cats dictate what I decide. I come with my heart to the keyboard. It's a feeling. Fads come and go. Funk isn't a fad. It's a way of life. It's metal. It's Frank Zappa. Funk gives you more freedom. Some artists try to deny it, but we provide a soundtrack to people's lives. I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I tried to create hit singles and radio songs. I don't like to copy, don't care how big they are.

You've toured the world. Do you have a favorite city outside of the States?

Wellington, New Zealand. Moscow was a cool party. I have different experiences for all the places I've been. I've been on every continent but Africa, for some reason. I came close to Cape Town. And everywhere I've been, I've had no problems. I'm lucky. No mishaps. No fights. Other than a show in Glasgow with someone talking shit, but the whole audience was on my side. It's been a very loving, positive experience around the world.

I believe that the kind of chords you hit can entice people to do shit. When I'm on stage, I have control over the room. I keep the vibes going. You can drive somebody crazy in an audience. Funk is not all happy. I consider funk a smile and a tear. I've had people tell me that 'Mirrors' makes them cry. I keep it positive, but not corny positive. By the end of my sets, people are so joyed.

Thank you so much for the interview. Do you have any final thoughts, last words, shout-outs?

I appreciate you reaching out and listening. Keep doing what you're doing.