Rhythmm Epkins known to his fans as DR. FUNK is the lead vocalist and responsible for bringing Mind Body & Soul, the funky, soulful band together in 2012, yet the road was long, paved with success and growing pains every band experiences. DR. FUNK believes it is all about making personal connections and finding a place where you belong when it comes to making music andperforming on stage together as a band.
“Music is a light that can shine anywhere,” DR. FUNK explains. “I don’t care where you are, you could be in the trenches, on the front line of war and at night when the bullets start flying, what do people do? They listen to music to give them a little hope.”
Growing up in Queens, NY to a musically-inclined family, DR. FUNK learned how to play piano, drums, bass, the cello among otherinstruments which provided self-encouragement in order to appreciate and fall in love with music. DR. FUNK was on his way for stardom. Between playing gigs in NY and the East Coast at large, touring the last leg of the Chitlin’ Circuit down South during the later
70s, DR. FUNK had the chance to perform in several bands allowing him the grace for understanding the music industry and the life of a touring performer. More recently DR. FUNK played with The English Beat where DR. Funk had the chance to tour the world. DR. FUNK performed weekends with The English Beat and mid-week gigs with Mind Body & Soul. In 2015, DR. FUNK finished his contract with The English Beat and fully focus on the band, auditioning musicians for the right fit. It only took four months before Mind Body & Soul signed their first label deal and eventually signing to Indie Label Bentley Records with a contract for distribution and
DR. Funk and his brother Power Morcillo (who plays guitar in the band) worked together to find the best musicians to join Mind Body & Soul. It didn’t happen overnight however the brothers are pleased with the members of Mind Body & Soul. Ray Zepeda (Saxophone) came in first in 2012 with musical success in his past; he was easily able to introduce the brothers to Ricky Lucchese (Trombone) and Brent Williams (Trumpet) into the crew. Later on, Farid Zariff (Percussion), Cesareo Garasa and Lamar Brooks (switching up on drums) and more recently Eric Barefield (Keyboards) joined Mind Body & Soul to complete the band. DR. FUNK shares that he is “so happy with the guys now.”
Mind Body & Soul; a labor of love, came together in in Bakersfield, CA where DR. FUNK currently resides. The seasoned musical collective has traveled all over the nation performing their classic sounds that are a tribute to the music DR. FUNK grew up listening to Earth Wind & Fire, The Gap Band, Morris Day and The Time, Teddy Pendergrass, Al Green, Sly & The Family Stone, Michael Jackson and Patti Labelle. Mind Body & Soul offers an escape from the daily grind that encapsulates love, positive energy and resilience that is not often seen in the music industry. The music DR. FUNK writes with Mind Body & Soul is something to take along with you on a journey where you can experience life as you grow, love, experience loss and maintain the daily grind of life.
There is no mystery that DR. FUNK and his band have chemistry with one another and their fans. Bentley Records and Mind Body & Soul have decided to release singles for the precursor of an album in order to maximize exposure and broaden their fan base. There are currently nine of the 12 tracks released from their project including “Do it Right: The Funky Remix” (originally released in 2014) which became #1 on mainstream charts for Independent Music Network April 2020. Mind Body & Soul released their hit video to go along with it. June 2020 starts off strong with the #1 spot again with “Just a Matter of Time,” which is a beautiful song about believing in success and good fortune that will happen at the right time. The music video brings it all together as the band shows up for an outdoor musical performance and parade as they drive in with their classic cars, one of the group’s favorite pastimes.
Another passion DR. FUNK is inspired by is giving back by ways of working with youth in a non-profit he is forming called “Music & Art Forever.” The organization plans to provide opportunities in the arts for youth. DR. FUNK and Mind Body & Soul is definitely doing it right, once all of the singles have been dropped this year, the band plans to release their album on vinyl and in between while focusing
on media interviews and staying connected with fans.